Brynmawr Caving Club is based in Brynmawr, Gwent, South Wales, right in the middle of one of the best caving regions in Britain. The caving areas in the immediate locale are the Clydach Gorge, the Llangattock Escarpment and the Central Northern Outcrop. All of these contain some fine caves, some of which are among the finest and longest cave systems in the British Isles. Such caves as Agen Allwedd (Aggy), Ogof Y Daren Cilau, Ogof Craig A Ffynnon, Ogof Carno and Ogof Draenen are all at the most fifteen minutes drive from the town centre. The club has always been most active within these areas but also travels further afield to the other South Wales caving areas as well as regular trips to such places as Yorkshire.
Next meetings: Tuesday 2nd May 2017 – Hobby Horse Tuesday 6th June – TBC Tuesday 4th July – TBC We meet on the first Tuesday of the month. New members are always welcome, experienced and inexperienced alike, just come along … Continue reading
A somewhat poignant trip for me as this was to be Rob’s last caving trip before leaving South Wales for a life of retirement sailing the ocean’s and visiting far-off shores.
Rob and Myself along with Mark Wedlock were a regular team that explored a lot of the underground world of South Wales back in the 90s and early 2000s, but sadly, events transpired so that we gradually stopped caving together. Rob has now retired and is planning to whisk Paulyne, his wife, off on a life of mad adventure sailing the globe. But, before that, he wanted one last caving trip and especially one into OFD1 that he hadn’t visited for quite a few years.
A fine spring morning saw us meeting up at Penwyllt. Rob’s daughter Ruby joined us for her first taste of OFD and along with Dione and Trig we made our way to the layby where we changed and headed off to the entrance.There had been a fair bit of rain recently so the streamway promised to be sporting but we decided to carry on and to see how things looked when we reached The Step.
We had soon all descended the ladder and re-grouped in the small chamber at the bottom and then headed off into the cave. Ruby’s experience up until then had been much smaller caves with Porth yr Ogof being the biggest and so this was a suitably impressive step-up for her and she was obviously enjoying herself as the cave passage got progressively larger and better decorated. Rob, went into some sort of dreamlike state reminiscing about previous through-trips and we swapped tales about trips into the far reaches of OFD2 and other caves as well as fun times such as when nearly all of GCRT (us included) became trapped on the wrong side of a collapse.
A few photos on the way and we were soon at the calcite climb up into Column Passage and Trig kindly obliged to climb up first to rig a hand line. All were soon up and then along the passage to the small chamber that contains The Column where a fair bit of time was spent admiring it and trying to get Ruby and Dione to lead the way on to Eagle’s Nest through the duck. After is was clear that there was a sad lack of gullibility on this trip, we headed back and down the climb with varying amounts of grace.A few photos on the way and we were soon at the calcite climb up into Column Passage and Trig kindly obliged to climb up first to rig a hand line. All were soon up and then along the passage to the small chamber that contains The Column where a fair bit of time was spent admiring it and trying to get Ruby and Dione to lead the way on to Eagle’s Nest through the duck. After is was clear that there was a sad lack of gullibility on this trip, we headed back and down the climb with varying amounts of grace.
At The Step the streamway was indeed slightly sporting, but just enough to make it more fun than the usual sploshing upstream, and so entered the water and progressed upstream. Everyone was more than eager to head off as some caring soul had decided that the passage just before The Step was a great place to relieve oneself and the stink of stale urine was overpowering here.
Heading upstream with more photos and a short diversion up to the start of the Maypole Wire and then a stop for a short break in Boulder Chamber before heading back downstream. Climbing out at The Step, we sent a few helmet-fulls of water onto the rock in a hope of cleaning it up a bit.
An obligatory visit to the passage beyond Pluto’s Bath and then back to the entrance. Trig and I went for a quick look at Gothic Sump before we headed back into the open air.
A shortish trip, but thoroughly enjoyable. It was great to be caving again and hopefully Rob’s travels will bring him back to Wales in the not too distant future and maybe then we can drag Mark back underground again. Ruby professed to having enjoyed the cave and was keen to see more so I hope she’ll continue the way she’s started and join us on some more trips.
- Ogof Draenen – Rifleman’s Chamber, 18th March 2017 by Dave ‘Trig’ Gledhill
- OFD2 – Salubrious and Selenite 5th March 2017 by Barry Burn
- OFD II Rescue Practice – 3rd December 2016 by Huw Jones
- OFD1 – A Wee Potter Around – 20th November 2016 by Barry Burn
- A journey to the Hall Of The Mountain King – Sunday 6th November 2016 By Vicky Bluemel
- Ogof Pen Eryr – Sunday 16th October 2016 by Vicky Bluemel
- OCAF – North West Inlet 13th Sept 2016 by Barry Burn
- Pant Mawr Pot – Sunday 25th August 2016 by Tom Williams
- OFD1 – The Fault Series – by Barry Burn