Having not had a long trip in a while, both of us were keen to get a good few hours in the great indoors, so we decided on Southern Stream in Aggy, kind of scouting for the Grand Circle trip as well.
We both started the day not really wanting to do Southern Stream because of the descriptions we’d heard, but undeterred we went for it anyway. The entrance series to Aggy is always one I enjoy, it’s just such a good mix of caving straight through the gate. Soon we were in Baron’s Chamber in the normal sweaty mess, but we took the top half of our oversuit down until we got to Southern Stream, so cooled down quickly. Main Passage is always going to hold a special place in my mind, it was the first real big passage I got into, and it still impresses me!
There’s no messing about with Southern Stream really, from the beginning it’s stooping and crawling over, around, and under boulders in the shallow streamway. The main difference as you get further into it is that the streamway gets narrower.
With time still good, we decided to have a look for Priory Road, and possibly get to Severn Beach. As the streamway starts to get a lot narrower we found the roof tube that leads to Gothic Passage, and then easily found Priory Road. By this point our time was getting past the halfway mark, and we were in the ribbed vault, so we decided a time to turn around, and headed forward a little more. Before long Gareth’s battery was dropping his light, and we’d left our bags back a bit, so we decided to head back now.
Battery changed and we were on our way back out. Southern Stream really took its toll on Gareth and I, and the tiredness was starting to show with lots of bumps, scrapes, and slips from both of us. By the time we were climbing out into bigger passage, we were both extremely sore and fatigued. There was no hanging around, our time was getting close to our expected time out. Just before we got to Baron’s Chamber we met 4-5 cavers doing an evening music room trip. Back at Baron’s Chamber we couldn’t even stop for a breather, so just pushed through the boulder choke to the exit.
This trip well and truly kicked our arses, down to the last moment, but we both loved it, and are looking forward to getting to the end of priory road next time.