Agen Allwedd – Inner Circle, Saturday 20th November 2021

Dai MacDonald, Gareth Farr, Dave Gledhill

By Dai MacDonald

Photos Dave Gledhill

We met outside Whitewalls for roughly 9am. It was mine and Gareth’s first trip to the Inner Circle, and our first with Trigger. As we pulled up there was two Shetland pony’s trying to scrounge snacks from anybody that was willing to give up their lunch. We got chatting to another couple of cavers who were off into Aggy as well.


We made it into Aggy for about 10:30, and made good time through the entrance series to Barons Chamber. We all emerged from the First Boulder Choke hot and sweaty, so we stopped for a drink and a quick look at the survey. We carried on along the main passage until we met the streamway junction on the right, and made our way to the 2nd Boulder Choke. We had cooled down a lot by this point and we were making good progress. The traverse was really slick, so we all kept a firm grip of the hand rope. Next we were onto the two short climbs, the first drop down was pretty easy, about 2m, and the second was more of a swing around a corner. After the North West Junction it was onto Turkey Streamway and to Turkey Pool for a good soaking, no surprise it was cold! We were fine though, we still had ground to cover, so we kept moving. The trip was faultless through Hawkins Horror, Sand Caverns and into Selenite Needle Passage. Trigger mentioned that it’s Selenite Needle Passage that left him wandering up and down Sand Caverns before, so I think the entrance is firmly printed in his head now. Once we’d gotten into the Inner Circle Trigger headed off on his own just to double check the route, and Gareth and I used the chance to have a quick drink and snack before Trigger got back, and when he did he was still unsure if we were in the right place, so we headed off together, and it turned out we were in the right place. We followed the Inner Circle anti-clockwise until we got to Swiss Passage, where we stopped for a few photos, then onto the Dome of St. Paul’s. Once back around to the beginning of the Inner Circle, we stopped for some snacks and a drink before heading off again. I felt a little chilly as we started walking again, but soon warmed up.


All in all the trip went really well in and out. We met the other cavers, that we’d spoken to in the morning outside whitewalls, just after coming back through Hawkins Horror, some cheerier than others. We got out of the cave for roughly 1630, so a great 6 hour trip.


This trip was really good caving, with no huge amounts of crawling or squeezing, mainly a lot of wide open passages, and although it’s not the most decorated cave, there’s still more than enough to keep you stopping for a look every so often. As well as actual calcite and selenite formations, the scalloping throughout this trip is absolutely gorgeous and not to be forgotten!

Agen Allwedd, Thursday 25th January 2018

A joint trip with Bristol and District Caving Club

Thomas Williams, Huw Jones, Dave, Nigel and Tich (BDCC), Jennie (CSS)

An evening trip along Main Passage with Bristol and District C C and Jennie from Chelsea S S. We met up at Whitewalls and it was nice to get changed inside as it was very, very cold! It was Nigel’s first trip in Aggy and Tich’s first caving trip of any kind as he normally sticks to exploring mines!

We had a steady trip in through the entrance series, where there were lots and lots of bats. After a break in Baron’s Chamber for photos, we carried on along Main Passage, where Jennie and Dave checked out a small side passage on the left. We split up here and Nigel, Tich and myself carried on along the impressive passage, admiring the mudbanks and selenite crystals. We passed the entrances to Southern Stream Passage and Trident Passage and carried on to the Music Room. There were more bats, all along the passage. Returning, we met the others at the Southern Stream junction and all started out as a group. Further along, another small side passage was spotted and this was checked out by Jennie and Tom, while the rest of us waited in the Main Passage. When they returned a short time later we carried on out, where it was now even colder!

We were all very grateful to Jennie for the hot tea back at Whitewalls and didn’t say no when she offered around some Tennessee Honey (of the Jack Daniel’s variety!)

It was a great trip and it’s always nice to cave with people from other clubs. Many thanks go to Jennie for her hospitality! Hopefully there’ll be more joint trips to come.

In Whitewalls before the trip

In Whitewalls before the trip

Evening Trip to Agen Allwedd Music Hall 02/01/2018

Thomas Williams
David Gledhill
Richard Gledhill

Trip report by Dave Gledhill

Fresh year and with fresh weight gained from turkey, beer and other festive goodies we decided a short trip in Aggy was in order to burn off a few calories on the walk to and from the cave itself. Plus Tom had a brand new yellow suit from St Nick’s sack to get dirty.

It was good to be back in Aggy after mine and Tom’s trip back in October when we did the Classic Inner circle trip. But this trip was one I’d wanted to do since 1998 which was the last time I had done it as a young gobby teenager refusing to get in the entrance when Richard had taken me for my first caving trip. Eventually he coaxed me in and the rest is history I suppose.

Storm Eleanor was looming as we met at 3pm so a nice coffee and chat was enjoyed first in Richards van before we braved the elements to get kitted up. Heading off along the tram road, it was clear that being underground was going to be a welcome relief from the weather.

Sliding through the gate and into the entrance series we went. Conversation was flowing as was the stream! The water levels were certainly up as were the bat roosts. There was hundreds of them so we carefully picked our way through the series and poor Tom got a family lesson from us both for which I’m sure he’s thankful…..

We slid and crawled our way through the first choke and emerged into Baron’s chamber. Being a nice relaxed evening trip we stopped here for 10 minutes and discussed renewable energy (you can’t beat caving chat!)

Heading off down Main Passage we could hear Main Stream passage thundering away in the distance as we passed the junction for it on the right, we headed off up to the left and entered Main Passage proper. This is the one part of the cave I always remembered from when I was a kid. The hard glacial deposited mud with its perfect cracks, I would have loved to been the first to stomp down there when it was pristine. More bats were found but hanging in some strange places, like very close to the floor on boulders? Scared of the higher roosts maybe.

Reaching Music Hall we admired the newer music stand which had been dragged in a few years ago and headed off to the Cliffs Of Dover to have poke around.

A few pictures were taken, a few drinks had, so we decided to head off and make our way back out stopping regularly to savour the Main Passage and for Tom to have a poke around in Southern Stream Passage. Not tonight Tom but next trip maybe 😉

We exited the cave to heavy heavy rain but I suppose that’s the kit cleaned down ready for the next trip!

Tom in Barons chamber

Tom in Barons chamber

Richard emerging from 1st Boulder Choke

Richard emerging from 1st Boulder Choke

 

The Gledhills pretending to be able to read music

The Gledhills pretending to be able to read music

Richard and Tom in Main Passage

Richard and Tom in Main Passage

High Vis Tom sliding into the 1st choke on exit

High Viz Tom sliding into the 1st choke on exit

 

Agen Allwedd, Inner Circle – Sunday 8th May 2016 by Huw Jones

A great trip with Thomas Williams today – the Inner Circle in Agen Allwedd. It was nice to stretch the legs! We got underground at 10.20 and made our way through the Entrance Series, along the Main Passage for a bit and then down the Main Streamway to North West Junction. I’d taken a rope for the climb down from Keyhole Chamber but we found all the climbs around the Second Choke and Keyhole Chamber already had ropes on them so I left our rope there and carried on with a lighter bag! From Northwest Junction we turned up the finely decorated Turkey Streamway. After a refuelling stop near Turkey Junction, it was on to Turkey Pool. I managed to traverse across, not getting wet above the knees but Tom succumbed to what he said was the inevitable and slipped in up to his chest! A little after this we turned right through Hawkin’s Horror into Sand Caverns and soon turned right again into Selenite Needle Passage, which is festooned with crystals. This starts off as a crawl but after a bit turns into a lovely walking passage, with an easy-going flat mud floor.

At the end of Selenite Needle we reached a junction at the start of the Inner Circle proper. Left was our way on and straight on was were we would be returning from, to complete the Circle. We’d expected to take 6 hours to do the whole trip but a look at the watch showed we’d taken 3 hours just to reach this point and we hadn’t even started on the Inner Circle yet! We’d obviously been taking it a bit too easy so far! We picked up the pace and completed the Inner Circle in 45mins, which included going off to see the Swiss Village and a Mocha stop – yes really, Tom had brought a flask! There’s some truly huge passage up this way (plus some crawls just to even things out) and the Dome of St.Pauls has a very impressive ceiling.

The trip out went smoothly apart from me falling into Turkey Pool this time! We exited, to fabulous weather, bang on 5 o’clock after 6 hours 40 mins underground. Taking a tip from Huw Durban, I took a good supply of home prepared isotonic drink with me, which is very easy to make. I’m sure it made a difference, as I didn’t feel any real fatigue until about 5 mins from the entrance! A great trip – thanks Tom.

Sorry there’s no photos but neither of us took a camera.

Agen Allwedd, Sunday 15th September 2013 by Huw Jones

Kate Stephens, Huw Durban, Taylor Durban, Huw Jones

Photos – Huw Jones and Fraser Stephens

A pleasant trip along Main Passage, checking out the interesting little bits going off at the end. Places checked were the North Wing terminal choke, an unnamed side passage (on two levels, both with digs) and the nicely sculptured stream passage of Ace of Spades inlet. The starts of Aven Series and Africa Passage were also located. It was Taylor’s first trip in Aggy, Kate’s first trip since giving birth and my first proper caving trip for many years! Apparently it rained lots when we were underground but we missed it completely as it was fine and dry again by the time we came out.

Time In – 11:10am    Time Out – 4:50pm     Duration – 5hrs 40mins (A bit more than the 3-4 hours I was hoping for on my first trip back!)

On the walk to the entrance, brooding clouds threaten rain Photo - Fraser Stephens

On the walk to the entrance, brooding clouds threaten rain
Photo – Fraser Stephens

 

The team is accompanied along the tram road by the BCC Extreme Off-Road Papoose and Balance Bike Support Crew Photo - Huw Jones

The team is accompanied along the tram road by the BCC Extreme Off-Road Papoose and Balance Bike Support Crew
Photo – Huw Jones

 

Group shot in the Music Hall - L to R : Kate, Taylor, Huw D and Huw J (Huw J helmetless as lamp being used to light up boulders in background) Photo - Huw Jones

Group shot in the Music Hall – L to R : Kate, Taylor, Huw D and Huw J
(Huw J helmetless as lamp being used to light up boulders in background)
Photo – Huw Jones

 

Huw and Taylor Durban pause in the Entrance Series Photo - Huw Jones

Huw and Taylor Durban pause in the Entrance Series
Photo – Huw Jones

A short video taken during the trip.