After our trip to Pwll Dwfn a few weeks previous myself, Huw Jones & Richard Gledhill decided a trip to top waterfall was in order and via The Nave pitches for a bit more SRT loving. Now i’m going to mention that Tom Williams was meant to be joining us but because he had 3 pints 3 days before the trip he decided he was still hungover (these young un’s)
We met at Penwyllt at the gentlemanly time of 10am (standard cavers meet, worldwide) had a look at the topo of the pitches and packed the bags and made the glorious journey up to the top entrance. We took the main trade route down into Salubrious and onwards to the pitches themselves which only took 15-20 minutes travelling time.
Pausing for a quick drink we started to kit up and I went forward to rig the first pitch under the watchful and critical eye of my uncle!
Descending the pitch a deviation is required to avoid rope rub and the anchor point was spotted quite quickly so I clipped a deviation into place. It was this point I realised why it is called The Nave. Stunning place! and quite quickly after clambering up some boulders the second pitch was met requiring an initial natural anchor point. A suitable boulder was chosen (i.e me and Richard could not move the beast!) Now I enjoyed rigging this pitch as its more free hanging and a nice free descent to the bottom with more stunning views of this beautiful system.
After a short bit of caving and down a short traverse the 3rd and final pitch was met which Richard was going to rig. An in-situ rope is in place for pull through trips as there is only natural anchors. We decided to rig our own as we planned to prussik this way back out on our exit. After spending a short time trying to find a suitable boulder (which there is many boulders but all loose) we were all making our way down into an Oxbow at the bottom.
After a quick check nav on the survey we were on our way splashing upstream. We jumped out the stream at Pendulum passage to seek out a climb that Andy Freem had told us about back at the club but decided against the free climb. Me and Huw then carried on upstream to Top Waterfall whilst Richard had a poke around in Pendulum.
Arrived at the waterfall and photos were taken at this breathtaking underground fall. I loved it that much I decided to be at one with the streamway and slipped over straight into the plunge pool at the bottom ruining my pork pies which I had stupidly forgotten to zip up the waterproof bag! all recorded on film……
Me and Huw turned round at this point and met Richard on our way back downstream and agreed we would start to climb out whilst he visited the waterfall. En route we discovered a poor frog who had decided to come caving aswell (his fate unknown) and when Richard joined us back at the pitch he told us that he had seen a trout of all things.
We exited the pitches each taking a pitch in turn to de-rig and made our way out of the cave stopping for a few tourist shots on the trade routes.
An amazing medium shortish trip but with plenty to do, next time will be a pull through and downstream.