Next Meetings

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Club meetings are held at The Hobby Horse, Greenland Road, Brynmawr, NP23 4DT.

Our next three meetings will be as follows:

  • Wednesday 3rd November 2021
  • Wednesday 1st December 2021
  • Wednesday 5th January 2021

We meet on the first Wednesday of the month.

 

 

New members are always welcome, experienced and inexperienced alike, just come along to The Hobby Horse and make yourself known. We try to start at 8:00pm.

 

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!

Ogof Ffynnon Ddu – Saturday 13th November 2021

Sam Jones, Pete Jones, Paul Chilcott, Huw Durban, Huw Jones & Clive Westlake

By Pete Jones

Photos Huw Jones

Sam and I arrived to join Paul, Huw J, and Huw D at the SWCC HQ above Penwyllt. It was a damp morning, Y Brennin Llwyd was draped over the hill tops.  After a quick chat, Huw J hatched a plan to enter the cave from the top entrance, have a look around the upper levels and bring back some equipment left in the cave after the rescue from the week before.  Before heading up to the entrance we were joined by a spritely well-spoken old fella.  Turns out he was Clive Westlake, the second person out of OFD top entrance in 1967, cave diver and cave photographer.

The team at the entrance. Clive going back into OFD 54 years later after he first emerged from it

To be honest after entering and moving through Gnome Passage and Salubrious Passage to call on the Trident and Judge, I have no idea of our exact route. To a novice like me it was a maze of passages intersected with chambers, boulder chokes and stream ways. However, the names like Swamp Creek and Shatter Pillar stick in my head. The damp black limestones interrupted by calcite veins make it clear how the cave got its name. The formations are beautiful and the helictites are bonkers. At some point Clive disappeared only to reappear twenty minutes later, a welcome relief to Huw J who thought he’d lost a legend. I’ll give it to Clive, for a gent who must be in his 70’s he doesn’t hang around and glides through the passageways.

We eventually found some ropes left after the rescue and Huw D managed to palm off all the damp ropes on to another group, leaving us with a token dry rope to carry out.  We emerged from the top entrance after three or four hours, I lose track of time underground.  The sun was sinking into the west and the Bristol channel reflected the late afternoon light back.  

Looking at the cave map back in the HQ, it was apparent we had only traversed a small fraction of the cave, which only increases my appetite to come back and explore the depths of OFD.  A fantastic trip with great company. Thanks to Huw J and Huw D for leading the way.

Ogof Craig A Ffynnon – Wednesday 27th October 2021

Huw Jones, Gareth Farr and Dai MacDonald

By Dai MacDonald

We met in a layby around 6pm, and planned a trip to “the hall of the mountain kings”
It was Gareth’s, and my first trip into OCAF, and we had been told this cave has everything! The first climb had my heart racing, and I was glad for the safety line, the second boulder choke is one of the best I’ve been through so far, with endless twists, turns and climbs to force you into all sorts of shapes. The formations in this cave are like none I’ve seen before, and many times stopped me in my tracks, from the ceilings filled with straws, stalagmites, stalactites, and helictites, and masses of flow stone, and gour pools, but none as impressive as “the hall of the mountain kings” It is by far the prettiest thing I’ve seen in my life, and I can’t wait to go again! It was a really enjoyable, wet, muddy, crawly evening!