By Dai MacDonald
We all arrived at SWCC cottages for around 10am, and couldn’t believe how busy it was, there’d been an AGM meeting the day before, and it was the bank holiday weekend.
Key acquired and we headed for the entrance, a tall opening with a short ladder climb down to the gate, which was opened as there were a few guys going in to do some scaffold work, so I volunteered to carry a few short lengths down for them.
Soon we were in, and off with Gareth leading the way. We passed the concrete walkways fairly quickly and got into some lovely passages before dropping into the Main Streamway. A lot quicker than we all expected, we were passing the 1st pot, 2nd pot, and Maypole Chain. The streamway is really something special, with the white veins running through the black rock. We passed 3rd pot, 4th pot, and the sump, and carried on along the streamway for quite some time. Eventually we were through Boulder Chamber and out of the Main Streamway, we found ourselves scratching our heads and looking at the survey, following the description we’d gone too far and ended up in OFD 1 1/2, so doubled back to get on route again. After a few more survey stops we were back at the fixed rope and ladder to get into Lowes Passage, which has a huge boulder slope to climb, but not before Louise had a proper dunking in the Main Streamway. Then we were soon into Roundabout Chamber, this whole section of cave is stunning, all the way through to Rawl Series, and Pi chamber. Helter Skelter and Bolt Passage were fun, basically like a big slide, with vertical bits though! Soon we were traversing across Bolt Traverse and Maypole Wire, which definitely got my heart thumping, even with my cowstails clipped on. Before heading across Maypole Wire, Gareth suggested heading the other way, towards Rocky Holes Chamber, and in hindsight I should’ve turned around, but I was committed to the wire route, and we headed down Maypole Chain into the Main Streamway for Louise to have a good dunking again. The rest of the way out was great, and without fault. At the ladder to climb out I found a frog, so took it outside with me, and we posed for a few photos before heading back to the cars after another great trip!