Dai MacDonald and Gareth Farr
By Dai MacDonald
We hadn’t been caving in a while, a couple of weekends is a while for us, I’d been quite busy and been ill, but with a trip planned for Ogof Draenen on the coming Sunday we both thought a short midweek trip as a warm up would work well. I’ve also got a new camera so we wanted a play about with that.
We got to Llwyn Cil Sanws Farm for around 1830, we’d got permission from the owners to park and access the cave prior to turning up, we kitted up and headed down to the entrance. We got in for around 1900 and made good speed to the gun barrel while filming. It’s beyond the gun barrel that this cave starts to show it’s more intricate formations, mainly tucked in side passages, too tight for people, or in the walls of the cave at separate beds. We got to the dig at the end and headed back, but explored the side passages and oxbows on the way. The largest of the side passages, branching off from the main chamber, and has a nice calcite flow stone formation at the entrance. Once up on the calcite flow you can follow the passage for about 30m before a calcified boulder choke with a stream emerging from it is met. It’s a tight wet squeeze, but leads to a small passage with a lot more flow stone, but it quickly closes down again.
We always use the main entrance, but there are three, a resurgence, a small dry entrance just above that and the main one further up the gorge that joins the cave half way through. We’ve never used the lower dry entrance an it looks blocked to be honest. Ogof Y Ci is a great introduction cave, with dry and wet options for most routes, there’s a good bit of crawling once you reach the calcite cascade, and lots of squeezing, but nothing extremely tight.
This was the first time Gareth and I had been to this cave in extremely wet weather, there’s no warnings of flooding in this cave, and the water was definitely a lot deeper throughout the cave, but still not deeper than the top of my wellies, but outside the river was in full flow, which we don’t usually see. The river bed is usually bone dry, but tonight it was a fast flowing river. We got out of the cave for about 2120 and headed back to the farm yard to get changed and head home.