Ogof Draenen – To The Reactor and Camping 20th-21st October 2023

Dai MacDonald
Gareth Farr

Gareth and I have spoken quite a bit about prospecting in Ogof Draenen, and cave camping, so we thought it about time we ticked them both off.
Friday afternoon arrived and we were running late, nothing new for us. We’d arranged a drop off and pick up, and ended up being dropped off for 4:30. Wasting no time we kitted up, swung our bags onto our backs and headed to the entrance. We kept repeating “we just need to take our time to make sure we don’t get soaked from sweat”, but in no time at all we were both sweating profusely from pushing and pulling the fully loaded bags. Just as we got to the end of perseverance II one of the straps broke on the club’s bag that I was using, possibly from the long dragging section. It wasn’t too bad to manage first of all, but it definitely put me off balance while trying to navigate the boulder floors.
It didn’t take long for us to get through elliptic passage once out of rift chamber, and when we got to the lucky thirteen series we had a break to rehydrate and have a quick snack. Refueled we headed down the sandy passage, but soon got back to the boulder floor of gone with the wind. It seems to be that the further into Ogof Draenen you get, the better the formations get, just so many pretty passages along the way here.
By now we were starting to tire, and our bags felt heavy, but we still had a good bit of distance to cover. Navigation was going well, and we were at the snowball and thinking of our next stop. We looked around a little for the way onto black run, and agreed on a route we both thought was the way. On a normal trip it’s not to bad going the wrong way, but having to carry the heavy bags as well, it really took a lot of effort turning around, or reversing out. Luckily we were right, and we were going through black run looking for the hole to take us to lost in space.
Once again the formations were just amazing, but that didn’t take away from the heavy loads which seemed to be getting heavier, especially through the crawl sections in lost in space, and the short constriction at the end of the passage. It was about this point that Gareth started getting severe cramps in a few different muscles, and at that point he had no idea they’d last right through until the next day.
Past the crawls we found ourselves at a choke looking for the way on, and after looking at the survey we realised it was a climb. I backtracked a couple of metres and found the way into Intergalactic Overdraught. I climbed up and into the passage, and crawled along for a few metres just to check it went on before calling Gareth. This passage takes a few turns before climbing down where it re meets the main passage.
Feeling like we could’ve just lay down there, we stopped for a drink just before the washing machine and the Camberwell carrots, and we’re ready for the last push.
It’s an impressive chamber that leads to a boulder slope into the reactor, but it’s immediately trumped by the reactor. A huge wall covered in blue green flow stone, and a chamber that just swallows the light in almost every direction, just huge!
From here we basically double backed on ourselves into a passage which runs parallel to the one we just left, we entered destiny inlet. Gareth’s cramps were beginning to get really bad, we just kept telling ourselves “we’ll be having a brew and grub in no time”. The route through, over, and around the huge boulders made me feel quite small and vulnerable, but I think that was partly fatigue as well. Almost along the entirety of this passage there are old stal tucked away in the walls, before coming to an area where the passage narrows, and there’s loads of old stal and columns, as well as some really pretty helictites.
This was our campsite for the night, some flat slabs that had dropped off the ceiling, quite a stretch from the idyllic flat sandy floor next to a little stream I stupidly had in my head. We didn’t hang around getting the brew kit and MREs out. To fill up water we had to go about 30 metres back down the passage to a small area that the stream is showing through the boulders. We filtered drinking water, but for cooking and cuppas we just boiled it.
Not long after eating I was hit with excruciating toothache, so I wasn’t the best company. Still we sat in our sleeping bags chatting for a while before calling it a day. Gareth went to sleep still with really bad muscle cramps.

Through the night my sleep was constantly broken, it was really uncomfortable, and each time I’d turn over it would hurt my hips and wake me. Gareth on the other hand woke around 3:30 and couldn’t get back to sleep for a while due to still having muscle cramps.
We both woke up quite late around 9ish. I was wrapped in my sleeping bag with my hat over my face, and couldn’t work out why I couldn’t see my watch for the time when I first woke up.
Confusion over, we once again got the brew kits out, and started making breakfast and a cuppa.
We both agreed, with the time set for callout, and how tiring the journey was, we should just start the journey back out around 11:30. By this point I’d remembered I had an isotonic drink sachet, so Gareth had that, and his muscle cramps finally started to ease. We sat in our sleeping bags and had breakfast, and some snacks to fuel up, and obviously a few cuppas before packing our kit up. While sitting chatting we heard some stones flaking off the ceiling, we both paused to question what it was, and again more flaked off. We didn’t talk about it much as there was nothing we could do, other than start packing. I’d mentioned how uneasy the ceiling made me feel when we first got to the camp, but dismissed it as me just being tired and irrational…obviously not though!
We were both dreading getting kitted up again, thinking it was going to be freezing and damp, but it was way less uncomfortable than we thought, so pretty quickly we were ready to start the journey out.
It was around 12 when we started walking, and once again we were amazed with the formations, and the imposing boulder covered passage. It didn’t take long to warm up, and start getting too hot again. The bags were lighter, but not much. Navigation went really well until the junction for mid winter chambers, we went straight on instead of right. We must’ve gone up there for about 30-50 metres before realising we’d gone the wrong way, but it wasn’t too bad of a crawl.
We did well on time, and didn’t have to stop anywhere near as much as the way in.
Exiting the cave felt amazing, just knowing that we didn’t need to push or pull the bags anymore…it was just that bloody steep hill to contend with now. We made contact to stand down the callout, and sort our lift, before taking a well earned lay down on some soft grass in the afternoon sun.
We were just shy of 24 hours underground when we exited the cave.
The main thing I took from this trip was, always bring a sleeping mat, and hydrate more.

OFD, Cwm Dwr to Top Entrance – 26th February 2023

Dai MacDonald – Author
Gareth Farr
Huw Jones
Pete Jones

The day started as a crisp morning, with the four of us meeting in a carpark in Dowlais. Pete was driving so we loaded his car up and headed for Penwyllt. It was only on the way to Penwyllt that Gareth realised how wet this trip was going to be. He’s not the biggest fan of cold water, and his excitement soon turned to dread. Arriving at SWCC Huw sorted the key, so we got changed and got going pretty quickly.

Cwm Dwr entrance is really close to SWCC, so we were slipping down the concrete pipe in no time, and I can see why Huw kept calling it the toilet. I was quite shocked at how steeply the entrance dropped after the entrance pipes.
There’s a short bit of walking passage before stooping, then crawling, and finally squeezing, and surprisingly, in Dim Dwr there was dwr!
Emerging out into a big passage once again, a lofty and long section of passage, I had to remind myself to stop and look up every so often as we clambered over the boulders.
Before long we met a stream, and then the choke. A notorious section for call outs after people getting lost in it, and it’s easy to see why. Within no time though Huw had led us through, and we made our way to the confluence.

The first section of streamway is pretty rocky before quickly turning to a fast moving streamway. This continues until you meet the Marble Showers. This really does show off the beauty of the rock in this cave. The dark limestone with the crisp white veins cutting through it, words, pictures, or even video just can’t do it justice.
Soon after this we were making our way up the main streamway, lots of high pitched noises were made by all of us initially. It starts similarly as a fast flowing stream, the difference is the pots! Some pots you can walk around the edges, some you can traverse over, but some you’re just getting wet! Still, it’s a treat, and privilege to be able to experience these places, and it’s a great laugh trying to navigate the pots.

Going into the great oxbow is where I noticed the stunning shapes carved out by water in the roof, twisting and turning in such a soft flowing shape.
Once again we were back into the streamway after climbing down from the great oxbow. The streamway definitely changes after this point, with sharper rocks, and more phreatic shelving, but soon it’s back to more phreatic passage. This is where we started looking for maypole inlet. It starts as a relatively easy climb out of the stream using a fixed steel foot plate, and this leads up a tall fixed ladder. At the top we were into a tight rift passage. As we made our way through this tight passage we were looking for a climb up through boulders.
Eventually we found ourselves up in the rift among huge boulders, Huw was sure it was the wrong spot, and after trying to traverse further he was positive. As time went on I started thinking the worst, that we’d have to turn around and head back out Cwm Dwr. While we were all saying we were looking for the way on, in reality we were just following Huw asking “are we going up, or down” repeatedly, while Huw was the only one looking.
Finally I heard unfamiliar voices and made my way back towards them, and asked “where have you guys just come from” and they pointed exactly where we had just come from among the huge boulders. I made my way back after telling the other it was back the way we’d just come from, and the head scratching began again.
Soon we realised we’d started too early and had to just go a little further along the passage, then the real heart pounding climb began!
I’m really not the most confident when it comes to heights, and this climb was definitely a real challenge for me, mentally more so than physically.
It started not too bad with some nice easy steps, more or less, to get you a few metres up in the rift before making a step around a corner onto a small rock wedged in the rift, which felt really exposed. This leads to a body height climb, roughly about 8-9 metres high in the rift, so once again it feels really exposed, especially as there’s not a lot of hand holds. Luckily Huw was first up and had a strap to hand, which he quickly attached to the rope already there, and I pulled myself up and out of maypole inlet using the strap. Gareth and Pete were quick behind me, and we emerged into a T junction. This was the point where Huw said, you should all know where you are now, so lead the way. I was absolutely clueless, but luckily after a bit of talking we were on our way to top entrance through salubrious, and the brickyard.

Emerging onto the hillside was nowhere near as bleak as we thought it would be, and it was actually quite a pleasant walk back down to the club house.
I really enjoyed this trip, and it got me pushing myself further than I thought I could again, as caving always seems to do. This also doubled up as a reconnaissance trip as Gareth and I would like to do the full through trip this year.

Ap Robert – 12th February 2023

Trip: Ogof Ap Robert
Date: 12/02/2023
Cavers: Dai Macdonald, Gareth Farr.
Written by: Gareth Farr.

A caving trip had been planned earlier in the week for us to go on Sunday, every Sunday being our caving day and Ogof Ap Robert was our choice of cave for this week.
Sunday morning came around quickly enough, we were running a bit late as I had slept in, but eventually just after midday we got to Trefil Village. We parked up by the quarry gate and proceeded to get changed into our gear, while getting changed we were approached by a man who was curious as to where we were going today, he said he was keen to have a go at caving so we advised him to contact BCC and after he and Dai had exchanged details we left him to carry on with his day and made our way to the cave.
Just over an hour later and after looking at some interesting shakeholes along the way we arrived at the swallet in which Ogof Ap Robert is located. The swallet is situated up on the moorland between the disused Trefil quarry and Trefil village and proved to be quite a walk to get to, but we were here and eager to get in.

Ogof Ap Robert Shakehole
Ogof Ap Robert
Ogof Ap Robert Entrance

The entrance used is located just up on the right hand side of the cliff face, we donned our helmets and made our way in. As soon as we were in the cave it became apparent that the cave passages go down quite steeply, and quickly, with several small climbs down some boulders and boulder fill we reached the first boulder choke. After coming out of the choke we made our way down a few more small climbs to reach the second choke, at the end of the choke there’s a climb which begins with an awkward little manoeuvre through a small hole in the righthand side of the passage wall and leads down into another rift. We had brought rope and hangers with us as there is a hanger in place at the top of the climb to secure a hand line to to help you down and back up, but a hand line was already in place and after checking to see if it was safe to use we made our way feet first through the small hole and down into the rift below. Shortly after we then came to the third choke and the fourth choke, the fourth choke contains a scaffolded shaft that goes down and comes out pretty much at the beginning of Toad Hall, which is the biggest chamber in the cave.
Just before you enter Toad Hall, there’s an Aven that we climbed up which leads you out onto a boulder balcony that overlooks the big chamber, after taking a minute to take in the view we moved on by taking the passage to the right of the balcony, this took us over a small traverse and onto a climb down through a hole and the end of the small passage, after a couple of more small crawls we emerged back into Toad Hall.
We took a short stop for a drink and change of batteries then entered a hole in the floor which is found just to the left around some boulders as you enter Toad Hall. The hole took us under the boulder floor of Toad Hall, we were pre-warned by Huw Jones of BCC that the boulders are known to move under there and if we do go through there then we were to proceed with caution! I took a quick look and decided that it looked ok to move on, after a short careful crawl under the floor we encountered a small squeeze which I tried to go down, but couldn’t get through, then after a few seconds it dawned on me that the way through the squeeze was only a few inches to the left of where I’d first tried squeezing through, eventually we made it through and into a nice little passage which we followed until we reached Burma Road.
As we made our way along Burma Road we quickly noticed how different this part of the cave was compared to what we’ve just gone through, with all the sediment banks and muddy floors it was a lot different. The mud, as with any cave that has mud in it, did provide a little bit of entertainment, with the slips, wellies getting stuck and just generally getting muddy! We made our way along this tidy sized, muddy passage until we came to a few muddy crawls and a squeeze, shortly after which we came to the end of Burma Road, we had a bit of a chuckle at ourselves covered in mud, then decided to call it a day and made our way back out.
As we had plenty of time left on our call-out we decided that on our way back along Burma Road we’d have a look in the ‘land of Arawn’, this was also a muddy passage which we were able to stoop along for a short while until we reached a few muddy crawls, at the end of the crawls we came to an Aven which is the end of the passage, at which point we turned back around and got ourselves even more muddy crawling back out.
On our way out we had a short stop in Toad Hall to take some videos, with the videos finished we made the rest of the way out. As we left Toad Hall and entered the fourth choke the draft from the entrance was very strong, which surprised me as we didn’t notice it on the way in. While coming back out we again found ourselves amazed at how steeply and quickly this cave ascends/descends.
After a short while we emerged from the cave to the usual smells of life above ground, we stopped for a quick drink then made our way back down off the mountain, while stopping to take a look at the shakeholes that were on our path back down.
About an hour after exiting the cave we arrived at the car, got changed and after a quick cuppa and a bite to eat we contentedly made our way back home.
The trip was only a short caving trip, but it was a really good trip into a cave that we’d not been to before. Ogof Ap Robert proved to be quite a sporting cave with the climbs, crawls and squeezes, and as for the mud? Well… that was the icing on the cake for me!!!! Now onto planning the next adventure underground!

Happy Caver!

Craig a Ffynnon A Journey to the Promised Land 8th January 2023

By Dave Trig Gledhill

It’s been a while since I’ve caved, nearly a year in fact due to work commitments but somewhat more committing than I wanted.
I called upon my good ole partner in caving crime, Tom Williams to assist me and mostly extract the urine out of my ability to move through a cave.
We decided CAF as we haven’t done it in a long time and it’s a relatively easy cave to move through (so I thought, maybe when was in our prime)
I’d forgotten how much the 2nd choke goes up (fun on the way out) how tight the initial squeeze is into Hurricane Highway hands and knees crawl (especially since I’ve been rather fond of takeaway vindaloo as of late) and how much a pig the oxbow is that comes out the stream towards the end of the cave.
Apart from that, a fantastic trip and great to catch up with Tom and many trips were planned.

Ogof Tarddiad Rhymney and other Trefil Quarry caves 7th August 2022

Dai MacDonald
Gareth Farr
Chris Jones
Peter Lamb

The morning was fantastic, amazing weather, great company, getting into the great indoors, but all of this was abruptly forgotten as we got out of the car in Pontsticill and got to the hill we had to climb. There’s no easy way to Trefil, other than a long flat walk from Trefil village, but it takes us about double the time to walk from there, so we go straight up the mountain.

We had two objectives for the day, get Chris past the first boulder choke, and get some footage for a video.
We got kitted up at the cave entrance, for the first time we heard debris coming off of the cliff above the entrance, so stayed very cautious around the face.
The trip went really well, and we got some great footage of the cave. Chris got through the first boulder choke, and managed to make it part way through the “second choke” before becoming exhausted, and soon after Peter had reached his limit. Gareth and I pushed a little further, reaching the tight end series, but soon after stopped to save the others getting cold hanging around.

Back on the surface we made our way back out of the main quarry, had some lunch, and headed around towards Cwar Yr Hendre – Quarry cave 8. We have visited this cave before, but pushed for time, we had to leave. We spotted some red and white tape in there previously, so wanted to see what it was protecting. Unfortunately Gareth and I think a thin layer of roof may have peeled off and covered whatever was there. With everything looking very unstable we headed back out.
Last on the list is a cave which isn’t registered, as far as I could see, but I suspect it’ll fall into the Cwar Yr Hendre – sites 1-8, or 9+ if newer than the others, because it’s definitely been dug to join with another cave. High on the north face is where you come out, after entering through the opposite face to Cwar Yr Hendre – Quarry cave 8. Both caves were small, but still enjoyable.
After being cooked in my caving gear, or so it felt like anyway, I was happy to get it off and chill out in the last of the sunshine.

Will’s Hole 27th July 2022

Gareth Farr
Dai MacDonald

Will’s hole is a relatively small cave with not an awful lot to see in the way of formations, but what it does have is a very simple pitch. Gareth and I have been learning basic SRT for a few months now, and have been keen to try it out underground. We know it’s a very busy spot along that river, so we had two mates, James and Steve come along and make sure nobody tampered with our ropes.
We all met at Gareth’s house for 5:30pm, and made our way to Dinas Rock. Gareth and I kitted up, and we all headed up river to wills hole. There were loads of people out climbing and bouldering, and a few interested in what we were up to.
It was about 7pm by the time we arrived at the cave entrance, and we didn’t hang around, straight in, down the 2m free climb and at the first rigging point, a railway track across the rift passage. Rigging was straightforward, I used my hand jammer as a lanyard to rig at the pitch head, and it worked well.
Once ready we wasted no time, I couldn’t, I’m way to nervous with heights, so I loaded up my descender, and sat into my harness, I was really nervous, but confident in mine, and Gareth’s ability, and I started the descent of our first SRT trip. We were both soon at the bottom without a hitch. We got our SRT kit of and headed to the right side passage. There isn’t much in the way of formations on this section, but there’s plenty of mud! Thick, silty, sticky, glutinous, mud that you have to crawl through. We came to a choke and couldn’t see a way on, so headed back to the pitch to look at the other passages. The main passage is nicely decorated at the high levels, along with a lot of flood debris, giving a good idea how high the water gets in there.
Before long we were at the end again and headed back out. Gareth went first, and both ascending without a problem, and de-rigging going just as well.
In what felt like no time at all, but it was actually about 2 hours, we were back on the surface with James and Steve chatting to some climbers.

Agen Allwedd The Grand Circle – 22nd May 2022

Dai MacDonald
Gareth Farr
Louise Lucas

I arrived at Whitewalls first, then had the message I’d been waiting for, Gareth and Louise would be late, so I made a coffee, rolled a cigarette, and walked across the tram road a little and sat in the sun.

As I walked back to Whitewalls I could see Louise getting out of the car. We got kitted up, sent the call out, and made our way across to Aggy. Louise was excited to get into Aggy again, the last time she was in was on a newbies trip before joining the club.

We made steady progress through the entrance to Baron’s Chamber, but as usual we were all sweating by the time we got into Baron’s Chamber. After a quick drink stop we were off, and heading for Main Stream. Louise had a slip on the hand-lined section in Keyhole Chamber, but got herself back up and across fine. A little longer than I remember we were at North West Junction, we were all on guard as this section is really slippery. There definitely seems to be a theme emerging, Louise falls into water. We made speedy progress towards Deep Water, which is Gareth’s and my furthest point from the last trip we did here. Without hesitation I waded in getting to waist deep, as described in journals and online, and then Gareth asked “is it getting any deeper”, and as I was replying “I don’t think so” I slipped down to shoulder depth and started struggling to catch my breath, so I headed back still trying to catch my breath. We had a quick talk about the best way to approach it, then Louise opted for swimming so far and trying to stand, and she couldn’t reach the bottom after swimming out a short distance, so turned around and I helped her back to shallower water. We talked a little more, but being completely unsure of how long we’d be swimming for, and how we’d feel swimming fully kitted up, we all agreed the best thing to do was head back the way we came. Just before heading back Louise stayed true to form and had a dunk again, while trying to help her, Gareth had a soaking as well. Heading back was fine, apart from us all being a bit miserable after another failed trip here, because of this we just headed straight out.

As I got out of the cave there was a guy asking, do I knew if the small phreatic tube outside connects into Aggy, I said it didn’t as far as I know, and asked “why’s that” he said his dog has gone into it, as I walked over to him, Louise and Gareth got out. We tried looking in with our lights, whistling, calling, and putting food down, but there was no sound at all. He said he’d called Cave Rescue, so they were on their way. We said we’d head back and ask some advice about it and maybe see if anybody else can head over to help. Once at Whitewalls the police and cave rescue arrived, so we left them to do their work, and we headed home. Once home we heard the news that the dog was safe and with his owner again.

Ogof Draenen – Sunday 8th May 2022

Dai MacDonald
Gareth Farr
Peter lamb

By Dai MacDonald

We started the day joking about Gareth’s forgetfulness, and it definitely set the tone for the day! As we’re pulling off the A465 at Brynmawr, to collect the key from Barry, Gareth says “I think I’ve forgotten my helmet”, which also means his torch as well. We collected the key, and then heading back to Merthyr Tydfil to collect Gareth’s helmet, we were on our way again, with Gareth reassuring us “I’ve got my batteries, because I charged them last night” he didn’t have his batteries, he’d forgotten them as well, but I’ve got spares so it was fine. After changing we like a cuppa and cigarette before getting going, Gareth had also forgotten his tobacco!

We quickly headed for the entrance as we were all starting to get quite hot in our caving gear. This was Peter’s first trip into a gated system and instantly he was shocked with how tight the entrance was. We made great progress through the entrance as we talked Peter through certain sections, and finally helped show the technique needed for the entrance pitch. Before we knew it we’d signed the log book at 12:30, and Gareth and I were trying to convince Peter he should try Beer Challenge, on his own, and we’ll meet him in White Arch Passage, he declined our challenge! We made it to Indiana Highway in a good time, and got straight into it after a drink stop. As we got to the end of the traverse, someone said they’d forgotten their phone and snacks at the start of the traverse….so Gareth headed back to the start of the traverse line to retrieve his stuff, fortunately this was the last time he forgot something….that day! We made our way to the junction for Megadrive and Megadrive North, and headed to Megadrive North, and then back down Canyon North to the guano pile at the start of Canyon West. After this we headed for Siambre Ddu passage, where we were all coming up with different pronunciations for Siambre. We got back to Megadrive and continued towards the Nunnery, where we detoured to Arms Park through Perseverance II, just to show Peter the way on to the other parts of the cave. Once done we headed back out in good time, and in time to enjoy the sun while changing. Overall it was a great trip, especially for Peter, who is keen to find out more about becoming a club member.

Ogof Ffynnon Ddu 1, Round Trip 1st May 2022

Dai MacDonald
Gareth Farr
Louise Lucas

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!

Aggy, Inner Circle 17th April 2022

Aggy, Inner Circle 17/4/2022 by Dai MacDonald

Dai MacDonald
Gareth Farr

Gareth and I arrived at Whitewalls with a stubborn white fluffy dog laying in the middle of the road, even after Gareth got out to coax it out of the way, it just walked along the middle of the road. We parked up, eventually, and got changed, sent the call out message and were ready to leave when Tom and Maxine pulled up outside Whitewalls. We were both planning an Inner Circle trip, so decided to head in together. Tom and Maxine got ready quickly and we were on our way across the tram road.
Once in the cave we made quick progress through the entrance series into Baron’s Chamber, where we stopped momentarily to catch our breath and have a quick drink. In no time at all we were at the Second Choke, and into Keyhole Chamber. We each had turns in leading and all managed well, although I’m sure I suggested a wrong turn or two, but we were soon at North West Junction. From here we headed for Turkey Pool, but on the way through Turkey Streamway Maxine said she’d like to call it a day, she had been caving the day before and felt really tired. We parted ways, with Tom and Maxine saying they’d have a look at Beehive Chamber before they left, and Gareth and I heading for the Inner Circle. Soon we found ourselves at Turkey Pool, I managed to traverse it, only getting my legs wet, Gareth traversed it as well but got a bit wetter. The rest of the way was no problem, and soon we were at the rescue dump around the Inner Circle. We stopped here for a snack and a drink, then made our way around the inner circle clockwise…so we thought! Before we knew it we were in the Swiss Village, this threw us completely, and we both started looking at the survey and scratching our heads. We retraced our steps and made a few more wrong turns, then decided we would call it a day and start heading back out. For the best part we were okay, but we made a few wrong turns on the way out as well, mainly me I think, but soon we were in the entrance series, and then at the logbook. We checked for Tom and Maxine, they were both ticked out, so we signed ourselves out for 1805, and headed back to whitewalls to get changed just in time before the rain started. Overall a great trip, and worn out for a trip to OCAF the following day.