Cavers: Chris H, Mark R, Mark K, Lizzy, Ben, TomTom, Bead
Non-Cavers: Clare, Jenny, Maddie, Sarah F, Rod
3rd April 2015
The bank holiday Easter weekend had been pencilled into diaries for a while. The South Wales Caving Club hut was booked and amongst the weekends other activities of kayaking, burning stuff and blowing things up, caving in OFD was high on the agenda.
We arrived at the hut late on Thursday night as a sizable contingent and laid out our Sett in one of the guest rooms. Drinking commenced, mainly gin based and while we waited for others to arrive we started playing the board games in the lounge. Laughing and giggling we were soon accused by some hut members that we were having too much fun. Must be something in the water in South Wales which sucks the life out of people.
Eventually all the Badgers who were arriving arrived and we moved our 'fun' to the dinning room. A remarkably civilised night compared to our previous visit. We woke fresh in the morning and cooked much pork product to satisfy us for a day underground. Whilst this was happening there were reports that we had actually been transported back to the Victorian era. Strict segregation orders were in place and riff-raff were no longer able to mix with the hoi palloi and the men were no longer able to sleep in the female guest room.
Breakfast was consumed. The girls, namely Jenny, Maddie and Sarah had formed a radical splinter group and were mounting a raid on the nearby National Trust Dinefwr house and castle, possibly to be whisked away by daring knights rather than the trolls and ogres of the caving world.
After a quick chat for some guidance on OFD 1 the caving contingent geared up and headed out down the lane . We'd been told that if the water levels in the stream were above our wellies that it would get a bit trickier, but otherwise route finding should be relatively easy. We found the entrance relatively easily, and headed underground.
After a bit of a potter we reached the short drop into the streamway. I headed in first and immediately was asked how deep it was. Just over my wellies was the answer.
We waded upstream for what felt like a long distance, the torrent of water threatening every foot step taken. It was hard work and the white water made navigating the deeper potholes in the floor difficult. At one, I hadn't even realised there was a metal pole to walk across until I tripped over it. A snake of people formed all watching carefully how each other person was navigating their way upstream, across waterfalls and round deep bends.
We reached a chain and thick rope climb which was marked on the map, this was Lowe's Chain. We took a look upstream and had a quick poke around in the boulder choke before coming back to the Chains and making the short climb up. We made our way to Roundabout chamber having a brief look at the pretties before heading on to the Rawl series and a sit down in Pi Chamber. We had a look around Pi before turning tail and having a leisurely wander back to the entrance.
We headed out and back to the hut for some exploring of the old lime kilns, drone flying and to make sure we didn't have too much fun.
The rest of the weekend we escaped the hut and hit the beaches of South Wales for some kayaking and sailing.