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Ogof Ffynnon Ddu 2 (Cwm Dwr)

Monday March 18th 2019

Members present: Joshua Young,  Livvy Golby-kirk

Report by Joshua Young

A trip of 3 chapters. Chapter 1: Liv learning the route down to the confluence. Fairly straightforward and successful.

Chapter 2: Investigating various weird bits on the survey I saw Mark Burkey pointing to on Saturday. First was a bimble up the inlet to the confluence. Some nice streamway and traversing, before we found a climb up into the Smithy. Secondly, ventured upstream from the Maypole at top of Piccadilly. This ends at a showery waterfall. With a number of awkward climbs that mostly seem to loop back on themselves.

Finally, we tried to find the way to Anniversary Aven. The route we took was awful, several very small, wet tubes, occasionally allowing you to stand and thrutch your way along. All seems very committing. Turns out, you can easily get there from the lower tunnel (leading from the stream, up from the maypole) as the pitch on the survey is not an obstacle, just a skyhook-type-thing dangling from the roof. Some narrow rifts eventually lead to Chert Passage, a large passage with some impressively large false-floor calcite formations. We investigated various sketty climbs, but to go towards Anniversary aven you want the crawl at the top of a calcited waterfall. You can get almost to the Aven, but a difficult, muddy, slippery climb with zero good holds halted progress. From here, we headed out.

Chapter 3: Banter. On the way out, we met up with the other Cwm Dwr trip who were near the boulder choke, and apparently had gotten so lost they hadn't ventured more than 3 minutes from the Boulder choke in their entire time underground. Rather excitedly, they then proceeded to give us a tour of all the highlights of their trip, including a couple of rocks they had discussed for 40 mins, a slippery slope they had been trying to run up as far as they could before slipping down (Liv had a go and won, winning a pint), and a tricky climb with a hole at the top Joe had fallen down. Afterwards, an investigation as to the route to Boudicca's Chariot Wheel Aven only yielded a very loose climb with bang wire leading up it. After getting most of the way up, Liv and I decided we quite enjoyed being alive, so headed back down. As I didn't want to be climbing below a particularly large, unstable boulder, I decided to yesterday it down the 6m slope. Although everyone at floor level had stood well back, they didn't foresee the boulder exploding as it hit the ground, sending shrapnel in all directions. Luckily everyone escaped uninjured, so we made our way out to the sound of much raucous banter from some.

It was a truly varied trip.