North Wales Trip

by Jane Bradbury
Saturday 16 July

A return visit to Ogof Llyn Parc. The advance party (Jane, Alex [YSS], Susan [YSS] and Rachael) set off at about 8.30 am to go and get the winch. By the time we had picked it up from Minera and returned to the cave, all the other “kittens” had arrived and were raring to go.

The North Wales team of Michael Klim, Tim and Paul soon got the winch up and ready to rumble so once Paul was down the 100m shaft, team A (Alex, Susan, Rachael and Stuart) took their turn on the speedy descent. Once down, they were given the full guided tour by Paul. The rest of us, including three 2nd time visitors, were given a brief description of the round route by Michael and left to get on with it. Well, we rapidly found our way to B block without incident and turned left there as instructed but after that things went awry. In part, this was because we just had to go and poke our noses into every entrance….well we did have chief ferret Reynard in our team.

Having spent a considerable time doing this, we then endeavoured to follow Michael’s instructions for the round route. “Just keep turning right”. Well, we soon came to a impasse and decided to retrace our steps to B Block. Here, a quick rethink rapidly brought us to the top of the massive mud slope with the rope that we had climbed up near the end of the round trip last time. Ah ha, we were going round the wrong way. Never mind…we should meet up with the other party and they could give us instructions, was our reasoning.

Sure enough, not long after, we met the others and after a brief discussion, Paul agreed to accompany us the rest of the wrong way round the trip while Gordon herded the other group out the quick way. So, off we went at a fair old lick, trying to keep up with Paul. It has to be said that the round route is considerably harder done the wrong way round because all the gravel banks and most of the slimy mud banks have to be climbed up rather than slithered down.

At the speed we were going, we met up again with the last of the other group at the base of the shaft even though we probably did 3/4 of the round route after leaving them compared to their quarter. Back on the surface, our contented group of cavers enjoyed a pleasant change in the warm sun before returning the winch to its home and having a good gander at the lovely survey of Ogof Llyn Parc being drawn by Peter.

Sunday 17 July

Most caving rats were fed by yesterday’s trip but Reynard, Gawain and Stuart headed off towards Mold for a poke into Hesp Ally, Pity they found Poachers instead! Still they had a good time and whetted their appetites for further explorations. The rest of us decided to walk along the canal to the Llangollen aqueduct and then back on higher ground along Offa’s Dyke Path and over Castell Dinas Bran. Sadly, the good weather deserted us and we were somewhat damp round the edges when we settled into the canal cafe in Llangollen for a cuppa and cake before heading off home.

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