21st and 22nd July at SWCC
Saturday: Ogof Fynnon Ddu 1 to Cwm Dwr via Fault Aven
A couple of years back I went to try and have a look at the Pom Pom, a formation in Fault Aven, high above the OFD streamway. We saw some pretty cool stuff that day, but had not quite gotten to the Pom Pom so I vowed to return one day for a second attempt, this time with a camera.
|Calcite flow on a false floor|
We walked through Cwm Dwr's large sandy passages, and back to the streamnway, where, soon enough, I recognised the scaffold bar which helps you up the first awkward climb towards Fault Aven. The pitch up followed, and I managed to pull the rope up on the in situ cord and through the hangers at the top without too much difficulty. Kathryn belayed me and I climbed up, winning lots of "man points" in the process, but using up pretty much a whole weekend's worth of nerve at the same time. I rigged an extra hand line and belayed the others up.
|The Pom Pom|
After somehow mandhandling each other back down the climbs, we abseiled back down the pitch on Italian hitches and headed back out of Cwm Dwr via a couple of great side passages: Hoel Eira with it's huge moonmilk flow and another very nice sandy passage with a small stream in the Piccadily area. Great trip!
Time underground: 8 hrs
Sunday: Pant Mawr Pot
Pant Mawr has an impressive daylight entrance shaft, marred only by a foul smelling dead sheep which seems to have landed precisly where the abseil drops you (I guess that's no coincidence...). After a quick look upstream (with some impressive phreatic shelving), Nial, Kathryn, Aiora, Olaf, Siobhan and I spent an hour or so working our way through the impressively large downstream passage as far as the sump, which is surprisingly small. We had a look at the climb up to one of the pretty higher level grottoes but it looked a bit desperate so warrants a return trip with some slings/rope/bravery.
Back at the entrance pitch, Nial prussiked up and chucked our ladders down. It turns out two ladders strung together are the correct length for the pitch to within a few inches - the last rung just swings gracefully through the sheep's innards on the floor...
Olaf's photos here.
Olaf's photos here.