On Tuesday, I head off to Blaenau Ffestiniog to tackle the slate mine at Cwmorthin with my friends ‘Scaredy Dave’ and ‘Milky Dave’ as part of out on going training for our Level 1 Local Cave & Mine Leader Training course in March.
It was our first solo trip to a cave that we hadn’t been to before and despite the bravado I think most of us where a little apprehensive about making the round trip which takes between 3 to 4 hours although none of us where going to admit it as we made our way to the entrance to the cave.
It wasn’t long before we made our first navigational error which meant we had to back track a little to figure out the correct sequences of turns to keep us on track. As we made our way through the mine we passed numerous chambers and the odd bit of machinery that was still left behind. Deep inside the mine we found the boiler room complete with visitor book, which we signed and then had a bite to eat.
Shortly afterwards, a noticed advised that the passage ahead was a little unstable so we passed through quickly and quietly and we made it through unscathed. It must have been the adrenaline but we made our second navigational error shortly after (albeit a small one) and after a stiff talking to we refocused and made our way through various passages , inclines and steps to make our way back to the entrance and grinning like Cheshire Cats on our acheivement. We had done battle with the mine and one won.
I had a great trip and look forward to returning to try out some of the more technical stuff we discovered on our travels.
If you would like to see a few more photographs of our trip then please click here.