Daren Cilau Sat. Nov. 30th,
Bernard Taylor, Paul Seddon &Rob Palmer.
couple of weeks back, Paul had mentioned the possibility of a trip into Daren.
I said, “Let’s go before we’re too old & overweight for the entrance
We drove to
took us just over an hour to get to the Chelsea Hut, and the entrance to Daren
is five minutes walk away. The
then on, with fairly easy route finding and the occasional crawl it was big stuff
all the way. A tight problem was encountered at one of the chokes, whereby lamp
& hat had to be taken off, but after that no problem. The pitch up was
reached & we joined the queue. Shortly after, another fifteen joined the
queue, making twenty eight in all. Then they got brassed off & went out.
The up pitch was already laddered & presented no problem - 65 feet. The
laddie who free climbed it first however, on the original discovery was a n’ero
- daft if you ask me. The top of the pitch leads on with easy passage to the
top of the eighty foot pitch down and into the mega stuff. And this is mega
stuff!. Its not as big as the Berger, but its pretty big. It’s that big, you
can’t see anything with your light. What you need is a big carbide!
At this stage we met some folk coming out, who said it was still three hours to the bottom! So we trogged on. No more crawling or stooping, all the way to the sumps, upstream & downstream. The formations on route are brilliant with the Bonsai Tree something else. So we tregged back after taking seven hours to get to the bottom.
The eighty foot pitch up was hard work, and I should have followed Sedbo up the pitch bypass, which apparently is a piece of duff with a hairy traverse at the top, Down the sixty five, through the chokes, lent off again, and suddenly we were at the terrible trance Series.
If the entrance Series coming in was sheer hell, then going out was twenty times worse. Almost Immediately you have the Calcite Squeezes and they are, as my cracked rib will prove. After that no problem except an epic slog - three inches at a time. Even Sedbo got stuck, by the knee. After a long time Sed. says that he can see dead flies on the roof, so we must be near the entrance. Then live flies, so we must be even nearer the entrance. Then he can smell the soil so we must be almost at the entrance. I was beginning to think we’d gone the wrong way somewhere & were heading off in the other direction into new cave. It’s said that you’re not out of Daren till you’re, cut. I knew we were out when I saw next to my nose, a load of green stal which turned out to be grass. - What a killer, but what a magnificent trip which took us twelve hours. We came out at 11:30, Saturday night.
I’d like to go in again to see the things we missed, but not until they get McAlpines in to sort out the Entrance Series.. ... A brilliant cave, and one not to be missed.