Easter in South Wales

Ogof Ffynnon Ddu II to I.         Saturday 10th. April 93       SWCC Headquarters

Early morning, a well honed team assembled downstairs in the kitchen for a calorie/joule-controlled and well balanced breakfast, calculated to supply the essential nutrients for the hard trip ahead. Later, the Red Rose got up and downed greasy bacon, sausage, egg and beans then wondered why some of the team had so much trouble getting their wet suit zips closed while continuing to breathe. It wasn’t an early start because as usual the demon Baccus had had its way and ruined our plans, still, our motley crew was at the gate of OFO top entrance before dinner time(Just).

We regrouped inside, with the door closed and firmly locked to allow those not using FX5’s to get accustomed to the dark. Andy Hall (leader), Andy Hine. (Mr Swollen), Claire (how far is it now?) Wilkinson, Paul (f—wit) Wilkinson, Bill (competent) Holden, Neil (incompetent) Pacey, Angela (?????) Hare, and Ray (no comment) Duffy, the RRCPC, not a pretty sight at any time, but now swelling out in all directions with rounded neoprene lumps (except Youth who wore dry grots).
Mr Swollen was in better form that day before as he’d
paid a visa before leaving the hut this time and so he and a few others raced ahead down Salubrous Passage. When Horrible, Claire and Angela rounded the corner they were confronted with a sand banked streamway strewn with prone and oinking seal-like creatures trying to mate.

They cracked up.

Further down the passage Paul was yelling encouragement to his fellow cavers In the true Red Rose fashion at the Maypole climb-down unfortunately we were all behind him. The party in front didn’t seemed too impressed, still, it’s good to see the old traditions like damming streams and then letting them pulse when someone In extremis hasn’t died out , but then again the party in front weren’t impressed when Angela got a dowsing, nor was she really.

The streamway was reached with Horrible only having to’ get a grip’ twice, not bad for a geriatric. Paul’s choice of clothing was now proved unwise as he set off to trail blaze downstream and was seen to disappear in a nearly all the deep hidden potholes, learns slowly that lad. Claire and I were at the back skirting them all in wet suits. The chance of doing yourself a mischief by stumbling into black holes in black limestone takes the edge off the fun a bit but it is a fantastic jaunt with a little extra water to make it sporting. Andy led us fearlessly into the sump before we climbed up Into the Great Oxbow, “oops!!!”



Everybody dutifully oohed and aahhed at the correct places as we walked along white lines to prove we weren’t still drunk and overtook on our bikes on the French side, but there was nearly a nasty accident when one of the lines went up a wall and we nearly had a pile up. Marble Showers wow!!!, just like those licorice sweets that pulled your fillings out. Just passed the Confluence we stopped for a picnic on a Torromolenos-like beach and had Twixies, Golden Syrup Cake, Mars and we all shared one chocolate egg (it was Easter). By now a little chilly we stomped off to Divers Pitch where Andy had another little wobble allowing 3 people coming the other way to arrive at the top so we all had to wait while they roped down. We all started to get cold and verbose but when the climb was clear what a slick ascent, when the going gets tough etc. etc. Lots of slithering and squirming in OFDI where Andy’s memory was faultless (honest), just as well as our survey stopped at Marble Showers, oops again. Through the fabulous mud formations in the Connection, a quick firtle in the Boulders of Hush Sump and then even Andy Hine couldn’t counter-balance Angela on the Rocking Boulder in the Boulder Chamber, she must be made of some really dense material A few people had a bath in the pools of OFD I before we emerged in Daylight - yes we were out before dark and before time. Another slick Red Rose trip bit the dust. The cheeky Irish lass even managed to hitch a lift up the hill, we didn’t.

By the time we’d slogged up the hill we had a reel good thirst, bad news with a SWCC party ahead with cheap beer, music and food, well least said—

Question: 1)  Why did Neil make a sharp exit?

2) How many Thunderbird’s II ‘s did Claire (Birthday Girl) really have?

3) What does ‘squirm’ mean Andy?

Ray Duffy


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