Adventures Underground – My caving log

A log of my ‘speleo sorties,’ started immediately after I got serious about caving on a more than usually ‘exciting’ trip, which R wrote an excellent account of. Luckily I didn’t do much caving in my first year, so its pretty complete.

My laptop took a dislike to my caving log, so stuff may be missing. Also, while my caving log makes me really happy I’m crap at updating it. Clearly I’m the looser here.


5th August – Rich, Chris, John – Browns Hole (epic fuck-wittery kept us out of Fairy two days running, but we had great fun in Browns armed with two phones. Must go back)

29th – Rich, Chris –Cwm Dur to Top – (I told Rich 2hrs was optimistic, still 2.40 showed me to be unduely pessamistic)

28th – Rich, Rufus, Chris – Cwm Dur – (Rescue callout. Rigged the Cwm Dwr entrance with a ladder while we waited for the initial search teams to come out as one of them had asked for it. The lost party arrived at 3am 5 minutes before we went down.)

28th – Rich, Chris, Rufus, Tony Donovan – Sync y geidd (Stu Lindsy eat your heart out, Tony stacked, the boys cleared a couple of meters and rufus and I manned the hole/did pony impressions dragging the spoil. On the way back we shared the cable Tony took out to make the dig ready for his holiday and the winter. We did more than our fair share. Tony lived up to the hype)

22nd – Chris- OFDI (Roundtrip)

21St July Henry, Rich, Chris – OFDIII (good trip, turned round in the streamway. With the exception of the last traverse on the retern they i thought the traverses were overhyped)

14th July – Henry, Rich, Chris – Eastwater (Upper round trip. Jo and Marks wedding, combined with epic drinking, ment we had to delay the start of O&Chris’ Mendip Caving Challange. Good times, but still not my faverout trip.)

7th July – Chris, Rich, Rufus, Dave Mate, Andy Mac – Dreanan (Big Country)

June 30th – Tunnel – Chris, Rich, Rufus. (got out really fast considering we only had 3 srt kits. reckon we were practically at the door when we turned round)

Junes 27th (?) – Fawl Fawr, Mark. (hilarious).

June 24th – OFD I, Chris, Rich, Arrin (Round trip, minus the streamway. Chris would of got wet, and as it turned out we’d of survived, but decided agenst it)

June 23rd – OFD II, Chris, Rich, Rufus. (To Maypole, to see the flooding then to Moonlight chamber, took the ‘scinic rout.’)

June 21st – Llygad Llwchwr, Henry. (Just like ’09).

June 21st – Llygad Llwchwr II, Henry. (Went to see the new cave, short but friendly)

June 10th – Qattine Aazar, lebanon. Rayan, Hiba, Marc, Samr, Rana, Ali, Melody, Nabeil, Hadi. (Given that this was a mega trip with ALES’ SRT kit turning round with Melody about 150 meters down seemed sencible. good gowers and Miander)

June 7th – Qadisha cave, lebanon. Chris (Negotiated a speliologists discount to the show cave and permision to ‘pireat’ the non show, non flooded sections in street cloaths.)

June 6th – Balla, Lebanon. Chris (mosyed over to see it as we were in the ‘hood. Just as good)

June 6th – The book calls it Bataala, but the locals say its Balla – three natrul bridges pot. Chris (had a looksy and walked out on to the middle Bridge. Seriously impressive)

June 6th – Rouiess, Lebanon. Chris (had so much fun we went back and followed Nylas passage, looking at the prittys, to the big room, that is indeed big)

June 6th – Rouiess, Lebanon. Chris (Wouldn’t have found the key if i didn’t speak Arabic, or convince the holders to hand it over. Then, oh the irony, we found a through trip. Like a more complicated top)

June 5th – Afqa, Lebanon. Chris (the good bits were still flooded, v. impressive waterfalls, but we had fun any way)

22nd April. Hourat az Zayton (?), Lebanon. Badra, Jose, Mazin and Samer. (ALES lent me an SRT kit so I could join then pushing their new sinkhole. Had a lot of rubbish in it, but none of it was rotting, and some nice formations in a chamber that reminded us of the floating rocks in Avatar. we surveyed the hole to its end 90 meters under the earth – the way the Lebanese guys change language mid number is pretty impressive. I took a while coming out, but the others were slow enough for me not to need to be embarrassed. Not at all convinced my French style SRT. Massive thanks to everyone, especially Badra for organising everything and Samer, Mazin and Mohamed for collecting me.)

18th April. Jeita show cave, Lebanon. Dad, Bron, Herm. Smithlet logs his show caves, usually to say they suck, but this one was stunning and the boat ride in the lower cavern was really fun.

11th April. random holes hjrel, Lebanon. Solo. Nabaa el Mghaara sounded great, formations, close to the road, shouldn’t have been surprised it was gated. scrambled around some bad ass karst scenery looking for Seraaya, which I didn’t find. Did find some short caves, all of which would have been dug had they been on Mendip and meet random peeps including Ronaldenios sisters father in law though, which is what caving’s all about.


24th December 2011, Shobak castle, Ash Shobak, Jordan. Chris and Rich. (This was really cool, the crusaders had mined themselves what some claim is a well, but others claim is a still usable escape route. Whatever it was, it’s now long and steep and the stairs are collapsing. We followed it down a really long way till it became too steep and turned into a kinda pit. I wish I’d timed how long I was underground for, but I’m not sure what kind of a guide to the size of the place it would have been. The trip down was rather slow, having one light between three complicated matters. Rich tried to take a photo, but instead of a camera found a second head torch in his pocket.)

10th Dec – Swildons; Sump 1. Rich, Henry, Chris (Old times).

8th Dec – Ogof Draenen; The canyon. Henry (I sucked).

26th November – Yordas Lower Cave. Chris, Mark, Heather, Simon from Newton Rigg, random others (Everything was flooded, including Yordas, couldn’t get to the waterfall chamber, or anywhere near it).

20th July, Deir Mar Mousa, Mohafathat Al Homs, Syria. Chris. (I didn’t originally think this merited inclusion, being small and nameless, but it had two climbs, split into two branches, had a flat out crawl, wear Marks from the water that formed it and flow stone. I reckon it would have gone, had it not run out of mountain, the upper branch terminated in a hole giving out onto a drop into the next valley. Considering I’ve logged Goatchurch, Town Drain and Yordas’ bottom entrance I think this counts, none of them have crucifixes or ancient frescos in either.)


11th Sept- Ogof Draenen; the Geryon. Rich, Henry.

5th Sept -Priddy Green to Swildons. Henry, Chris and Rich till the first pitch (good stuff, enlivened by singing rude songs at Chris with Henry. Sketchy moment trying to free a stuck rope).

23rd August – Herlatz, Dachstine, Austria – Rich, Joel, Rufus, Ian Holmes, Dan Carter, Dave Mate, Amy Nixon, Hannah Moulton, Alex Teagle, Andrew Hainsworth, Alisa Duncan, Thomas Smith (the Herlatz, nuff said. Even nearly killing myself didn’t put a downer on it).

22nd August – Magnum, Dachstine, Austria– Rich & Ruth

21st August – Rufus’s Loose Hole, Dachstine, Austria – Rich (Rich found a way down but it didn’t go)

21st August – Training Cave, Dachstine, Austria – Rich, Rufus. SRT practice, found Aber rope Joel stole back in ‘t day

20th August – Rufus’s Loose Hole, Dachstine, Austria – Rich

19th August – Orkanhohle, Dachstine, Austria – Rich, Amy, Dan Carter (De rigging trip, though we went to the bottom. Dan derigged).

18th August – Rufus’s Lose Hole, Dachstine, Austria – Rich – the highlight of a spot of prospecting.

17th August – Magnumhoel, Dachstine, Austria – Milky Matt, Ian Peachey, Dave Mate, slightly separated with Rich, Tom 1, Sarah Phizacklea (hand bolted a traverse over a pool to keep you out the water. Amazing cave, the 90 meter shaft was incredible).

14th August – Wot Have You Got Pot, Dachstine, Austria – Tom1, Ali (before we decided she was a cow) (to the bottom of 110 meter pitch on a mission to retrieve rope. Knackering, scary, awe inspiring)

6th August – Ogof Draenen – Solo – (got lost at the Nunnery & headed out).

5th August – Pwll Dwfn – Chris, R&R (top of 5th, alt Cardiff rigging second pitch, derigged).

27th July – Ogof Draenen – Huw, Rich, Chris (Indiana highway before Huw spewed).

OFD Top to OFD I– Chris (8 hours of underground fun, enhanced by a tackle sack of water).

24th July – DYO – R&R, Hellie (round trip. I love caving with wife to be)

24th July – OFD1 – Rich, Rufus, Hellie (Hellie earnt my undying gratitude by making us 1 leaders.)

Lancaster Hole – Nick from the ‘writh (rigged, excellent trip down to fall pot, didn’t find the colonnades. water a bit too high in steam way)

17th July – Rowten – Henry, Rich, Rufus (first pitch, then aborted due to high water and bad feelings)

27th June – Ogof Craig A Ffynnon – Henry, Chris, Megan (photo trip to HMK.)

Afton – Henry, Louise (Round trip. A proper cave)

Prid – Henry, Huw, Beth, Louise (again, much more fun than expected. Cut trip short due to leg)

Dogholes – Henry, Huw, Beth, Louise, Sian (not bad, some good pretties. Leg, damaged in GG, a pain)

Rhino – Rich & Rufus (only did first pitch as another group were prating about)

Swinstows- Rich (rigged alternate pitches for a pull through)

Vesper- Rich & Milky (as awesome, in both senses, as I said it would be. Derigging was an enjoyable challenge)

Pillar Holes – Rich, Milky (rescued a sheep before-hand)

Yordas – Rich (rerigged second pitch as pull through)

Cow Pot – Lancs, Chris and Meg, then swapped Chris for Henry and Rich. (Saw v impressive Columns)

Alum – Rich & Henry (I rigged the dolly tubs pitch, then Henry took over on our trip to the sump)

GG – in  via the winch with Chris, H & mum, run around with Henry, Meg, Alex, Irish Steve, Milky, Lyn, Hellie and Chris, before exiting via Small Mammal with Chris & Lyn (we lost Steve and Alex after Bar Pot Direct).

Pwll Dwfn – Rich

Cwm Pwll Y Rhyd- Becca, Mark, Huw

Town drain – Becca, Mark, Huw

White lady – Becca, Mark, Huw.

Ogof Draenen rescue practice?

16th May – Swildons; Sump Two – Chris, Huw

15th May – Rhino – Chris, Huw, and Alex N. (rigged second and third pitches, and then fell down the fifth).

8th May – Ogof Draenen – Rich & Rufus (failed to find the round trip, succeeded in having fun)

7th May – OFD I to OFD II – Hellie, Alex N. (very grateful to Hellie for taking me on a trip I’d wanted to do for ages, but enjoyment had an edge put on it by he prospect of going back into the streamway for the first time since the OFD trip)

6th May – Pont Gam to Nant Rhin – Rich, Chris

9th April – Coulegh River Cave to Pollnadough; north-south. – Rich, Henry, Chris, Meg

7th April – St Catherine’s – Fisher St; Rich Henry, Chris, Milkybar, (till some rift) Rufus, Hellie, Jo  Hardy, Megan, (Till Fisher ST) Barry, Jo Meldner, Arse licker Lee, Tumnus, Carly, Toby Collins (Caught them at Fisher St/McGanns where we had pre-ordered a pint each) a classic trip followed by a good pint.

6th April – Poll na Gee- Rich & Henry

6th April – O & Rich’s little cave – nice bit of exploration in Jeans. Need to go back with a lump hammer to widen squeeze and get into continuing, draughting rift passage covered in moonmilk.

4th April – Poll na Gollum-Poulelva; Rich, Henry, Rufus, Meg (to a narrowing of the stream) Chris & Milky (out on Jo M’s crappy rigging after meeting Barry 20 min from Poulelva, the limit of exploration for the other group as Jo M. in pain. Trip not as good as it should have been due to flood worries).

3rd March – Arran View – Rich, Rufus, Jo H, Mark Denning, Huw, Tim, Toby, Jono – (would have had Luke as well, but Barry wouldn’t lend him willies. Got lost in a horrible rift, but didn’t notice the water was flowing the wrong way. Did some original exploration with Rich then headed out to find the other group had had the trip of their lives.)

28th March – Alum/Dolly Tubs exchange. – Huw (almost) then Chris (My first proper rigging mission. Huw didn’t fancy the Alum drop, so Chris left Fran to derig Alum and took Huw into Dolly tubs, which I derigged. Good trip, though v hungry).

27th March – Bull Pot – Henry, Huw and Megan, then Chris (we missed out last pitch. Enjoyed derigging the deviations).

20th March – OFD II- (rescue practice, moonlight chamber)

14th March – Porth Yr Ogof – EUSS.  (Fun, but can’t really be called caving. Little Ben played harmonica at the resurgence and we jumped off boulders into the river).

14th March – Mine near Ystradfellte – EUSS. (Dick showed us the mine he was learning to cave dive in after lunch)

13th March – Little Neath River Cave – EUSS (good)

11th March – Ogof Craig A Ffynnon – Toby (Hall of the Mountain King, v pretty. Got confused on way out due to swapping lights. Toby was wowed by the pretties, but I was unable to see anything I recognised)

7th March – Gwent Yr Erier – Rich, Sam (drop the dead donkey, better trip. My SRT is improving)

7th March – OFD II – mega trip (Alex’s Boulder)

6th March – Dan yr Ogof – Hells, Stu, Pete & Brandon (Round Trip, good trip)

27th February – Ogof Draenen – Henry, Rich (Grotto passage dig)

Manor Farm Swallet- Jo H, Toby, Julia (not far, 5th? Pitch. Good trip)

Charterhouse– Jo H, Brockers, Pete Hellier (08 extensions, poor form)

Pant Mawr Pot – Henry, Toby, Huw, Luke, Julia (past fire hydrant)

Tunnel – Henry, Chris, Mark, Becca, Fran, Julia (took 2.5 hrs to get down second pitch, as it was lots of peoples first SRT trip. wicked little cave though, I’d love to come back)

Craig A Ffynnon – Toby, Huw, Tim, Josh (Tivertine passage, really good trip though a pity meeting Kent at the pitch slowed us down and stopped us getting to HMK)

Swildons – Danni, Huw (sump one, ladder epic.)

Rods Pot – Jo H, Louise, Beth, Mango, Wormster (fuck up, not us, with ladder prevented through trip.)

Ogof Draenen – Rich, Henry, Mark (Tea junction)


Irbey Fell – Rich, Hellie, Penrith Alex, Nick, Jo M (Bubbles route on New Year’s Eve. A good trip till we lost Rich. Every one impressed by the Scurion)

Daren Cilau – Carly, Luke, Megan then Charles Bailey (through trip, failed)

Daren Cilau- Henry, Chris (HR. Cafe) plus Rich, (out) Jo H, Dan (Blue greenies, Chris didn’t come)

Ogof Draenen – Huw, Danni, Mark, Jono (Wonderbra, every one had a great time)

Cow pot – Henry, Nathan, Milky (wicked trip, though afraid of flooding)

Marble steps – Henry, Nathan, Milky (top of intestines, SRT crap)

OFD II – Tilda, Xian, Huw, Toby, Jono, Mark & Becca (Bold step and beyond. Becca confronting daemons on her second ever trip, Tilda rude to her)

OFD II – Carly, Random PUCC. fresher (Selenite Passage and random traverses)

Ogof Draenen – Henry, Rich, Tom2, Fleur, Imo, Edvin, Tim, Pete & A. N. Other (dig. I wasn’t as crap as previously)

Swildons – Henry, Chris, Fran, Megan (Short Round)

Hunters Lodge Inn Sink – Henry, Huw, Fran, Megan

Daren Cilau- Rich, Josh, Luke (Box 2)

Pen Eryr – Rich, Barry, Josh, Luke, and Mahony & Rob (in ‘interesting’ form after knackering Draenen trip. Had fun with josh on this distinctly under-lit trip)

Ogof Draenen- Rich, Henry, Pete, Tom2, A. N. Other (Grotto Passage)

Swildons, Tilda, Xian, Barry, Rabia, Julia & Carly (top of the twenty)

Goatchurch- Toby, Julia, Huw, ‘Tilda. (Dire, though the others had fun)

GB- Toby, Julia, Huw (Round trip)

Ogof Foel Fawr – Ogof Pasg – Henry, Megan, Luke (exchange)

OFD II – Rich, Rufus, Luke, Huw (Judge, Trident, Swamp creek, Salubrious, bold step)

3rd Oct Swildons – Rich, Jo, Hellie, Knobby, and Rhys (top of the twenty, drunk)

19th Sept – Eastwater- Rich (round trip)

19th September – Eastwater – Rich, Chris, Ruth, Jo, knobby, Fran, Mark, Stu, Shivy, Henry D, Stu L, Danny, Wormster, Barry (Rescue Practice)

6th September – OFD II- Henry, Rich, Chris, Rufus, Tilda & Xian (To top of maypole rift, via Judge & trident. Worst trip of the year)

5th September-Powell’s cave- Rich

5th September-Daren Cilau- Rich (entrance series, good trip)

5th September-Agen Allwedd; Henry, Chris, Carly, Josh (second boulder choke)

3rd September – Swildons- Jo, Kat, George, A. N. Other (start of shatter)

31st August – Cuthbert’s dig – Rich, Jo, Estelle, Brokers, Knobby, Pete Hellier (bad trip, wrong head for digging)

29th August – Draycott cave – Shivvy (wandered around the hills after discovering a mine, Shiv and I found Drayacott cave and crawled around in it)

29th August – Draycott dig miniscule mine – Rich, Chris, Henry D, Shivy, Stu (breakthrough trip)

28th August? – Dreycott dig – Chris, Stu, Henry b, Knobby and probably others

28th August? – White pit – Chris (Talus IV)

25th August? – Draycott dig – Chris, Stu Gardiner, Shivy, Henry d, Henry b, Hannah, Hannah’s parents. (First session on seemingly promising surface dig)

2nd August- Eldon. Chris (removed dead sheep. Rigging lesson for me)

1st August – Great Maskgill Mine. Henry, Chris, Steve, Alex J

31st July – Eldon Hole- Chris (dead sheep blocked way on)

18th July – Miss Graces Lane -Henry, Rich, Rufus and Jo

15th July – Llygad Llwchwr-Jason

12th July – Hunters Hole-Henry

11th July – Bridge cave – assorted WBCRT. Inc. Joel, plus Henry (rescue practice, did it 3 times)

5th July – Peak Cavern; Henry, Katie Dent, EUSS (some of the highlights, inc. Cadburys crawl)

4th July – P8; Henry (second ladder pitch)

4th July – Giants; Henry (round trip)

6th June – Cwm Dwr to OFD Top; Chris and Henry, then R&R. (That trip)

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