03 May 2016

New terrain becomes default

We go to Cwmorthin almost every second week. You'd think we'd seen it all by now. We haven't! We find new bits all the time. New to us, of course; it's all man-made no nothing is new to mankind, but new to us is good enough for me. Two weeks ago we had explored some passage Simon had bolted years ago; this week we'd go the other way which wasn't bolted yet. There was a cable in place, and Simon had been that way too, together I think with Llion, but when Edwyn rediscovered it recently he wasn't so keen. This is unusual, by the way; he tends to do all these things nobody else dares and gets away with it. Like free-climbing slopes the previous week. Anyway; this week we'd go and bolt it, and explore. Not all of us; some were keen on sourcing some pipes from somewhere else in the mine and bring it to, or closer to, our dig.

We decided on where to meet each other and then went our separate ways. We had Simon and Edwyn, who sprinted ahead and were soon vanished, then Llion and I followed at more moderate speed, and then Corin and Dave were making up the rear. With Simon and Edwyn gone I navigated myself. Nothing could go wrong as Llion knows every nook of this place. But then I wondered why our junction did not come up.I asked Llion if we'd overshot it. No, he said. Then we saw lights: Simon and Edwyn waiting for us? No; the other group! We had gone off in the wrong direction. Oh dear. Later I realised we weren't even going towards the junction I had in mind; we were going the other way around! And only getting to that junction on the way back. Oh dear.

We turned around and went the correct way. Soon we got to where we needed to be. When we got to the traverse with the cable, Simon had already put the first bolt in, and had drilled the second hole. More that two holes we would not need. He scampered across. Soon we could follow!

 Simon bolting

Bolting progress

 Dave crossing the traverse
Edwyn crossed on the cable. I followed on the rope. It was rigged with a bit of a sag, which made it slightly hard work, but I got there too. While Simon and Edwyn explored ahead I kept an eye on Dave. He's very experienced but at 70 maybe not as agile as he once was. When he had safely crossed I went ahead. A nice next chamber, and some passages leading on. I took some pics.

 A nice bucket

 The far chamber

Later Llion mentioned a nice slab floor which everybody else had missed. We had a look; it was nice! Then Simon pondered dropping down the second chamber. There was a peg in the wall so we could. I did, but nobody followed. I could see why; the water was chest deep. Oh well! 

 Simon on the slabs

The chamber was bigger than you could see from the shelf. When I got back we went back. Soon we were at the meeting place. We left a sign, saying we had started to head for the exit, and did so. In a comfortable chamber we waited. After a while we heard the others; they were not carrying pipes. David mentioned they had left them on the other side of a nearby collapse; they were tired after carrying them through half the mine. He suggested that as we were with so many people we should go and get them, and bring them to a central location. Even though it already was half past ten I suggested we indeed get them. David said he'd been joking, but we were with many, and we should seize the opportunity. We did! We brought them into the chamber but no further. There were may of them! 

We then went up. It was late when we got out. I gave Mick a hug as he would be off to work on site for a while, and then we shot off. We should go and lug these pipes to their destination next week! They will keep us going for a while. Maybe they'll get us into more new ground!

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