Westminster Spelæological Group

Cave Exploration and Investigation

President: Toby Clark esq.

Newsletter No. 2002/4 October 2002

This newsletter is published for the dissemination of information and is copyright ©WSG 2002. Articles are the copyright of the respective authors. If you wish to reproduce any part, please include the source.

Headquarters - Caerllwyn Cottage Halt Road Rhigos ABERDARE CF44 9UW Tel:01685 811080 http://www.wsg.org.uk

The Club meets on first and third Tuesday of the month at: Ship & Shovell bar, Craven Passage WC2. (Off Villiers Street under Charring Cross station) Normally from 7:45pm onwards.


The 18th Hole - Dave Farey digging and Andy Sewell hauling!18th Hole, Pant Mawr - August 2002.

The caving calendar is on the main website. http://www.wsg.org.uk. Follow 'Club Meets' and 'Online Diary'. Members can access further information from the 'Members Only' part of the website. Follow 'Diary Dates' to check it out or 'Club Diary' to make changes/bookings for events

Contact mail addresses for the club officers can be found on the main website under 'Contacts'.

The cottage can be booked on line at www.wsg.org.uk ... click 'Cottage' then click 'Book Cottage'. There is also a multimap button to locate Caerllwyn.



Loads of stuff this issue - Sorry if it's a bit cramped. We've a few issues to deal with as a club, perhaps most pressingly, revised insurance requirements. There were caving expeditions to various areas over the summer, some of which are chronicled here. Enjoy your autumn…Ed.

Club News.

Hello & Goodbye - We welcome Alys Vaughan-Williams who joined after the very successful WSG rave weekend on the August bank holiday. The following have sadly decided not to renew their subs this year -  

Steve Bonham, Simon Froude, Pete and Marjorie Hart, Martel Lindsell, Chuck Penwarden, Jane Pulford, Pauline Rigby.

We wish them good luck and happy caving.

WSG Expedition - Vercor 2003. - WSG members hope to go down 'Gay Bunny'

The summer club trip next year is to the Vercor, and we are hoping to stay at Les Myrtilles Campsite in La Chapelle-en-Vercor. The campsite has got a heated swimming pool, and bar and if you don't fancy camping there are caravans to rent. The dates for the trip will be confirmed in November, but at the moment the provisional dates are late August (last two weeks). The Vercor area contains many exciting trips and we will have a cave rigged for a few days and then move the rope to another one so we can get as many of these classic trips in as possible. Most of the caves that will be rigged will be about 400m deep, although the area does contain the Grotte De Gournier, which is a spectacular river cave. Apart from caving there is plenty of walking, rock climbing, and even fishing, never mind drinking the local wine.

Cuba Material Wanted

At the moment Evelio, Bob and Martin McGowan are collecting material to put together a Cuba CD. As you all know WSG has been going to Cuba for a long time and it's about time that all the material was collated. So if you have any pictures, survey data, or indeed just expedition write up, Martin would be grateful if you could email them to him - see the members' site for his contact details.

Tim and Pauline have moved - their new address is 24 St. Mary's Road, Llandudno, Conwy LL30 2UB.

Congrats to Adi (mini) Hooper on graduating from uni. Now frightening the locals somewhere in deepest Cumbria…

Phil has made a number of changes to the website, including more photos and a 'forgotten login' facility and a load of pictures…

The main riser to the cottage water supply will not turn off. Toby had to leave it open on 24th Sept He suspects that a bit of s**t from the recent works has jammed it - it doesn't turn off more than two turns and feels wrong - anyone know where the company stop cock is??

Thanks go to Tony Oldham who has donated seven boxes of magazines to the club library. Matt sent me a list but there's not enough room to post it here. It consists of Word document file. Matthew has also sent in a file containing the latest library additions. (I can e-mail or snail mail copies of either out to anyone interested. - Ed.).

Martin McGowan has received details of the Dan Yr Ogof Warden Scheme. It is now only possible to take members who have 3rd party liability. As a club this means only members we have paid for in October (when we renew our insurance) can be taken into Dan Yr Ogof. Any (new) member who joins after we have insured our members can not be taken on a Dan Yr Ogof trip. Plus it now cost more to be a warden as the insurance for them has gone up due post September 11th problems and worries in the insurance industry. It was mentioned that cavers may have to demonstrate to the cave management that they are insured and maybe the membership cards can have the words "(not) valid for OFD permit and DYO entry" as we had in the past for (probationary) members.

Broodings of a Chairman

First a competition: for all those who went to the BCRA and were paying attention and did not get too drunk on Saturday night and/or sleep or otherwise crash out in Sarah’s tent, who can tell me the names of the nine species of stygobitic crustacea in the British Isles? A pint of beer for the first correct answer!

As the conference was so well attended, there should be lots of you who know the answer, but sadly there is only one pint on offer as the prize. And given the strong showing, it is high time that the WSG has a stand at next year’s Hidden Earth to show our renaissance as an expanding and highly active youthful caving club.

Our re-birth will be heralded by one, if not two new (including one long over due) Bulletins, a fine selection of photographs and stories of derring-do from next year’s trip to the Vercor and of all other domestic and foreign trips. All feats, whether heroic or not, should be published to show just what the WSG is about.

On a prosaic note however, you will be aware that our insurance through the BCRA has gone up by dramatically this year to £5 per member. Whether such a rise is justified or not, we have to live with a world changed by a need for public liability insurance more than ever before.

Certainly by the AGM next year, as a committee, we will have a better idea of what effect the increase will have on the club finances. The extra cost will have to be absorbed this year, but whether we can afford to do so in later years remains to be seen.

We also have to ensure that all subs are paid on time and certainly no later than the end of September for everyone to be counted on the club’s insurance. Any later and you will not be an insured member.

Enough tedium: on with the caving. Enjoy! Jerry.

Virtual Caving - (cyber equivalent to Armchair caving).

If you come across an interesting site, send me the URL and I'll post it here. Ed.

http://www.lupine.de/en/stirn/gallery/index.html Lighting systems http://www.cavediggers.com/Caving_com/caving_com.html


http://www.bgs.ac.uk/magazine/geology/home.html British Geological Survey

Witterings of another chairman… Graham Adcock, Chairman of trustees.

Perhaps a timely reminder…..Over the August bank holiday weekend, there was a slight altercation with our neighbours at Caerllwyn. Of course, it's not the first time we've upset our neighbours - in Stella and Merlin's time (yes, he was a wizard and he did fire a shotgun over the fence one night!) there were many 'perceived' misdemeanours and resultant grizzles. However, since the mighty Duncan, during his time as chairman, neutered the protagonists we've had a period of relative calm. That isn't to say we've not had our fun. For example, there was no 'problem' over the working weekend when there was a full-scale ceiledh in the garden and singing till the early hours.

Explosions or loud noises in the night would be enough to invoke the wrath of the most tolerant of neighbours but to add to the problem, our neighbours keep animals and specifically, horses which are easily upset by the kind of activity that went on over that weekend. The bonfire weekend has, to my knowledge, been agreed with the neighbours but the loud noises should finish sensibly early in order to avoid problems. The dangers are not only the possibility of claims for damage to their animals but, as there are fireworks involved, claims against WSG for public liability by members and guests over the weekend. Enjoy yourselves, that's what WSG is about - just be aware of your actions.

Sunday 20th October 2002, SWSARA Joint Practice

This date has changed and was originally 6th October. A joint exercise with the South Wales Mountain Rescue Teams and GCRT. Details to be released as we get closer to the event.

This year the event is being organised by the RAF Mountain Rescue Team who promise to include a Cave Rescue element to the exercise.

Sunday 2nd November 2002, Dan Yr Ogof

A large-scale incident and evacuation of the showcave. The event is being run on behalf of Dany-yr-ogof showcave and all UK and Ireland showcaves.

We will need a large number of people for this practice and we would welcome anyone who would like to participate as either a Rescuer, an Incident Support Worker or as a Casualty in the showcave.

Weekend of 15th to 17th November, Advanced First Aid for Cave Rescue

This is the BCRC and British Red Cross accredited course and this certificate is held by the WBCRT and GCRT Advanced First Aiders. The course is run locally to Penwyllt and is delivered by suitably qualified members of WBCRT.

There are places left on this course if you would like to attend. Details available on request. Rhys Williams, Training Officer, WBCRT.

HTG Takes A Bath ­ a trip to Puaroa Cave. Brian Bowell.

Dave Smith said something like "You should have landed on the other side of the waterfall". Yeah right, but not till after I'd landed on the wrong side of the waterfall and up to my neck in freezing water with a rack that had decided not to let go of the rope. Just another Sunday in Puaroa Cave.

Nick, Paddy, Dave and I visited Puaroa on a Sunday in early August.. It's only a couple of hundred metres long and an hour or so's walk from a sheering shed somewhere the other side of Tawarau forest. The walk begins over pasture and then becomes a bush bash following the stream to the cave entrance. The water flows through the cave and there are a few fun obstacles. The initial route involves traversing in an attempt to avoid deep pools. But you soon get wet, very wet, swimming type wet, Nick yelling hysterically wet. Soon we came to the first of two waterfalls, a four-metre drop into a deep pool. A handy stalagmite boss provided a belay and off went Paddy, then Nick, then the bags. These three abseiled down the right side of the waterfall, I didn't. Dave went last and recovered the rope.

A short passage led to the next, six metre, waterfall. I watched Paddy groping under the water at the pitch head, "He's looking for his sandwiches" I thought. But no, he was trying to find a belay point. Eventually the rope was tied round a hump at the top of the waterfall and the belay made secure by Dave sitting on the hump. This time I must have found the right side of the waterfall because the drop was smooth. Shortly we were all down and in the next deep pool. By this time Nick had lost all the feeling in his feet and hands, and I wasn't far behind. The final section of the cave consists of wet passage punctuated by several deep pools down which you/I can fall.

Then, all of a sudden, you are in a big dry chamber shivering your bo****ks off, while Nick screams with the cold. A quick wander round the chamber reveals some fine and clean formations and an antique notice board. Just next to the board is the exit to the sun and the bush. From there it's a pleasant stroll alongside the river on a goat track back to the sheering shed and Paddy's Landy.

Puaroa Cave is a real collector's item, about 200 metres long but a fun packed, wet and bloody cold 200 metres. It would be a fun cave to take our guests to on the NZSS AGM weekend, and Nick would be really pleased to take them.


BCRA - Hidden Earth 2002. Martin McGowan.

Well, another year and yet another conference, this time it was in Monmouth. A lovely little town that I normally whizz past either on the way to or from the hut but this time we stayed there. Sarah brought down a super tent that dominated the whole campsite and caused shadows to fall over half the site. So we had a luxury walk-in castle that 8 of us slept in while Andy was relegated to the Farting Tent.

The best of the talks I went on Saturday was the Vecor audio-visual. We arrived a little late but we saw the winter, skiing, the wartime resistance, the Canyoning and the caves, all of this was put to a variety of music. Andy helped out on the improvised Wales round up, which was cancelled just before it was supposed to start and then of course it was back on - how cavers can step into the breech!

That night we ate in the Waterwheel restaurant, which gave great value and good quality food. The stomp was great craic with the same blues band that we had last year, with most of us getting up for a jig or two. On Sunday the Northern round up gave the details of everything that had been found recently with several clubs passing on information to give an interesting talk about some of the muddier and tighter parts of Yorkshire. Unfortunately I left early in the vain hope that I would speed up the M4 - instead I spent hours riding between stationary cars, at least it was worse for the car drivers.

Dedication was shown by Adrian Hooper who turned up on Sunday despite having his pride & joy the red BMW written off by some B******s who crashed a stolen car into it.

Progress at the 18th Hole. Toby Clark.

18th Hole - prior to shoring upA new shaft was begun in July, Nick Dallman and Dave Farey supporting the work despite the horrors of midges - descending through unconsolidated fill and small boulders. A depth of 8 feet (2.4m) was quickly reached (using the top of the scaffold cage as a datum) but it was clear that major shoring would be required. On August Bank Holiday weekend a strong team of WSG stalwarts installed the necessary shuttering and pushed on down to 12 feet (3.6m), deeper than any previous works at this site. Numerous boulders were either manhandled or blasted from the hole along with endless buckets of crud. We are at the vertical boundary of a boulder choke on two sides and loose fill on the other two. Whilst we have not found rock walls as yet, one waterworn wall looked like this was it, but turned out to be just a big boulder. The dig is going vertically downwards with no indication of how far we have yet to go. With the sombre statistics of 25kg to a bucket, 40 buckets to the tonne and 100 to the cubic metre we could be in for a lot of hard work. However, two void areas found amongst the boulders could mean that we are close to breakthrough. It is anybody’s guess but my personal view is that it won’t be very long, now.

We are going to have to keep putting in scaffolding and timbers as we go – Adrian Mini-Hooper has set us the standard in shoring works and his ability with a hammer and nails brought acclaim from all in attendance. Alas my poor emergency props underneath looked pitiful by comparison and will have to be rebuilt next time.

A heartening feature is that for the first time, an updraught of air was confirmed.

Shored up - Dave FareyOn Friday evening, 23rd August, about 18.30hrs, I paid a preliminary visit to the site. It was a stunningly beautiful evening and the Mawr looked at its very best, just for me! It had clearly been a very dry period, the Avon Nedd Fechan was dry at the Bridge Cave bridge and the 18th Hole was bone dry. The dig was exactly as we had left it and I was able to detect a faint but positive outdraught from a slot at the bottom of the hole. At the same time, the adit was outdraughting around the side of the sheeting at the entrance, strongly enough to bend a match flame completely sideways. A few minutes later the Pindar shaft was also shown to be outdraughting. A storm had just passed through, followed by a magnificent rainbow - clearly the barometer was rising at that time.

The adit was thus showing its ‘normalisation’ behaviour in very dry conditions and was behaving the same as Pwll Pindar. (It usually draughts anomalously, i.e. in when the barometer is falling and vice versa). The 18th itself was felt to be outdraughting by various persons from time to time over the 3 days of activity and banger fumes cleared quite quickly, even from 12 feet down. This is an exciting time!

Update from Toby…..

I had an opportunity to visit the 18th on Tuesday (24th Sept). I hauled 7 buckets and moved some stones (quite difficult on your own), perhaps 250kg altogether. The hole is no deeper but moving under the South bank. A large lump of rock fell away here, opening this up more. The rock above it did not move in sympathy, which is good, because it is the keystone to the whole south face of the dig. I propped this with a couple of scaffolding tubes and it seems to be pretty stable at the moment. A trickle of water is lubricating the loose shit on the eastern side that Adrian the hammerman shored up, causing it to keep slumping all the time. It has now hollowed out a space behind the boards and has temporarily stabilised but any digging underneath it will cause further collapse – we will have to deal with this effectively before we can progress the dig. The large lump of rock that fell away was removed in the time-honoured manner and it was noted also that the dig was outdraughting. (See also Last Gasp…..Ed).

August Bank Holiday Weekend. James Hooper

After a superb summer in the Picos, I had a mission: to mow the lawn; to get out of Dudley’s shop in under twenty minutes; to visit the Great North Road in D.Y.O. and to join Toby on his breakthrough into the Pant Mawr master system. I arrived at the cottage on the Friday night using public transport (£30 for a return coach from Victoria to Cardiff and then £1.50 for a train to Aberdare), got very pissed in the Red Lion and spent the following morning trying to hide from a very keen Martin who was aiming for an early start down Danny. Adi, Pete, Martin and I eventually got away, got out of Dudley’s in twenty minutes and amazingly (given my huge hangover) got to the Green Canal. Why are there never any flotation devices there when you need them? And why does it always seem to be me that gets to swim back and forth with inflatable Winnie-the-Poohs and assorted lifejackets? Anyway, as my balls shrunk to the size of a new 5p piece, my headache cleared and I started to enjoy the trip. Up the scary climb from the Rising, down the scary ‘traverse’ from the Windy Way and STOMP, STOMP, STOMP, down the Great North Road. Great. We got out of the cave in time for me to mow the lawn. Now there was only the Pant Mawr master system……..

Thanks to all those who organised the Bar-B-Q, the ‘rave’ in the Garden and the diplomacy with the neighbours (the following morning). On Sunday, a large WSG team congregated at the Eighteenth Hole for hours of very pleasant digging and shoring in the sun. Accompanied, of course, by the periodic BOOM of Toby’s charges. We followed the elusive ‘draught’ downwards, turning the hole into a proto-shaft. And then… was that the sound of a stream?... Well no, actually it was Dave Farey taking a leak, but the breakthrough is surely close….. You can’t have everything but it’s difficult to beat such a grand WSG weekend.

Book review - Martin McGowan.

Recently I acquired two new caving books, they are ‘The Karst of the North of Ireland’ and ‘Alpine Caving Techniques: A Complete Guide to Safe and Efficient Caving’. In two different ways the books address the issue of why and how we go caving. The first book ‘The Karst of the North of Ireland’ covers both of the major areas i.e. Fermanagh/Cavan and Antrim limestone outcrops. There are chapters on the history of exploration, formation of caves and conservation. It contains many informative diagrams and there are plenty of pictures, making the book an ideal educational and interesting coffee table book and it is easy to dip into one chapter for a quick read. During the trip in Ireland we all sat down and had a look at the book at some point, even the non-cavers in the group.

The second book ‘Alpine Caving Techniques: A Complete Guide to Safe and Efficient Caving’ is an English translation of the 3rd edition of the French caving bible. It is available form Cordee and, is published by Speleo Projects, costing £24. This book focuses on SRT techniques and is divided up into 3 major sections Equipment, Physical and Mental Aspects and Underground. The equipment section deals with everything from the basic 'what to wear and use for light'. There is, of course, a bias toward Alpinism and electric lights get a poor review compared to acetylene. The second section details how diet, lack of confidence and exhaustion can all affect our performance. It gives advice on training such as going rock climbing or more strangely setting up a ladder and using it as a form of aerobic training as ladder climbing is more strenuous than going up a rope.

The third section, Underground, makes up most of the of the 316pp book and deals with everything from moving underground to various SRT techniques. The main focus is on the frog technique, with clear diagrams showing key steps and in some cases a blue cross through the diagram indicating what not to do. One example of this is that when rigging a loop, do not lock off the descender. Instead tie a stopper knot below the descender so that if the bolt you have clipped into fails, you will not damage the rope too much. I like the use of handy hints subsections within the text - what to do (smiley face) and what not to do (bomb symbol). Generally this is an important technical manual, which I would recommend all members who do SRT trips to read.

Los Picos de Europa (with O.U.C.C.)

Pete and I flew out to Spain for a summer of deep caving with OUCC. After a night of madness involving a fiesta, vast quantities of booze, bangers, and a commando run at 2 a.m. with a newly-won porn video, we finally arrived in Los Lagos. Vega Ario (top camp) is about two hours walk from here: at an altitude of 1600 a.s.l. it is sometimes in the clouds, sometimes above them and generally a beautiful place to live for a few weeks. We soon discovered, from Fleur, Nobby and others that Tormenta cave was going…. Last year it was pushed from a very tight entrance to a depth of -70m. A ‘scroffy’ crawl, named after the oats that Xitued your bottom every morning, led to a reasonably-sized chamber "Area 4," followed by a gorgeous Yorkshire-like meandering stream passage. Then blackness - a big, VAST exposed pitch (which was fun to rig out of the water). Pete was the first to the bottom and into a huge chamber "Bare Space." We then rigged a 100m pitch (on which Adi (who later joined us) discovered THE FEAR while becoming A BIG SHAFT MAN). Beyond a ‘scrotty grovel’ of the type that drives OUCC cavers crazy, lay a big river cave, three metres wide with deep green pools to traverse and many short pitches….Three weeks later the expedition had pushed down to -720m. Of course there was lots of wine, sessions in the bar, and many anecdotes and stories such as Adi’s furry being eaten by a goat, the scariest shit-pit in the world EVER, and hours of love-making with a group of Catholic nuns on retreat. To find out more visit http://milos2.zoo.ox.ac.uk/~oucc/ or buy Nobby, Fleur, Pete, Adi or me a pint (or two if you want to find out more about the nuns).

James Hooper.


Fleur Loveridge in the Tormenta Entrance  (Photo from Fleur's camera) Fleur Loveridge in the Tormenta Entrance  (Photo from Fleur's camera)
James Hooper in the Tormenta streamway - (Photo - Hilary Greaves) The Ario Bowl - (Photo - Hilary Greaves)



Meet Report: Notts Pot -Sunday 8th September 2002

Present: (BPC) Matthew Setchfield, Terry Deveny, Simon Froude, Martel Linsdell, Martin Smith,

Bob Wilkins, Elisa Bernal

Routes: 3b Centre Route and 4(a){I} B.U.S.S. Route-Fossil Pot

Not your ordinary trip down Notts this. For a change I wanted to do one of the "variation descent routes". Martin was game so having found a copy of a survey and read the guidebook over and over we set off armed with old style SRT rigging paraphernalia of wire tethers, slings and chockstones. We walked straight to the entrance from Lost Johns’ car park-diagonally across the fellside, well apart from Terry who went wandering up the hillside and nearly ended up at Ireby Fell!

Martin began rigging the entrance whilst I kept an eye out for Terry then set off down to Three Ways Chamber. Terry commenced rigging Centre Route whilst Martin and I set off down Left Hand Route to the first pitch. We knew we had to pendulum into a circular passage some 15' down but couldn't quite see how the guidebook related to the survey as it mentioned about pulling oneself along the "left" wall to the circular passage whilst the survey showed this to be on the right wall. Martin abseiled down slowly-saw a fixed rope on the other side of the shaft then before I knew it arrived at the bottom of the pitch, he then declared he could see another fixed rope right where we expected it to be. I would be directed by Martin to it and set off down myself. Sure enough on the right wall (I've sussed this now Martin-the guidebook is written as if you're descending this pitch on a ladder in which case you would be trying to pull yourself out along the left wall as you'd be facing the wall on a ladder!) was a thin piece of orange "string". Using this and the handholds I was able to pull myself into an alcove to find the string was actually tied to a wire tether and there was indeed a circular passage heading off.

Whilst Martin prussiked up to join me, I set off for an explore and soon found the hole in the floor described in the guidebook, from which emanated Simons voice! It sounded like their party was just the other side of the wall. I went a little further and found Mud Pot right where it should be then returned to Martin to get the tackle. He was now up so I returned and rigged Mud Pot with a natural bollard (again as detailed in the guidebook) and a single bolt above the pitch. Quickly down this and into the chamber above Fossil Pot. There are two openings onto the 100' pitch-the one straight ahead is too tight and the passage to the left is the obvious route. We rigged the pitch starting with a bollard in the chamber to a sling threaded through a tiny slit in the wall to a bolt, which allowed Martin to swing out over the pitch-head and rig a Y-hang. He rigged an okay hang and was about to set off when he said "oh bugger" and told how he could see a perfect natural eyehole in the ceiling and also another bolt. Still, it looked okay and off he went-heading for the waterfall beneath though we were unsure as to whether the rope would hang in this or not….it did; of course! Basically what we'd done is abseiled to into the roof of Lower BT Passage. On the way down I spotted the arete mentioned in the guidebook that leads to route 4(a) {ii} but didn't really see the other two routes that also lead off from this shaft. Dropping through the shower I found Martin prussiking up the rope from the 4th pitch on Centre Route-the others were above us on the way down and we'd rather prussik up and over the arete and climb down the other side rather than get wet in the duck.

On the other side of the duck, we all assembled. It was now 3:30pm and we couldn't be bothered to continued to the sump, much to Bob's chagrin, having carted a particularly heavy tackle bag containing the ropes and maillons this far! Still, the pub beckoned and Bob and Elisa decided to exit via our route having told them it was only "a bit splashy" at the bottom (he he he!!). It's very odd though as whilst on the way up at the bottom of the first pitch in Centre Route I could hear Bob and Elisa above. In fact, it sounded like they were on the ceiling! We could actually hear the tackle bags being dragged along the floor and funnier still, we could here Elisa shriek as she swung out into Left Hand Route on the pendulum from the bit of orange string. I climbed up the wall and had a conversation with Bob but still could not see where the connection was.

Anyway, we rendezvoused back in Three Ways Chamber and I pulled some of the gear out for them and we all made our way back to surface to find a glorious late summer sunny afternoon with the sun shimmering on the water of Morecambe Bay. Magic! Bob moaned at me saying our description of the bottom of Fossil Pot being a "bit splashy" was an understatement; he was soaked through!

So there you have it, a different way down Notts. It's interesting to now understand the routes described in the guidebook and having been there it's obvious how they all fit together and link parts of the system together. Route 4(a) actually contains four ways down: (i) is Fossil Pot direct, (ii) is also Fossil Pot but is a swing over the arete 25' down. (iii) is down off of (ii) and finally (iv) is also down Fossil Pot but only 8' down from the top to a ledge on the right. I cannot recall seeing this ledge but of course if the same interpretation is applied, this will be on the left looking down the shaft, i.e. on somewhere above the arete. What also makes sense is that descent route 4C "Dubious Tactics " route can also be reached through route (iv) and what then becomes apparent that most of these routes end up above BT Passage or in between the pitches in lower BT Passage. It is a fascinating area and deserves a few more trips I think to see what lies in the other passages, mind you, you still need to get another party down Centre Route as ultimately all these routes end up at the wrong side of the duck!

The Rigging guide should be of use for anyone now fired up by this report and who wants to go rushing off to see the delights of "the most concentrated vertical maze in Britain"!

Matthew Setchfield


Last Gasp - late news etc.

Further points to ponder about 18th Hole. On my last visit (24/9/02), I observed that banger fumes cleared very quickly from the shaft even so there was no wind. Calculations based on time to clear (3 to 5 minutes), void capacity 2m3 , lapse rate 1.1mb over 5 hrs gives an estimate of 138 000m3 total volume. Adding this to the output from the adit (another 100 000m3) and the void known to underlie Pwll Pindar (at least 100 000m3) together gives a combined volume >300 000m3 using conservative estimates in all calculations. This equates to a Pant Mawr sized passage (10m x 10m) at least 3km long - we are indeed looking at the Pant Mawr Master System! In my last digging session, I found evidence of the clay floor at the end nearest the central outcrop (north and facing the direction of the adit). On the other side of the outcrop in the previous dig we found this floor at 2.4m, (we are down to 3.6m now). The dig is going sideways and sloping down to the South, underneath an apparently stable rock arch. I suspect that we are about 1m away from open spaces - who knows, it could ‘go’ next weekend - Be there! Toby.

Thanks to this edition's contributors: Martin McGowan, Jerry Complin, James Hooper, Toby Clark, Brian Bowell, Matthew Setchfield Jeanette Rosato . Your name could should be here!

Items for inclusion in the next Bulletin by the Bonfire Weekend please!


Copy deadline for the next issue is 4th January 2003.


Stuff not included in the published N/L due to space restrictions..but, as this is on the website....

e-mail from Andy Sewell - 10th July 2002…..

These are pics. from Saturday's trip. (6th July 2002 Ed.). We ended up 'clubbing' at Cubana in Waterloo until 2:30am!!!!. Jumbo was pretty mean on the dancefloor ,and Jan pulled the IT manger of 'Big Issue'!.

"The Frogmen"

 Andy on the Thames.


 Speaks for itself really!


Andy Sewell also writes…..

JD Weatherpsoons are adding to there 680 strong outlet with a venture in Aberdare, it will be called 'Y leuan ap lago' (I have no idea what that means!). (Jeanette suggested 'moon over the water or lake' - Ed.). It opens on Sat. 25th. November with I assume the usual enticing offers!. At least it will keep the students happy, I wonder if it will accept DHSS vouchers?. It's situated up by the town hall in what was I think a cinema.


That's all!

Cheers, Graham.