Members present : Clare, Neil, Annette, Charlie, Linda and Bernard
This is an interesting trip for the older returning caver or novice. It demonstrates how Croydon can still run a good novice trip. We entered OFD Top Entrance and worked our way down to Brickyard, then turned right to Speedy Caver and then back on ourselves to Shale Chamber and onto the Mini columns which are a nice series of formations for the tourist caver.The next surprise was the Pearl at the end of the bedding chamber. It was very pretty and still in good condition. We then backtracked to Wedding Cake, Chasm Passage and then the link to Arête. We then returned to the entrance via Mini Traverses and the Big Chamber.
It was not much distance from the entrance so if anyone had had enough it was easy to get out. We used a rope on the climb into Bedding Chamber and this is useful to get novices used to climbing. .One of the party was not happy with this, but Charlie was able to take them on a bypass route. It was really nice to get out of the May Bank Holiday rain and go underground in an area that never floods and has some interest . It is a good part of the cave to give an insight into large passages, crawls and climbs.
Here are some photos from Annette showing the fun for novices.