The descriptions below are almost entirely situated on Pant Mawr. They were meant to have been submitted to Martin Laverty to update the Cambrian cave registry but, mainly due to other commitments, I have not got around to doing this. This is very much work in slow progress; await parts 2, 3, 4… with bated breath!
Roy Morgan at first entrance to
Ogof Cull (Photo: Adrian Paniwnyk)
The first entrance to Ogof Cull is some 10 metres to the south east of the Ogof Cul 5a entrance. A short, scaffolded drop leads to a tight descending rift which was enlarged for most of its length mainly by Tony Donovan and Roy Morgan. Further flat-out crawling for a short distance leads to where the Cull stream is regained; it is here that the main breakthrough was made. Crawling to the left, a low bedding can be followed mainly in flat-out mode for some distance. A brief respite is given some halfway along the bedding plane’s length by another chamber and pleasant water chute.
Eventually another chamber is reached; it is here that the second entrance to Ogof Cull, which was dug from the surface after a radiolocation exercise, comes in. An exit or entrance can be made via a fixed metal ladder, the base of which is on large pile of boulders in the highest point in the chamber. Descending to the lowest point in the chamber it is possible to squeeze between boulders to regain the Ogof Cull stream. The passages now continue with a few twists and turns as a reasonably pleasant phreatic tube.
Eventually, the water deepens at a rather intimidating duck. In dry weather it is possible to float through here with your nose firmly pressed into the small airspace in the roof. In wet weather this duck almost certainly sumps. Fortunately, the roof quickly rises to reveal a small chamber possessing a deep pool but with no dry way on. The pool is the start of a short, three to four metres long, sump which goes off at right angles to the line of the passage back through the duck. With a decent rope instead of the dive line it might be possible to free dive this sump. However, it should be noted that there is a downward bulge in the roof at the downstream end which any potential free diver should try and avoid!
Beyond the sump there is another constriction to where the passage enlarges. Progress in an upright manner can now be made for about 30 metres and a nice array of formations can be seen in the roof. Half way along this passage the Cull stream disappears into a fissure which is much too small to enter. Where the passage starts to close down, a brief dig through silt led to a short section of inlet passage which quickly closes down.
Just back from the inlet passage, there is small descending tube on the left which soon gets too tight but through which the author thought he could hear the continuation of the Cull stream. This would make a nice dig for somebody that does not mind getting very muddy! Maybe the saga of Ogof Cull still does not have an end?
I believe the passage up to the sump has been surveyed but I have not seen a copy of it. The passage beyond the sump have almost certainly not been surveyed. In general, the cave is still below the wide, shallow valley which runs in a north-south direction above the cave.
In wet weather sections of the cave, in particular the low bedding planes, almost certainly flood.
Reference: Pelobates 82 p13
Twll Trosol (Crowbar Hole)
Twll Trosol (Croybar Hole) Survey
Grid Reference SN 9010 1465
Two separate entrance drops of 5.5 and 6 metres lead into a small stream passage, where it is possible to go upstream or downstream. Progress in these is generally made by crawling and squeezing. The southerly, down-dip passage soon gets too tight and would require mining of solid rock to continue, see survey drawn by Roy Morgan.
History: The cave was first spotted by Charlie Peacock of Croydon CC. About three month later, on 17/11/1990, Chris Crowley, Adrian Paniwnyk and Trevor Pritchard were able to remove a large boulder blocking access and on that day the base of the first drop was gained. A second drop was noticed on this day but the base of this was not gained after much digging and scaffolding work by Tony Donovan and Roy Morgan in about 2007. The cave’s current limit was reached shortly afterwards.
Hydrology: To my knowledge no dye trace from this cave has been made but see note concerning Unknown name Cave below.
Reference : Brown Croydon log book
Unknown name Cave
Entrance to Unknown Name Cave with
large spoil tip (Photo: Adrian Paniwnyk)
Approximate Grid Reference SN 9015 1445
This cave almost certainly has a name but nobody has told me what it is! It is situated in the shallow, dry valley some 200 metres to the south of the Ogof Cull entrances and half way between Ogof Cull and Pwll Pindar. It is also close to a small pool marked on the OS map. As well as this, if you look closely the spoil pile can be just made out on Google Earth! The cave starts with a scaffolded shaft some 20 metres deep dug through a jumble of boulders. Certainly an impressive feat of engineering. The shaft can just about be free climbed with a hand line. About two thirds of the way down the shaft it is possible to crawl into a small tube that then intercepts an inlet passage. I have not been upstream for much distance but the downstream section very quickly becomes too small and chocked. Rather than follow this stream here, it was decided to continue digging the shaft downwards to try and intercept this stream at a lower level. Fortunately, at the base of the shaft, the diggers broke through into a short section of open, mainly crawling-size passage. At the end of this, where the passage turned a corner, it was possible to hear clearly the sound of a fair sized stream flowing what seemed to be a short distance away. This stream is substantially larger than the small inlet passage mentioned previously.
This visit was made several years ago and I have not been back since, maybe the main diggers have found a way of getting to the stream. It should be noted that in wet weather the water from this unseen stream backs up and floods the passages at the base of the pitch.
In conclusion, although it has not been proved with a dye trace, the stream in this cave may indeed be the continuation of that last seen at the end of Ogof Cull. By this point, being some distance south down the shallow valley this stream may have also picked additional feeders, from say Twll Trosol. It also seems amazing that the diggers selected the right shakehole to intercept the stream, considering that there are so many in the area.
Small cave in Nant y Moch (Stream of the Pigs) valley
This cave is situated a short walk downstream from the entrance to Ogof Triachwech, in the south bank of a small gorge just below a picturesque waterfall. It is at this waterfall that a major north-south fault brings a walker passing down the valley back onto the limestone, after being briefly on the Old Red Sandstone.
If my memory serves me well, the cave consisted of a short section of tight passage. I believe a small stream resurged from the entrance which was not entirely obvious as it involved squeezing under a large block to gain the passage beyond.
It was in this cave that my digging friend Toby Stewart conducted one of his last digs before his untimely death in 2004 and also where I first bumped into Nig Rogers!
It should be noted that the major fault mentioned above is the very same one that passes through Ogof Igam-Ogam. I would be quite surprised but would love to hope that the two were connected!
References : Pelobates No.80 p10; Limestone and Caves of Wales, Sketch map of Pant Mawr and Afon Nedd Fchan p166
Ogof Hebog 1
Grid reference SN 896 158
The passage descriptions for this cave are as given in Pelobates 54 on the Croydon C.C website but please note that for some reason the passage dimensions seem to have been in given incorrectly. For example, the climb into the main chamber is described as only being 5 1/2 inches high! A lot of the passage sizes are also wrong for Hebog 2.
Since the original exploration back in the 80s, work in the cave has centred on attempts by Tony Donavan and friends to pass the draughting, but dangerously loose, choke which goes off on the northern side of the main chamber.
This is the choke which Clive Jones of SWCC told me would have been a “strawberry jam job” when it suddenly collapsed after me and Paul Stacey had been digging it; fortunately it did this after we had left the cave!
Subsequent work here has shown that the choke is just as unstable but the scaffolding installed has managed to prevent the digger below from being squashed. This choke is running under the spacious Dalmatian Chamber which is gained by a rope climb from the above main chamber. The diggers know this as their work has produced a subsidence pit in the floor of Dalmatian Chamber This chamber is interesting in that it appears to represent the truncated remnant of a spacious north-south passage.
Unfortunately, however, it appears that to this point in time the cave has done quite a good job at repelling attempts to find ways on.