Archived News 2007
Ogof Clogwyn - 24th November 2007
CCW have now installed three fixed anchor points to aid the fixing of a traverse line down the slope to the cave entrance, these anchor points are permanently fixed stainless steel rings that can be clipped into with multiple karabiners. In addition to these new anchors there is also a set of steps leading onto a timber gathering point, this should slow down the significant erosion that was taking place at this point.
Craig a Ffynnon Access - 4th November 2007
This weekend 4th November 2007, access control for Ogof Craig-a-Ffynnon transferred to MLCMAC. Therefore the access arrangements for Craig-a-Ffynnon are the same as for Agen Allwedd (i.e. apply in writing to Lynne Bailey with £10 deposit and SAE).
Cwmorthin slate mine. - 19th August 2007
Members of www.darkplaces.co.uk and www.mine-explorer.co.uk have negociated access with the landowner of the Cwmorthin slate mine. We have installed a gate on the lake level adit as requested. Initally we had to have individual BCA insurance but we have managed to arrange site BCA insurance and the landowner is happy with this, so while insurance is recommended individuals don't need to be insured to enter the slate mine. The gate exists to keep out the bikers and casual walkers entering the mine unprepared. A combination padlock changed on an iregular basis, 3 people act as access officers *named individuals who can provide the key combination. We repaired the entrance and after installing the gate put a sign saying how to gain access. A website was created. The project has been totally funded by mine explorers donating to a paypal account. http://www.cwmorthin.co.uk/
Dan-yr-Ogof Access requests. - 9th May 2007
All requests for access into Dan-yr-Ogof should now be submitted to:-
13, Charlock Road
Tel 0116 2761976 or
PROBLEMS WITH ECO-HANGERS (P-BOLTS) ON MENDIP - 8th April 2007
Many CSCC Members will, by now, be aware that there was an incident in Rhino Rift on 25 March (reported the following day) whereby a sizeable piece of resin motar came away from one of the Y-hang anchors on the first pitch whilst a caver was on rope. Fortunately the caver was unharmed, and the anchor remained in place.
At the request of the Charterhouse Caving Company the CSCC immediately launched an investigation. In this they have had the full support of the BCA Equipment & Techniques Committee.
The anchor in question was subjected to an approved load test (6 kN axial pull which must be sustained for 15 seconds) and it failed. This was highly significant, because it was the first known failure of an eco-anchor placed under the NCA (now BCA) national bolt placement scheme. The ramifications are wide-ranging and will impact cavers acrosss the country. It is consequently essential that the ensuing investigation is both thorough and taken seriously.
The intitial investigations have generated some 'working hypotheses' as to the mode of failure of the anchor. By correlating these with the CSCC anchor installation records it became apparent that there were several other sites on Mendip where the anchors might also give cause for concern. These sites are: Hunters Hole, the Cowsh Avens in Swildons, the Ladder Dig Extension in GB Cave, and Split Rock Quarry. All these sites will need to be tested. Other Mendip caves with eco-anchors will also be tested for comparison. There is thus a lot of work to do in the coming months.
At the time of writing Hunters Hole has been tested. Of the 21 installed anchors, the location of 5 prevented the mechanical pull tester from being applied. Of the remaining 16 anchors, 8 passed the test (though the resin on 2 of these cracked), and 8 failed. The failed anchors have been tagged and notices have been placed in the cave. Roger Dors has been informed. Until remedial work can be undertaken it would be best if cavers do not visit Hunters Hole. Please check with Roger before descending.
To discourage through trips into Swildons 4 from using the untested eco-anchors in Cowsh Avens, the CSCC has today changed the lock and put a notice on Priddy Green Sink. If you really, really, want to do PGS then you will need to get the new key from either Alison Moody or Brian Prewer (Wessex CC). Until further notice cavers should also refrain from climbing Cowsh Avens from the Swildons 4 streamway and then using the untested eco-hangers to return.
The CCC will be placing their own controls on GB Cave.
Until further notice the CSCC advises against the use of any eco-hangers in Split Rock Quarry.
For a number of reasons it will probably be some months before the failed anchors can be replaced.
The CSCC understands the rustration that this will cause cavers and asks for their understanding.
The CSCC is also aware that some will view our actions/recommendations as an 'over-the-top'
reaction. All we can say in response is that we are acting on the best collective advice at our
disposal. Cavers should also be wary of ill-informed speculation and gossip as to the possible causes of the anchor problems. At present only a very small group of people are in possesion of ALL the facts.
Further information will be disseminated through this email list, the CSCC website (though please note, the webmaster is in Matienzo for another week!), and the BCA website.
GCRG Depot - 30th March 2007
After several recent instances of damage at the GCRG Depot, the Committee have taken the decision to install a CCTV system with 24hr recording. We will not be registering with the Data Protection Registrar at present as there will be no filming of public areas.
Please be aware that you will be 'on camera' when visiting the Depot in the future.
Daren Drums - 29th March 2007
An order for Daren Drums is about to be placed with the manufacturers. All sizes are available. If you wish to purchase any individually, please contact Nicky Bayley, firstname.lastname@example.org to place your order and get details of prices etc.
Rhino Rift - 28th March 2007
The message below was issued by the Charterhouse Caving Company at 13:30 today, March 28.
The background to the decision is that last weekend a caver experienced an
alarming incident whilst rigging the first pitch; some of the resin mortar
fixing one of the P-bolts came away in a chunk. The individual involved was
unharmed, and the bolt is still in place. However, it failed a subsequent
load test. A crack in the resin affixing one of the other bolts was also
reported. These bolts were last tested on January 15 and passed.
Funds Available from CCC - 25th March 2007
Cambrian Caving Council has money to spend on funding projects that are of benefit to all cavers in the region and develop the sport of caving. If you have a project/idea that would benefit from an injection of cash get in touch and it will be discussed by the committee and hopefully we can give you some money! For more details
Pwll Dwfn - 3rd March 2007
It has been reported that the boulder at the entrance to Pwll Dwfn is a bit loose. Care should be taken when passing this boulder. Hopefully this boulder will either be secured or removed quite soon.
Vertical Skills Workshop - 26th/27th May 2007
Cambrian Caving Council will be holding a vertical skills workshop dealing with ladder and lifeline, intro to SRT, intro to SRT rigging and SRT rescue practice.
Workshops will be surface based at Llangorse or Trewern OEC depending on the weather and held on Saturday 26th May and Sunday 27th May with possibilities of underground sessions on the Sunday depending on numbers etc.
The workshops will be run by CIC's or aspirant CIC's.
Cost will be £10/head to cover expenses.
To book places, or for further information, people should contact the Training Officer, Richard Hill, asap on 07876193745 or