Trip reports 2009

Symonds Yat-July 2009|…….by Twiglet
At last, after several aborted attempts a turnout of 6 ACG cavers from as far as Devon congregate in the Wye valley for a trundle around the caves of Symonds Yat east (the Gloucestershire side). We climbed the fence below the log cabin cafe to find a well trodden if narrow climbers path, below the the cliff. After traversing up and down for 20 sweaty minutes, passing landmarks such as "the archway" & "the pipe", we arrived at the first entrance into the C10 complex. Mostly consisting of low crawls & boulder chambers, through trips between 3 entrances are possible although the overhanging 3 metre drop was not attempted ! Passing "The pinnacle", we next tried out the delights of SYC 14, or Doughnut cave (you crawl around in a circle). The highly photogenic entrance was apparently the site of a hoax Lascaux type prehistoric painting about 20 years ago. The walls of this cave are highly sculpted, but it has been many thousands of years since any water flowed from these caves as they are about 100ft above the present river level. Further along the ledge path, we came to C3 or Wye Rapids Cave, the longest of the Yat caves at 200 metres. A roomy boulder chamber has a stooping size passage at the back which appears to be a dead end. A glance left however revealed an awkward Z bend wiggle which was very awkward for the tall Twiglet. As the others were more sensible and returned to the entrance chamber, I decided not to follow the tantalising draught too far. Children or short skinny people would have a fun time exploring further here ! Our final call was at C2 or Clay Cave, a large pile of fallen boulders hides the entrance to this sporty little Goatchurch lookalike. At one point, the celing was highly polished as if wildlife had regularly entered and wandered about. The passage on the left descended steeply to a low committing squeeze which only Twiglet pushed to more roomy passage beyond, but alas, the decorated rift connecting with C3 was not found. It is quite scary being alone beyond a constriction which your mates have refused, knowing that a fall, or light failure would mean serious trouble ! Once again, a return with small people would be highly reccomended. Even the subsequent downpour failed to cancel our picnic under the trees. Thanks to Geoff, Roger, Mike , John & Colin for making this trip a fun day, and to Steve for setting this page up for me !

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