Poachers Cave (Ogof Hen Ffynnonau)
Thursday, 20 January 2011

A quick after-work trip to this North Wales “Novice Classic” – only an hours drive from Manchester.
We both expected this to be a short 20min trip, but were pleasantly surprised by the extent and interesting nature of this cave, which invloves a bit of muddy crawling, a surprisingly large streamway, an interesting area in the the “lower series” consisting of a series of small phreatic tubes in a bit of a vertical maze (the entire stream is rejoined breifly where it comes roaring out of a narrow tube and down a cascade into another slot, making for quite a spectacular and moist situation – impassible without lifeline / wetsuit combo on this occasion), and plenty of short tight side passages and inlets.
Hydrologically interesting, there were at least 4 sumps in the parts we saw – possibly more beyond that lower cascade?

An embarassing situation was narrowly avoided upon exiting, with some rather un-graceful climbing tactics in the entrance where the written guide failed to mention that a 5m ladder may be required.
I think we spent a couple of hours in here and were back in Manchester by 10pm – worthwhile as an evening or Sunday trip if in the area. Definately one to avoid in the wet though.