Ogof Llyn Parc (Pool Parc)
Saturday, 15 October 2011
A trip organised by Christine with the North Wales Caving Club to Ogof Llyn Parc [or Pool Parc as its also known]. Its somewhere I’ve wanted to go for a number of years since Ben went, so I leapt at the chance of a trip. The NWCC planned to run 8 winch trips a year but have only ran 5 so far this year.
The entrance is via Pool Parc shaft on the top of Esclusham Mountain just next to the Minera to Word’s End road nr Wrexham.
Most people including myself stopped over at the Old School at Pentredwr, but I’m still not convinced folks don’t think I’m not the caretaker of the hall, as being a newcomer no-one actually recognised me initially when I walked in on a pumpkin lit evening meal.
Saturday morning saw us drive in convoy up to the entrance and meet the NWCC to help set up the scaffolding frame and winch. As the entrance shaft is loose in places and is 100m deep the club winches cavers down to the main level and then also out again. As a result a lot of effort is required to run trips and we must thank club members for being happy to run these trips.
We split in to 3 groups with 2 doing the main round trip and 1 heading off to look at a dig site that the club were looking at, with NWCC members acting as guides.
After heading off down the level you initially land on, a short crawl leads to the top of a series of winzes with fixes ladders in down to a wet level. This then runs in to the natural cave system at a streamway. There is a large boulder choke to crawl through, which is at the base of the entrance shaft and which was dug out by the NWCC when the cave was re-entered in the 80’s. The streamway emerges from the Quarry – a huge passage of large amounts of breakdown and runs through Miners? River Passage which is a phreatic tube 3 m high and 7 m wide.
Heading downstream you soon loose the stream and climb up in to a series of phreatic passages which dominate the rest of the system. A left turn at the main junction of B Block saw us heading off round the first part of the round trip. Eventually after a couple of wrong turns we broke out in to ‘Chamber’ Chamber – imaginatively named ! The far end of the cave [Master passage] is a phr tube which rises considerably and becomes more and more choked with gravel until a final chamber blocked with silt prevents further access. Then end is felt not to be far from the nearest Cave / Mine – Parc Western where further large phreatic chambers can be explored.
Heading back round the round trip up North East Passage consists of more low crawling through phreatic passages before breaking out in to the streamway. This is followed eventually back to a main junction B Block near the entrance.
We had a quick look up in the Quarry and I can only advise the name is very apt, before heading back out to the bottom of the entrance shaft.
As we’d timed it very well there was just time for a hot chocolate and a biscuit kindly brought by Christine before being whisked back to the surface and the gorgeous Welsh sunshine – and I do mean sunshine not driving rain – Honest!
The winching in and out can take up to 2 hours in and out so it was a relief to be able to stand in the sun rather than shiver in the rain.