A Quest for Adventure: Daren Cilau, Jason and the Argosnorts
Saturday, 21 January 2017

This is the epic tale of the ULSA hero Jason and his faithful Argosnorts, who were bestowed with the great task of doing a caving trip and not fucking up, and to return with great tales of the faraway land known as the Llangattock escarpment. This fearsome landscape had previously been the scene of the great Battle of Aggy, where the ULSA party fought with their own incompetence to exit the cave, and ultimately proved victorious with the assistance of the fearsome SMWCRT division.

The team set off at the respectable time of 11am for the feared treacherous passages of Daren Cilau, after a slightly slow start due to being a grump, the great steel (not Trojan) horse of the Argo (Zafira) arrived in record time (dropping gears and disappearing), having been expertly maintained and cleaned by the middle aged owners previously. Changing was rapid due to the chilly exterior and shit talking was in full swing. All participants were all shrivelling up inside and Jason suggested they should drink some eggs to hydrate. The entrance was reached easily after some group photography by Richard. Let battle commence!

The entrance crawl was a rather poor showing, with Charlie failing to drop any gears or disappear, and Jason displaying his usual prang-addled nature. Soon all seven telephone boxes were passed and the team were passed The Wriggle and on our way to ‘Big Chamber Nowhere Near the Entrance’, where the logbook was updated with the progress thus far (DAGAD). The odyssey wobbled off once more, with Charlie shivering profusely in his thermals and non wetsocks, to the Epocalypse Now passage and the Urchin Oxbow, where some spectacular formations were seen, giving the quest some materialistic as well as holistic value.

By this time, muddling through with no survey and a sub-par description, the team were in Antler Passage, which is on the through trip to Price’s Dig. This route had been undertaken during the previous campaign by Charlie and Jamie M, whose memories of that time were hazy, but a turn-back time was established and the game was on. Would they emerge victorious from the arguably more pleasant entrance having completed one of the most satisfying shorter trips South Wales caving has to offer? Hope was provided by the optimistic dream of catching up with a division from OUCC, featuring their sexy and glorious leader Jack John Williams, who would be heading out of that entrance later as well and, being southern, probably knew the way.

Further progress and upping and downing of ladders later a vital stage in the campaign took shape, as Connor, at the front of the group, saw the lights of the Oxford division. Success! Tottering on further a chamber was reached, which after some faff was breached by Jamie M to find a large continuation. This was followed for longer than remembered until the flashing ‘exit’ sign indicated that the troops had done the unthinkable: they had unlocked the secrets of Daren Cilau via two different entrances with pretty much no mishap at all! (Ironically for South Wales unlocking the secrets of this particular system required no actual key).

Out and shivering, shrivelling up from inside out, a swift getaway was made to Whitewalls, where reports of a further battle that day involving the ‘sexy crew’ in ‘Eggless Fen’ were not promising. After a drink, the quest was curtailed and the long voyage back to the great port of SWCC was begun. Jason and the Argosnorts returned to a hero’s welcome of ‘oh, not dead then? Don’t get your hopes up, there’s a group yet to come back from OFD.’ A fine quest!