UK Caving

WHERE THE CAVES ARE - The Caving Regions => Wales => Topic started by: Alkapton on June 05, 2013, 10:39:18 am

Title: WARNING - Craig A Ffynnon
Post by: Alkapton on June 05, 2013, 10:39:18 am
A warning has been issued that people should avoid this cave for the time being.

Several rock falls have occurred at or near the entrance.   The entrance is now in a very unstable state.   Until remedial action has been taken you are requested not to visit this cave.
Title: Re: WARNING - Craig A Ffynnon
Post by: NigR on June 05, 2013, 09:02:54 pm
Alkapton,

Have you seen this firsthand?

Any idea when the collapse(s) occurred?
Title: Re: WARNING - Craig A Ffynnon
Post by: Alkapton on June 05, 2013, 09:23:32 pm
Cwmbran CC, and I guess all key holders, received a notice from the management committee sometime in the last couple of weeks - no idea when collapse(s) occurred.  Just I think it good idea to let others know.
Title: Re: WARNING - Craig A Ffynnon
Post by: Huge on June 05, 2013, 10:34:18 pm
I blame those bloody unicyclists!

Seriously, first Daren and now Craig A Ffynnon. Have there been any earth tremors in the area recently?
Title: Re: WARNING - Craig A Ffynnon
Post by: bagpuss on June 06, 2013, 12:11:26 am
I blame those bloody unicyclists!

Seriously, first Daren and now Craig A Ffynnon. Have there been any earth tremors in the area recently?

I'm no geologist, but is it not just due to the volume of heavy rain we had over the winter and the length of the big freeze/thaw? Looking at places we have walked in Wales lately, and other cliff/quarry areas there have been a fair few rock falls of late.
Title: Re: WARNING - Craig A Ffynnon
Post by: Duncan Price on June 06, 2013, 09:30:43 am
Have there been any earth tremors in the area recently?

http://www.earthquakes.bgs.ac.uk/earthquakes/recent_uk_events.html (http://www.earthquakes.bgs.ac.uk/earthquakes/recent_uk_events.html)

I blame the gas companies myself.
Title: Re: WARNING - Craig A Ffynnon
Post by: TheBitterEnd on June 06, 2013, 09:46:48 am
I blame those bloody unicyclists!

Seriously, first Daren and now Craig A Ffynnon. Have there been any earth tremors in the area recently?

I'm no geologist, but is it not just due to the volume of heavy rain we had over the winter and the length of the big freeze/thaw? Looking at places we have walked in Wales lately, and other cliff/quarry areas there have been a fair few rock falls of late.

Nah! it's bound to be those fracking unicyclists
Title: Re: WARNING - Craig A Ffynnon
Post by: paul on June 06, 2013, 12:07:28 pm
Global Moderator Comment This is a useful and serious post. Please keep on topic.
Title: Re: WARNING - Craig A Ffynnon
Post by: shortscotsman on June 07, 2013, 09:29:34 am
The advice on the MLCMAC website is

There has recently been a rock fall just outside the cave entrance. The cliff face is very unstable and there have been a number of rock falls here in the past. There is now a very large block that appears in danger of falling. Although access to the cave is available as usual, the advice from MLCMAC and NRW is that it would be better to avoid visiting the cave until the situation is resolved.

Title: Re: WARNING - Craig A Ffynnon
Post by: LizW1985 on July 16, 2013, 10:03:28 pm
Anyone know if the situation with the cliff has changed?
Title: Re: WARNING - Craig A Ffynnon
Post by: Alkapton on July 17, 2013, 10:45:57 pm
I had a look 2 weeks ago.  A lot of small stuff has fallen recently but there is a lot of big stuff that could come down anytime - like everything above the gate wants to be below the gate.

Personally - in this weather I'd be happy going in.  I won't because if it all comes down while I'm in the cave I will inevitably be putting others in danger.

No nothing has changed.  The entrance this side of the gate is highly unstable.  Its hard to see how it could be made safe.
Title: Re: WARNING - Craig A Ffynnon
Post by: LizW1985 on July 17, 2013, 11:54:48 pm
Maybe I'll give it a miss then.  Thanks for the info.
Title: Re: WARNING - Craig A Ffynnon
Post by: Alkapton on July 18, 2013, 12:42:12 am
Just out of interest, while I looked at the entrance I picked up an obviously freshly fallen fragment about the size of a fist, very freshly broken, clean sharp faces.   It interested me because on at least one face one could see alternating layers of what seems to me to be a couple of millimeters (at most) limestone then a millimeter thick of mudstone repeating for all of that face.   I do not know how typical that fragment is (probably not very typical) but it suggests there is a very unstable fault above the entrance that is the cause of the problem.

I do not know enough to make any proper comment, but wish I did.
Title: Re: WARNING - Craig A Ffynnon
Post by: Alex on August 22, 2013, 01:11:49 pm
Would not the best solution be to dislodge all the loose stuff and then dig it away from the entrance? Or is the idea waiting for the winter faw/freeze cycle to do that for us?
Title: Re: WARNING - Craig A Ffynnon
Post by: LizW1985 on August 22, 2013, 02:45:22 pm
Went in for a trip the other night,  yea if someone brought down whats left of the over hang above the entrance then I expect it could be cleared.  Did the nw inlet trip to the railway dig there was also a small collapse on the right a little way along the rail tracks, there was a few lose boulders above the collapse hanging by mud didn't look very safe, but im no expert.
Title: Re: WARNING - Craig A Ffynnon
Post by: hell little caver on May 05, 2014, 08:09:27 pm
Is it open? Hopefully going this week?

Thanks
Hellie
Title: Re: WARNING - Craig A Ffynnon
Post by: NigR on May 05, 2014, 09:51:44 pm
Hellie,

Cave is open, it was never closed.

Notice on MLCMAC website is advisory in nature and still applies.

As with any cave entrance situated in a potentially dangerous position (i.e. partway up a disused quarry face), check for any recent signs of rock movement before you go down.

Could do with some fresh pencils to fill in the logbook when you go. Either take your own or contact Stuart France and he should be able to provide you with some.

Hope this helps.
Title: Re: WARNING - Craig A Ffynnon
Post by: Alex on May 05, 2014, 10:46:42 pm
So we could have gone down today, oh well.
Title: Re: WARNING - Craig A Ffynnon
Post by: Pyro on October 23, 2014, 04:54:51 pm
Has any support work been done on the loose rocks now or is it still a case of being very careful? Planning a trip in about a month if the weather is ok!

Ta
Title: Re: WARNING - Craig A Ffynnon
Post by: John S on October 23, 2014, 05:09:26 pm
No actual work has been done as it seems that if you start, you may have to take a large part of the hillside down and where would you stop. We have kept an eye on it and the entrance arch, does not seem to have had anymore stuff come down. On the outside, the hill side has shed a few more rocks, so that area needs to be caution.
The lock did get stiff but has now been oiled and is OK.
Still don't hang around outside is the key advise.

The recent wet weather brought a tree down and a bit of a land slip in the Clydach Gorge, but I have not heard anything moving near Ogof Craig Ar Ffynnon.
Title: Re: WARNING - Craig A Ffynnon
Post by: Pyro on October 23, 2014, 06:28:17 pm
Thanks John!
Title: Re: WARNING - Craig A Ffynnon
Post by: Minion on November 25, 2019, 11:34:58 am
On a recent visit to the cave, we found significant rockfall had come down in front of the gate.

All rubble was moved down to the footpath before we could enter the cave.

More looks to be poised to come down, take care when entering or exiting the cave.

Title: Re: WARNING - Craig A Ffynnon
Post by: mrodoc on October 29, 2021, 11:33:46 am
Apart from taking a careful look around the entrance,  who is familiar with the flooding risk in OCAF. We are planning a trip this Sunday and the current forecast for the area is for light showers Sat and Sun. However the ground must be saturated at present so I wonder how real the risk of 'light showers' flooding the low bit at the start of Gasoline Alley?  Strangely enough the highest water levels I have ever seen was when the start of GA was a duck was my first trip in there with John Parker and Anne Franklin way back in January 1978 and I noted then that the cave was wet with water pouring through the first choke.
Title: Re: WARNING - Craig A Ffynnon
Post by: Huge on October 29, 2021, 03:55:47 pm
Funnily enough, as I was just reading this, a weather warning notification for heavy rain popped up on my phone! The BBC forecast (which generally seems to be a bit more accurate than the Met Office one!) is giving heavy rain for Sunday morning.

I think the general belief is that the place floods several hours (around 8?) after heavy rain, with a second pulse coming through a couple of hours after the first.

I kept a close eye on the forecast (and what was actually happening) before our trip in there on Wednesday evening and it was fine, despite there having been prolonged periods of light rain. I wouldn't have gone in there last night though!!
Title: Re: WARNING - Craig A Ffynnon
Post by: mrodoc on October 29, 2021, 04:15:23 pm
That helps as it gives one an idea as to whether to worry if it's raining heavily on entry. Looks as though if it is dry that we would be OK as the trip would only be about 6 hours.
Title: Re: WARNING - Craig A Ffynnon
Post by: Huge on October 29, 2021, 06:42:32 pm
Given the current forecast, personally I'd give the place a miss!
Title: Re: WARNING - Craig A Ffynnon
Post by: The Old Ruminator on October 30, 2021, 02:38:40 pm
Yellow warning of rain

Starts: 00:00 BST on Sun 31 October

Ends: 15:00 GMT on Sun 31 October

A short period of heavy rainfall may bring some localised flooding and transport disruption.

- Flooding of a few homes and businesses is likely
- Bus and train services probably affected with journey times taking longer
- Spray and flooding on roads probably making journey times longer

Issued at: 10:50 BST on Fri 29 October for Brynmawr.

I have suggested to Mr. O'Doc that we go elsewhere.
Title: Re: WARNING - Craig A Ffynnon
Post by: pwhole on October 30, 2021, 02:42:13 pm
It's a shame they can't just add 'most caves will definitely flood' in those warnings for areas like this - would save a whole lot of bother :)
Title: Re: WARNING - Craig A Ffynnon
Post by: mrodoc on October 30, 2021, 03:50:23 pm
The forecast may change of course. bit irritating as OCAF is one of those caves with only one floodable section rather like DYO
Title: Re: WARNING - Craig A Ffynnon
Post by: Huge on October 30, 2021, 05:40:22 pm
If you do go into the cave (not recommended) watch out for the ... BIG BAT!

On our way out in Wednesday night, we sat down for a couple of minutes at the inner side of the 2nd Choke. When we were ready, I turned around and the biggest, fattest bat I've ever seen was flying straight towards my face! Embarrassingly, I let out a little surprised squeal and the bat turned around and flew back into the choke. It came back a minute later, turned again and disappeared into the choke, not to be seen again.

I can't really tell one bat from another but I'm assuming it was a very well fed Greater Horseshoe? Big, round, brown and hairy!
Title: Re: WARNING - Craig A Ffynnon
Post by: mikem on October 30, 2021, 06:36:16 pm
The forecast may change of course. bit irritating as OCAF is one of those caves with only one floodable section rather like DYO
The way in / out...

Greater horseshoes have golden brown fur. I've also seen serotines underground, which are quite large!
Title: Re: WARNING - Craig A Ffynnon
Post by: mrodoc on November 01, 2021, 11:19:57 am
Perhaps the bat had a Halloween costume on to bulk it out ;) . Well we didn't go to Craig y Fynnon but Ogof Cnwc instead for a wander down some of Busman's Holiday. The entrance series was trifle damp but more spacious than I remembered - and shorter. I think it has been engineered since my last visit.
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