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Cwmystwyth Lefel Fawr: condition of 'fixed' ropes up Incline
Back around the late Ordovician I was part of an ex-Aberystwyth CC sub-group that installed 'temporary' 'fixed' ropes going up the Incline to facilitate fresher trips to the 'Roman' Level, Graig Fawr Stopes, etc. Over time 'temporary' transmuted to 'written-off' and the ropes were left in place indefinitely.
Fast forward to slightly more recent geological epochs and I observed that the ropes had received a degree of maintenance and replacement.
It's been <cough> a few years < cough> since I was last in Lefel Fawr but have promised to show a friend the key parts. Are there still 'fixed' ropes going up the incline and what condition are they?
Many thanks for any / all information!
Graigfawr from the old AN forum, back after a period of hibernation - my sincere thanks to Pegasus and UKC for hosting this board! Also thanks to Roy for modding! (Hi, Roy!)
The ropes are quite recent and installed by a caving club with permission. However, be aware of the loose condition of the workings above, there should be a notice about this in place there.
The safety line on the main ladderway is likewise recent, but same comments about loose material apply here as well.
The main mines in that area, of Cwmystwyth, Frongoch, Henfwlch, and Talybont, are regularly maintained, but obviously explorers should make their own risk assessments as we all know conditions can change rapidly underground.
The ropes were in fairly good condition pre-pandemic. Most re-belay points are into existing superstructure, so definitely worth checking on every visit.
Be aware that the short fixed wooden ladder at the top of the incline has collapsed, but the ropes continue above to a point of safety.
As ever loose rock is present in many places with a risk of kicking down on those below.
Thanks for informative replies! - and special thanks for heads-up concerning collapse of the short ladder from the winding engine platform up into the stope above.
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