Ogof Draenen round trip


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Cavers: James Waite, Thomas Jackson, Emma Caspers.
Time: 6hours 30mins

After much studying of the draenen description we decided to attempt the round trip. With much trepidation after reading accounts of ladders missing rungs and boulder chokes being very tight, we set off to try and make it.

A few attempts with the key and we made it in . The entrance series was fairly straightforward even though it was our first time in the cave. Cairn junction was reached (we were the only people in the trip log, through quick updating or lack of visitors?) and then tea Junction via the wonderbra bypass. We then began the boulder hopping towards lamb and fox chamber. This went without hitch and then we climbed the stairs and started the run down Indiana highway. Found out that it was well worth bringing cowstails as we went over the last crusade. A short detour down the wrong path and then we were swiftly onto megadrive. Boulder hopping completed and we got into perseverance II . found the ladder in good condition with no rungs missing(02/03/23). Then the impressive players tunnel and the very impressive saint David's hall.

We then started trying to route find through squirrel rifts. Tarquins descriptions made it very easy until we appeared at the top of a pitch/freeclimble climb. Made short work of it with a few sling belts, munter hitch, a HMS, and a fireman's belay. Then we began route finding through far agent blorenge. A trip down a rift ended in a decision that it was too tight and wasn't the way. After a brief read back in some large passage we realized we had been in the right place. Just at the wrong height and we continued on towards the sewer. This was fairly shallow so we pressed on. The climbs to sewer II had intact Insitu ropes (as of 02/03/23) although the second one down had some interesting knots and frayed ends. Sewer II was unpleased, although not as bad as the ducks that we had imagined. No ceiling sucking required. And soon we had made it to the confluence.

The streamway was some nice easy going in comparison to blorenge . And we soon found the boulder chokes. Perhaps we were all skinny but we found no tight sections in any of the boulder chokes ( I am 6"3 and not that small) .Only a slightly awkward Wriggle in the upstream one. We made quick progress and soon made it to tea Junction and then began the process of finding the way out. Slightly damper we appeared into light out of the gate, only 6hours 30 mins after we had entered.

In all it was a great trip with lots of variety.


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until we appeared at the top of a pitch/freeclimble climb. Made short work of it with a few sling belts, munter hitch, a HMS, and a fireman's belay.

Yeah, it's described as free climbable with a handline for novices or some such. I regard myself as fairly competent underground climber, and I wasn't free climbing that! It's a great trip.


Well-known member
The climb (pitch!) with the rope is not the usual way to descend into Haggis Basher from the end of Squirrel Rifts. The usual way is to descend two consecutive 4m climbs, to a narrow crawl, which then pops out of the side wall of Haggis Basher. It is a complicated area!


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I don't have photos of the double climb down but this is the end of the narrow crawl, as it pops out into Haggis Basher No.1.