Author Topic: Agen Allwedd in the snow - 16th January 2013  (Read 892 times)

Offline dave_the_cave

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Agen Allwedd in the snow - 16th January 2013
« on: January 21, 2013, 10:46:06 pm »
who: Dave G, Tim T, Jennie L
where:L Ogof Agen Allwedd, llangattock
when: 16th January 2013

Agen Allwedd in the snow

This was my first caving trip of the year (too many quarry trips capturing graffiti makes you soft) and tuesday afternoon it looked as if it was all going pear shaped. Snow had fallen on south wales and everyone was suspicious of the steep small lanes up to from llangattock. Even the sensible suggestion that we drive along the top road from Brynmawr to get to whitewalls was viewed as a recipe of ending up in a ditch.
So I suggested that we used a route that some members of Brynmawr caving club used years ago and walk to Agen Allwedd directly from the Beaufort road - here on streetmap This managed to persuade Jennie and Tim but the others jumped ship and drank hot chocolate back in bristol. So instead of risking our cars we decided on a night walk up a mountain. Actually Tim agreed because he fancied the walk - he had just spent the weekend walking in the breacons just to the north. I hurriedly marked the waypoints on my first generation gps (no lush screen and maps) by taking the coordinates from streetmap. Tim eschewed all such navigational aids other than the streetmap map from the road.

The route goes from the cattle grid just outside llangattock on the beaufort road.
As we approached the cattle grid the snow appeared (it was much lower than at the weekend) about the 250m contour and we were going to walk up to the cave on the 350m contour.

Following the path was easy enough as there is a boundary wall and there was a nice trail of footprints. We had a little navigational
wobble along the 300m contour (I had not marked the cave entrance) but Jennie insisted that we continue up and eventually we reached the old tramway and then backtracked to the cave entrance.

The GPS traces of our walk to and from the cave entrance (kml available if anyone wants it)

The walk up was easy but we now knew the path down was steep and about a foot wide in places. We had brought walkers sticks and on the way down I was deeming them essential (but jennie did without). The descent back down the mountain was definitely the biggest adventure of our trip.

When we reached the entrance there was a fantastic icicle

Our plan was to head some way down the main streamway in the direction of the second boulder choke.  Our summit was at a little interesting side passage in an ox-bow off the streamway. There was a tempting looking climb that we could not see the end to but we timed out and must save this for a later visit.

Here is Tim in the wet crawl just beyond the entrance
Tim in the wet crawl - hardly any water

Tim and Jennie in main passage

Tim and Jennie in the snow

Tim and Jennie in the snow after our descent

The criag-y-cilau nature reserve sign just before the road

Great little trip - we were at the cave entrance for 21:50 and the walk up in the snow took 30 minutes. Our little trip paled into insignifance next  in the log book to a wessex cc trip from 00:15 to 21:50 on the monday! What were they doing at priory road for so long?