Author Topic: Ogof Cynnes - Broken Ladder  (Read 1198 times)

Offline Huge

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Ogof Cynnes - Broken Ladder
« on: October 29, 2018, 10:31:28 am »
Treat all fixed aids in this cave with suspicion. Some no doubt date back to the original exploration in the late sixties.

One side of the chain ladder on the Second Pot has now broken. Below is a photo of the ladder, which I believe was taken a couple of years ago, before the breakage. There is also a short section of this ladder on the Muddy Slot.

The bolts, hangers etc. at the pitch head are probably also very old and and must also be suspect. Given the tight nature of the tube leading to the pitch and the lack of sound belays at the pitch head, it's a tricky place to rig in a satisfactory way. Perhaps all the old tat needs removing and a couple of decent resin anchors fitted. The alternative via Talk Back is very tight and a slip down into the even tighter part will seriously compromise the ability to breath!

All handlines and metal bars throughout the rest of the cave should also be treated with caution. Given the tight and awkward nature of parts of the cave, particularly in the entrance series, rescue would, no doubt, be a difficult proposition.


Offline ogofmole

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Re: Ogof Cynnes - Broken Ladder
« Reply #1 on: October 29, 2018, 05:34:44 pm »
That is the only excuss I need not to go in.

Offline mudman

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Re: Ogof Cynnes - Broken Ladder
« Reply #2 on: October 30, 2018, 10:00:30 am »
Been there once. I don't need an excuse to avoid a return visit.  :yucky:

Offline Trig Gledhill

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Re: Ogof Cynnes - Broken Ladder
« Reply #3 on: October 30, 2018, 12:32:15 pm »


The alternative via Talk Back is very tight and a slip down into the even tighter part will seriously compromise the ability to breath!





I can second this

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Offline Huge

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Re: Ogof Cynnes - Broken Ladder
« Reply #4 on: October 31, 2018, 12:31:46 pm »
I've updated the description on the wiki (remember that?) with some warnings and revisions to various parts.

Not that it's a very popular trip, as can be gathered from the posts above!  :)

Might be of interest to some that there were lots of bats, although none in the area where the bat signs are! We visited most areas of the cave and there was bat s..t covering the floor literally everywhere. That it hasn't been worn away probably goes to show how little the cave is visited.

Offline Stuart France

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Re: Ogof Cynnes - Broken Ladder
« Reply #5 on: October 31, 2018, 10:18:52 pm »
It is visited a lot by bats and an important roost.  Bat counts are carried out, in the past annually, under the aegis of NRW.

As well as being very muddy it is a long walk from the nearest road, and not easy to find or get back to your car from, especially in fog.


Offline Huge

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Re: Ogof Cynnes - Broken Ladder
« Reply #6 on: November 01, 2018, 07:29:28 am »
Cynnes is well known as a bat roost of course. We didn't keep a total of how many we saw and I'm afraid I can't recognise different species. There were bats dotted about here and there through the cave and bat s..t everywhere. The greatest concentration of bats was actually in the short entrance passage, where there were half a dozen or more.

Offline Trig Gledhill

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Re: Ogof Cynnes - Broken Ladder
« Reply #7 on: November 01, 2018, 07:39:14 am »
There was quite few in the chamber in Easter Series I was sat in whilst you guys went to Glimpse into Hell.

Easily 6.

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Offline Stuart France

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Re: Ogof Cynnes - Broken Ladder
« Reply #8 on: November 01, 2018, 06:36:30 pm »
The recent cold snap will have started to persuade the bats that autumn really is turning to winter, and so they head into cave hibernation roosts.  Once the outside temperature is well below 10C there are no flying insects to eat any more, so no point in going out except to check on the situation and attend to the occasional call of nature en route, like all animals do, hence the bat droppings that you see in caves and their pee which you don't.

Likewise, when spring starts to turn nice and warm, they are persuaded to leave the cave and then live in valley roosts, but sometimes they return to the cave to rest while out foraging or to teach the local geography and caves to the young ones.

Therefore bat counts in upland caves have to be done in winter months.  Leaving this to the summer or when the first nice warm weather arrives is too late as most will have made off for the valley and the result is meaningless.  They will be sleeping during the day in barns, church towers, not caves, so cavers won't see them.  Unless that is, you go underground in the small hours when you will see them flying - but not sleeping 24/7 in a torpid state as they do in caves during winter.

There are 3 main species in this locality.  Lesser Horseshoes, Greater Horseshoes and Myotis.  The ones commonly spotted in the course of caving trips are the Lessers which are smaller than an egg and hang off something and look smooth dark brown reddish with little or no fluffy stuff poking out.  Greaters are as big as an egg, maybe bigger, are more fluffy or have bits of fluff visible, and also hang off a roof.  Myotis tend to crawl into cracks and get out of sight but sometimes are seen spreadeagled in a crevice rather than hanging off something.

The bottom picture on this wiki page is what you'll see most in the local caves:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lesser_horseshoe_bat

The picture here shows a Greater with typical fluff poking out:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greater_horseshoe_bat

There are a lot of Myotis types, Daubentons being a typical kind at Llangattock/Llangynidr, and this photo shows one in the spreadeagled position I mentioned above.  You will have to imagine for yourself this bat arranging itself more vertically and hiding within a crevice.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daubenton%27s_bat

This posting is an informal note, not a technical one, by the way.

Offline Huge

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Re: Ogof Cynnes - Broken Ladder
« Reply #9 on: November 01, 2018, 07:41:56 pm »
Thanks Stuart.

It was certainly the most I've ever seen in the cave. More than when I was a regular visitor 25 years ago. Not very scientific but hopefully it's a pointer that the bat roost is doing well, as in Aggy.

Offline John S

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Re: Ogof Cynnes - Broken Ladder
« Reply #10 on: January 07, 2019, 09:36:59 pm »
The last count myself and Peter Smith did for the CCW back in 2011, found 183 lesser horseshoe bats, 1 brown long eared bat and 2 myotis bats (whiskered or brandt's) .  We frequently found a few in the far end of talkback, so this area needs people to be guilded through or avoided in winter. A large number are in the early part of the cave but they are distributed widely at a lesser density.
It is about time another count was done but the CCW is now the NRW and ...

Offline prahja

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Re: Ogof Cynnes - Broken Ladder
« Reply #11 on: January 08, 2019, 12:56:07 pm »
Good job Huge - nice to hear from an expert on ladders breaking :-)

Offline Alex

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Re: Ogof Cynnes - Broken Ladder
« Reply #12 on: January 08, 2019, 01:10:52 pm »
Thanks Stuart on the interesting bat info. I find it rather odd though that the migration area highlighted in red for both species of Horseshoe does not include the north of England, is that correct? In which case we are only seeing "Daubenton's" in the north up here then? I have seen bats hanging from the roof in Yorkshire which seems to contradict it being this species. However, I have also seen them on the floor of passages which I assume these will be these, in this case should we leave them where they are even if they risk being washed away or stood on, or should we try and re-locate them to an out of the way crevice?
Anything I say is represents my own opinion and not that of a any club/organisation that I am a member of (unless its good of course)

Offline langcliffe

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Re: Ogof Cynnes - Broken Ladder
« Reply #13 on: January 08, 2019, 01:35:24 pm »
In which case we are only seeing "Daubenton's" in the north up here then? I have seen bats hanging from the roof in Yorkshire which seems to contradict it being this species.

This paper lists the bats commonly found in YDNP caves.

Offline Huge

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Re: Ogof Cynnes - Broken Ladder
« Reply #14 on: January 08, 2019, 04:08:35 pm »
Good job Huge - nice to hear from an expert on ladders breaking :-)

Thanks Prahja. At least I didn’t fall off this time!  :o

Offline mikem

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Re: Ogof Cynnes - Broken Ladder
« Reply #15 on: January 08, 2019, 04:18:12 pm »
Horseshoe bats have been recorded in Yorkshire, but not the main dales:
http://adlib.everysite.co.uk/adlib/defra/content.aspx?id=000IL3890W.16NTC2CVNGA388

& More recently in forest of bowland:
http://www.batworker.co.uk/tag/lesser-horseshoe/

Mike
« Last Edit: January 08, 2019, 04:29:02 pm by mikem »

Offline Alex

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Re: Ogof Cynnes - Broken Ladder
« Reply #16 on: January 09, 2019, 01:12:21 pm »
Thanks Langcliffe, the images are especially helpful on that one identifying what I have seen.
Anything I say is represents my own opinion and not that of a any club/organisation that I am a member of (unless its good of course)