Author Topic: Oooh, have you seen my Lockdown holiday shots?  (Read 722 times)

Offline Wardy

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Oooh, have you seen my Lockdown holiday shots?
« on: October 30, 2020, 06:58:03 pm »
With a week off booked many moons ago, it was obvious Wales would go into Lockdown and I would be back to inventive ideas to keep me, Sarah and Eadie from boredom.

Once it was confirmed I started to read Mr Drakeford's guidance as I didn't wish to offend the man.
He said I couldn't drive somewhere for exercise, but that if I start from and finish my exercise at home that was OK, which seemed easy enough.
Fortunately he acknowledged that some need more exercise than others and so as long as we started and ended at the house we were free - but no Picnics!
Further reading revealed that the exercise should not include extreme activities, now that was a little limiting until I realised it is all relative to your views. Caving fitted the bill quite well, it just had to be an easy trip.
The morning broke a bit wet and dull, but perfect for a good adventure.
Looking more than a little suspicious in full walking gear, with one expedition pack full of caving kit, another with helmets and a subtle yellow tackle bag for good measure, we set off down the fields to Rhydymwyn. I must admit I did feel a little self conscious walking through the village, but no one asked so I didn't tell.

As we walked up the Alyn Gorge we got in the stride, it was kinda nice to be doing something less mundane.
The river was flowing, but levels were pretty low compared to recently and we weren't out to push any limits - We do listen Mr Drakeford, honest.

As we walked through the quarry just before Hesp Alyn we disturbed three climbers who looked just about as guilty as we felt and whilst we knew what they were doing, they gave us a very confused look as we swapped greetings.

It seemed quite funny to approach Poachers from this direction to go caving, as like everyone, you would normally park at Cilcain Bridge, but our man Mark had said don't drive, so Shanks's pony it was.

It was only when we arrived and I went to see if anyone was down that I realised we could have had a long walk and missed out due to the limitations of social distancing - It ain't half complex just to do a simple trip. Phew, no one down, so we changed quickly and we were off.

I have always loved Poachers for the glimpses of great passage shapes, that are revealed where the sediments have gone and the lovely streamway which was flowing nicely, but still sinking and reappearing at the start.
A great splash upstream, grab a few lockdown holiday snaps for posterity, but avoid eating in case it could be perceived as a picnic and back out for dusk.

A quick change as rain threatened, but didn't materialise and a nice evening walk down the valley and back up the fields to Rhosesmor.

So we started our exercise with a walk, enhanced by carrying a little extra equipment, had to change to more appropriate attire as the conditions changed, found that Poachers is a better proposition if you add 6 miles or so of walking and capped the day plodding up hill back home with a now far heavier pile of wet kit. Certainly made a change and here are a few pics for good measure
Thanks to Pete Hall for tech help
« Last Edit: October 30, 2020, 07:18:26 pm by Wardy »

Online PeteHall

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Re: Oooh, have you seen my Lockdown holiday shots?
« Reply #1 on: October 30, 2020, 07:29:06 pm »
Great write up and thanks for sharing.

Reminds me of my allocated lockdown exercise earlier in the year, looking equally suspicious wearing a wetsuit and rucksack full of diving cylinders as I cycled out of the village  ;D
The distance between stupidity and genius is measured only by success.

Offline Duck ditch

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Re: Oooh, have you seen my Lockdown holiday shots?
« Reply #2 on: October 30, 2020, 07:53:41 pm »
An excellent piece of furtive sneaking, or should I say poaching.  Years of skilful farmer avoidance has paid off, and you are obviously passing on the gene. I bet the walk up the muddy hill at the end was draining though.   
Shame about the poor knot and rigging for someone in the business ;D

Offline Wardy

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Re: Oooh, have you seen my Lockdown holiday shots?
« Reply #3 on: October 30, 2020, 08:59:45 pm »
Obviously it must be longer since you tied a knot -
I used a nice Y hang with fig 8 and Alpine Butterfly combo, offset to above the ladder, then a fig 8 below to hang the belay device  and unfortunately this is the bit off shot where it all goes old school, as I actually used an Italian Hitch!
So there is nothing like modern access techniques and this was nothing like.

Would have liked to have seen Pete explaining how cycling can get really wet and you can never be over prepared.


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