Author Topic: A second entrance to Ogof Draenen?  (Read 16168 times)

Offline Andy Sparrow

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A second entrance to Ogof Draenen?
« on: April 27, 2009, 03:31:02 pm »
Now that the 'Jesus' thread seems to be running out of steam the time seems right to provoke another argument guaranteed to enflame passions. 

As many of you will know it was realised by the surveyors of Ogof Draenen that one passage, choked a short distance from the surface, could provide a second entrance to the cave, shortening trips to the far-reaches by about 3-4 hours.  They subsequently dug open this entrance without seeking approval from the cave's discoverers.  This caused a storm of controversy.  The prevailing feeling amongst the discoverers was that this new entrance was detrimental to the cave and they consequently took measures to ensure that it was permanently sealed.  That's the background.

I think it would be a good thing if the second entrance to ogof Draenen was re-opened.  I think it would be good for the cave and good for cavers. 

Here is my reasoning:

Good for the cave.  The frontiers of exploration in the cave are remote and seldom visited.  The second entrance would encourage a new wave of exploration in many areas of the cave. 

Good for cavers.  Considering that this is possibly the longest system in the UK it is seldom visited compared to OFD or Lancaster-Easgill.  This is because it has an unpleasant grovelly entrance series, followed by a very long and rather tedious passages before the more pleasant and complex areas are reached.  The second entrance avoids all this. Why can't cavers enjoy this cave via the second entrance? 

There are two arguments which will be presented against this:
The conservation argument.  This takes the view that an easier entrance will expose the cave to more traffic and more damage. 
The elitist argument.  This takes the view that the difficulty of the cave should not be reduced and that only those inclined or capable of reaching the extremities should be able to do so.

The parallel with OFD Top Entrance is obvious.  The stalagmites near Top Entrance appear to be pristine even if the floors are trampled - it seems to me that OFD demonstrates that a cave can be enjoyed by many cavers of different abilities and survive intact.  If Top Entrance was not open only a handful of cavers would be able to appreciate and enjoy all it has to offer - thrilling for them, but a huge loss for the majority.

A final observation I would make is that many large cave systems have multiple entrances - it is simply part of their character - and it's what makes them so appealing to cavers.  When the second entrance to a cave system requires more work to block that it does to dig open then it suggests that an artificial situation is being imposed.

Those are my thoughts.  Discuss.....
Andy Sparrow



Offline graham

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Re: A second entrance to Ogof Draenen?
« Reply #1 on: April 27, 2009, 03:41:57 pm »
Religion, politics, fine, argue about them until the cows come home ... but a second entrance to Draenen! man you must be mad to bring this up.  :blink:
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Offline Peter Burgess

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Re: A second entrance to Ogof Draenen?
« Reply #2 on: April 27, 2009, 03:44:57 pm »
Do you know what the relevant landowner thinks is best?

Offline Andy Sparrow

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Re: A second entrance to Ogof Draenen?
« Reply #3 on: April 27, 2009, 03:47:35 pm »
Do you know what the relevant landowner thinks is best?

I have no information on who owns the second entrance or what their sentiments are.
Andy Sparrow



Offline Peter Burgess

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Re: A second entrance to Ogof Draenen?
« Reply #4 on: April 27, 2009, 03:51:30 pm »
Then perhaps the discussion should be put on hold until we do? Maybe someone else does know who it is?

Offline graham

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Re: A second entrance to Ogof Draenen?
« Reply #5 on: April 27, 2009, 03:56:43 pm »
Then perhaps the discussion should be put on hold until we do? Maybe someone else does know who it is?
That I do disagree with. Surely cavers need to decide whether an approach is desirable before approaching a landowner?
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Offline Peter Burgess

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Re: A second entrance to Ogof Draenen?
« Reply #6 on: April 27, 2009, 04:00:53 pm »
Then perhaps the discussion should be put on hold until we do? Maybe someone else does know who it is?
That I do disagree with. Surely cavers need to decide whether an approach is desirable before approaching a landowner?

I merely suggest that discussing making alterations to someone else's property without knowing what they think, at the very least limits the value of the discussion, and at the worst runs the risk of alienating them if they have a keen interest in what goes on on and under their property. Shall we discuss opening a third entrance to Goatchurch?

Offline Andy Sparrow

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Re: A second entrance to Ogof Draenen?
« Reply #7 on: April 27, 2009, 04:01:03 pm »
Then perhaps the discussion should be put on hold until we do? Maybe someone else does know who it is?

I think that's putting the cart before the horse.  Better to test the water of caver opinion first, I would suggest.
Andy Sparrow



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Re: A second entrance to Ogof Draenen?
« Reply #8 on: April 27, 2009, 04:03:32 pm »
This has all been gone through before and has caused a massive amount of angst and unpleasantness.

If you feel strongly about it why not approach PDCMG (http://www.pdcmg.org.uk/) with your suggestion, and see what sort of reception you get from the interested parties.

Personally, and as one of the original discoverers, I think you are being a berk.   :)

Cheers,

M

Offline Peter Burgess

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Re: A second entrance to Ogof Draenen?
« Reply #9 on: April 27, 2009, 04:04:07 pm »
Quote
I think that's putting the cart before the horse.  Better to test the water of caver opinion first, I would suggest.

Good idea, assuming you can control and point the discussion in the appropriate direction. Good luck!

Offline graham

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Re: A second entrance to Ogof Draenen?
« Reply #10 on: April 27, 2009, 04:20:40 pm »
Shall we discuss opening a third entrance to Goatchurch?

I can tell you that you be a grade A berk if you approached the landowner in that situation before getting a user-consensus on whether that would be a good thing. I know exactly what would happen if you tried.
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Offline Peter Burgess

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Re: A second entrance to Ogof Draenen?
« Reply #11 on: April 27, 2009, 04:28:09 pm »
Shall we discuss opening a third entrance to Goatchurch?

I can tell you that you be a grade A berk if you approached the landowner in that situation before getting a user-consensus on whether that would be a good thing. I know exactly what would happen if you tried.

There is no point in seeking cavers' views if the landowner's views are already known. That's one reason why I asked.  ::)

Offline Duncan Price

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Re: A second entrance to Ogof Draenen?
« Reply #12 on: April 27, 2009, 04:31:20 pm »
This has been over before and rehashing the debate (see also: http://www.w-o-w.com/caving/new-entrances/ ) will not be particularly productive.

I for one supported a second entrance to Ogof Draenen.  The one that was dug still exists and can be reopened for rescue purposes.  I do not think remote parts of the cave easier to reach is bad in terms of cave conservation as that part of the cave between both entrances would receive less traffic, so it all balances out in the end.  One other argument that I have heard (not only in this case but also other caves) is that it would make the end of the cave "less remote" and spoil the enjoyment of being there.

At the end of the day, the decsion was taken to prevent all access through a second entrance and block the digging of others*.  I'm not sure what the exact position of the landowner was, but I believe that the landowner was persuded by the anti-2nd entrance faction that it was a bad idea.

*There are very promising sites for several more according to the survey - not all of them are in particularly useful locations.

Offline graham

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Re: A second entrance to Ogof Draenen?
« Reply #13 on: April 27, 2009, 04:32:08 pm »
Shall we discuss opening a third entrance to Goatchurch?

I can tell you that you be a grade A berk if you approached the landowner in that situation before getting a user-consensus on whether that would be a good thing. I know exactly what would happen if you tried.

There is no point in seeking cavers' views if the landowner's views are already known. That's one reason why I asked.  ::)

if the landowner's view is already known, then there's no need to ask him, is there. And if it's not known, then it's best not to upset him unnecessarily.
« Last Edit: April 27, 2009, 05:07:08 pm by graham »
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Offline Peter Burgess

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Re: A second entrance to Ogof Draenen?
« Reply #14 on: April 27, 2009, 04:43:47 pm »
Shall we discuss opening a third entrance to Goatchurch?

I can tell you that you be a grade A berk if you approached the landowner in that situation before getting a user-consensus on whether that would be a good thing. I know exactly what would happen if you tried.

There is no point in seeking cavers' views if the landowner's views are already known. That's one reason why I asked.  ::)

if the landowner's view is already known, then there's no need to ask him, is there. And if it's not known, then it's best not to up[set him unnecessarily.
You just can't resist posting more b*****x can you?

Offline graham

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Re: A second entrance to Ogof Draenen?
« Reply #15 on: April 27, 2009, 05:08:18 pm »
Shall we discuss opening a third entrance to Goatchurch?

I can tell you that you be a grade A berk if you approached the landowner in that situation before getting a user-consensus on whether that would be a good thing. I know exactly what would happen if you tried.

There is no point in seeking cavers' views if the landowner's views are already known. That's one reason why I asked.  ::)

if the landowner's view is already known, then there's no need to ask him, is there. And if it's not known, then it's best not to upset him unnecessarily.
You just can't resist posting more b*****x can you?

If you've got a problem, take it up with Bubba. If not that then fuck off.
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Offline Andy Sparrow

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Re: A second entrance to Ogof Draenen?
« Reply #16 on: April 27, 2009, 05:13:07 pm »
Shall we discuss opening a third entrance to Goatchurch?

I can tell you that you be a grade A berk if you approached the landowner in that situation before getting a user-consensus on whether that would be a good thing. I know exactly what would happen if you tried.

There is no point in seeking cavers' views if the landowner's views are already known. That's one reason why I asked.  ::)

if the landowner's view is already known, then there's no need to ask him, is there. And if it's not known, then it's best not to up[set him unnecessarily.
You just can't resist posting more b*****x can you?

No, neither of you can. That's the problem.  I wish to hell that Bubba would boot you both off for a week.
Andy Sparrow



Offline graham

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Re: A second entrance to Ogof Draenen?
« Reply #17 on: April 27, 2009, 05:18:10 pm »
No, neither of you can. That's the problem.  I wish to hell that Bubba would boot you both off for a week.

And this from the boy starting shit-stirring threads.  :shrug:
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Offline Andy Sparrow

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Re: A second entrance to Ogof Draenen?
« Reply #18 on: April 27, 2009, 05:26:00 pm »
No, neither of you can. That's the problem.  I wish to hell that Bubba would boot you both off for a week.

And this from the boy starting shit-stirring threads.  :shrug:

No, this from the caver trying his best to present a reasoned and balanced argument about the future of one of our finest cave systems.  Contribute if you want, but don't hijack it and subect us all to this childish bickering with your arch foe.  Sorry, Peter, but the same applies to you.
Andy Sparrow



Offline Anon

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Re: A second entrance to Ogof Draenen?
« Reply #19 on: April 27, 2009, 07:48:28 pm »
Quote
If Top Entrance was not open only a handful of cavers would be able to appreciate and enjoy all it has to offer
Taking a random example here (and nothing to do with Draenen itself); should we widen Strans Gill or try and create a bottom entrance so that more cavers can appreciate The Passage of Time?

I've only ever visited Draenen once, and that was a short trip, keep thinking of going back but never get round to it, one entrance doesn't put me off visiting, so I'm happy with the way it is.. Another example nearby is Daren, that only had one (until recently) 'dry' entrance, so a lot of cavers probably never get chance to see The Blue Greenies etc...

Make access easier to one cave - where would it end though??
« Last Edit: April 27, 2009, 08:12:44 pm by dunc »

Offline Peter Burgess

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Re: A second entrance to Ogof Draenen?
« Reply #20 on: April 27, 2009, 07:52:07 pm »
Graham you have a PM.

Andy - my initial contribution was just a genuine query seeking what the owner might think. I didn't expect it to be taken as the starting point for yet another stupid unnecessary and diversionary argument. THAT'S what pissed me off. And that's what I call b******x. There are a number of sensible, constructive and useful points I might have made in this discussion, but if this is the way the subject gets treated then you can both go to Hell in a Handcart for all I care.

I have first-hand experience of how remote parts of underground systems change when subjected to easier access, so I do have sensible points to make.


Offline ChrisJC

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Re: A second entrance to Ogof Draenen?
« Reply #21 on: April 27, 2009, 08:13:20 pm »
Back on topic  :smartass:,

My preference is for 2 entrances. I much favour underground trips that are through-trips. e.g.
Lancaster hole to Wretched Rabbit
Croesor to Rhosydd
Caplecleugh to Nentsberry Haggs
Even Great Douk or Upper Long Churn or Porth Yr Ogof

It makes it a proper journey as there's a beginning & end , rather than just a beginning.

Chris.
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Offline Rob

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Re: A second entrance to Ogof Draenen?
« Reply #22 on: April 27, 2009, 08:28:26 pm »
I have very little experience of the cave and the politics, but i think that now more than ever we should be thinking more about encouraging good, fun caving. If another entrance may help this then that's worth trying for.
The end is where we start....

Offline Peter Burgess

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Re: A second entrance to Ogof Draenen?
« Reply #23 on: April 27, 2009, 08:35:08 pm »
For me, there are only two points worth discussion (setting aside permissions etc) - rescue access, and conservation. Both have to be considered on a case by case basis. The potential reduction in traffic at one entrance should not be ignored. Neither should the risk of serious damage of any pristine cave features. Any discusion of it spoiling a trip that is only fit for super-cavers is elitism. There is nothing preventing those who wish to prove something about themselves from ignoring the new entrance if they so wish.  :)

Offline Anon

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Re: A second entrance to Ogof Draenen?
« Reply #24 on: April 27, 2009, 08:41:24 pm »
Quote
but i think that now more than ever we should be thinking more about encouraging good, fun caving. If another entrance may help this then that's worth trying for.
There's plenty of fun caving to be had already, if encouraging fun means a greater increase in traffic as a result then conservation issues become a problem. Take Easegill with all its entrances - fun it may be but take a long hard look at the damage and lack of consideration by some parties - mud splats on the walls, damaged formations etc..