Ogof Pont Gam
|Regions \ Wales \ Llangattock/Clydach Gorge \ Ogof Pont Gam|
You should not park your car near the cave since by doing so you will be parking on local residents private parking spaces. Instead you can park in a lay-by on the Heads of the Valley Road, or near to the Drum and Monkey public house. Walk up the Blackrock Road, past the quarry. A short distance further you will pass a house on the right hand side. The road then turns left where there is a small bridge over Nant Hafod. The cave entrance is on the far bank just before the bridge. The best way to it is to walk over the bridge with the bridge wall between you and the road. Care should be taken climbing down the other side since the bank is steep and unstable.
Grid reference: SO 20920 12622 or 51°80'66.18"N 3°14'83.73"W
I have been told you should ask at the house opposite for permission to visit the cave. I have asked at Pont Gam house and been told this is not necessary. I have tried to ask at the house just below but have never caught the owner in, however the people in Pont Gam house assure me the cave is not on land belonging to that house.
Whatever the situation is the cave is ungated. The only thing guaranteed to upset the locals is parking irresponsibly.
This cave, the name of which in Welsh means "Crooked Bridge", has a charming mud wallow entrance. Fortunately the mud wallow lasts for only a couple of metres. The cave temporarily widens and turns left, at this point there is a passage about one metre up in the right hand wall. It is possible to go north where the passage widens. If one goes south one soon reaches a small oxbow after which the passage drops one metre and then there is a pot. There are two pitches in this area.
Most people will wish to use Ogof Pont Gam as an alternative entrance to Ogof Nant Rhin, and so will continue down the main passage where there is a short flat out crawl under a fallen slab of rock. The passage continues with a few bends and awkward tight bits, until you reach a place with flowstone and a few formations. You find yourself in a high rift, to the left is a higher, wider, way to the first pitch. To the right there is a drop of 1 - 2 metres into a narrow rift within the rift. In this place you see the first pitch, which should be rigged. This pitch drops 10 metres into Aven d'Ybot. About 3 metres on you come to a second pitch (also rigged) which drops a further 3.5 metres.
You are now in the bed of a small stream. The rock formations are grand and impressive. There is a 'bridge' above you. For a brief time the passage is wide, high and easy. It soon becomes tight again. You soon reach a point where you can stand and continue either in a low crawl at the bottom of the rift, or climb up and squeeze past some small formations on the left. The easiest way is to go high, either way you soon get to the really awkward bit:
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Two 'teeth' cut diagnolly accross the passage, if you went high to get here you can climb over both and continue along the rift. If you went low you go under the first tooth, you should then perform gymnastics to get over the second tooth and continue along the rift. If instead you stay low you drop about 1 metre into a tight passage. This is not the way on! You can thrutch away for a short distance to a tight left hand 90 degree turn. The exit of this turn is very tight and awkward. If you get past you come to a place where there is a descending tube on the right and a rift on the left. The tube seems to have a void above and below it, but it soon gets too tight. The rift seems more interesting. There seems to be a wider part of rift or even a chamber below you. The rift you are in is quite high and roomy.
The 'proper' way on, is to climb over the teeth and continue along the rift. It gets a bit tight in places but you are past the worst. Eventually you drop 1.5 metres, and a little further you drop another metre into a small chamber. There is a small inaccessible passage on the right and a 'tube' at the far end which soon becomes too tight. The way on is just to the left of the tube. A very short passage with a couple of squeezes leads to the third pitch.
The third pitch is rigged from naturals (rope should be in place) and drops about 5 metres into a small aven. At the far end of the Aven is a low tight passage. The passage is only about 5 metres long and there are a couple of tight bits. You are then at the top of the fourth pitch, again this should already be rigged. This pitch drops about 12 metres into Aven d'Oznog in Ogof Nant Rhin.
Once in Aven d'Oznog the way on is through a hole in the floor, there are two places one can descend into a hands and knees crawl. This soon becomes an uncomfortable flat out crawl, it is best to remove any harness before the flat out crawl. Eventually the passage allows one to stand again. You are in a rift and very soon there is a boulder in the rift. At this point it looks like the way on is to go high in the rift, but this way on soon becomes too tight. The way on is to go over the boulder and down into the bottom of the rift. From here continue at various levels in the rift until you are high and there are formations. You will hear water in the distance from a waterfall. After passing some formations you will climb over a large fallen boulder. The way on is to go back under the boulder and climb down. The waterfall will be to your right. The exit from Ogof Nant Rhin is to the left.
Survey by R.M., T.D., A.P. 2004. Pelobates No. 86
Pelobates No. 86