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Trip to Xmas Cave (Ogof Nadolig) -- 28th Dec 2006

Group: Paul, Dave, Graham2, Louise, Young Paul

We parked in the car park at Cilcain and pondered as to which side of the river Alyn Xmas cave was on. Dave thought it was on the opposite side of the river to Poachers, while Graham (who hadn't brought Chris Cowdery's survey) thought it was on the same side. After a long and tedious search we found it on the opposite side to Poachers...

The party assembled outside the entrance while Dave & Paul sorted out safety gear for Louise & Young Paul who was accompanied by his parents.

Paul dropped to the bottom of the entrance pitch followed by Louise, Young Paul, Graham and finally Dave. We had a look at the digs in the main passage and then squeezed though the opening and headed for the junction containing the upper series and crawlway to the lower series. On route we spotted an interesting moth which had made its way into the cave.

There were a couple of fixed ropes leading to the upper series, however we had not brought any 'up' gear and Dave was a bit dubious about free climbing without knowing how the rope was attached at the top. We contented ourselves with looking at the limestone formations and then headed into the chamber containing the start of the lower series.

The way down to the lower series looked like it would have to be laddered and so we crawled ahead and into a passage terminating in a boulder ruckle. Young Paul proved to be very adept at moving around in the narrow passages and thoughly enjoyed himself.

We made out way back to the entrance pitch and climbed back out to the daylight and Paul2's relieved parents.

Total trip time about 1 hour