Jun 12 05
This weekend we found ourselves back in Agen Allwedd, the same cave that we visited with Clive just a fortnight ago. Our reason for visiting Aggy previously was to join Clive on a trip around the Grand Circle to celebrate 40 years since his breakthrough trip. This weekend, the scenario was quite similar… on arrival at Whitewalls Cottage on Sunday night, our fellow club members had another anniversary trip into Aggy planned. This time it was to celebrate 20 years since one of the members, Adrian, started caving. The planned trip was the ‘Figure of Eight’. The important aspect of this trip is that it basically comprises two caving trips back to back. The other key feature, is that the passages loosely form the shape of a figure of eight (unsurprisingly). It comprises a loop of the Grand Circle (7 hours of caving on a good day – the same as our trip a fortnight ago), followed by another circle which involves Coalcellar Passage, Midsummer’s Passage, most of the Inner Circle and then Turkey Stream (another 3 hours of caving).
In total the trip took 9 hrs 20 mins, so it was a pretty long day out! I won’t describe the route in detail because I’m too tired to recollect it, but here are some highlights:
- Clive’s breakthrough choke (4th choke) – it’s much easier going through it in the opposite direction!
- Deep Water – the swim through this part of the Grand Circle was just as delightful as it was two weeks ago.
- Turkey streamway – we’d forgotten how pretty this was, since we last visited about 3 years ago.
- Coalcellar Passage – this is really narrow all the way along and prompted a lot of swearing when tired arms refused to work.
- The coal shute at the end of Coalcellar Passage is a complete arse. A tight squeezy rift that you somehow have to move upwards in.
We didn’t take a camera, so here are some pictures from the library. The first one is courtesy of Brendan, and Richard took the other one in September 2009.
We think that very few other people will have attempted the Grand Circle twice within a two-week period! We certainly didn’t set out to do so.
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