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Ogof Ffynnon Ddu 2 (top) - Ogof Ffynnon Ddu 2 (Cwm Dwr) via Marble Showers Traverses

Saturday March 14th 2015

Members present: Andrew Gilmartin,  Andy Hurlbatt,  Catherine Moody,  Jennie Hill

Report by Catherine Moody

As I think Andy H said... "Just the right amount of scary" - I agree!

I'm steadily facing my fear of traverses.. after going to OFD3 a couple of years ago and finding it fine, I was ready to give Marble Showers a go. I definitely found the trip scarier than going to OFD3... The Midnight traverses were certainly exposed, and quite technical, but as long as you take it steady and think about where your feet are going it's fine. The key thing for me is feeling stable - I hate it when I slide or lose my balance and think I'm about to fall - but here that wasn't too much of a problem.

Navigationally, we had one slight faux pas where we'd gone further than we realised and reached a scary looking climb down - turns out we were actually meant to climb down further back at the hole we'd just traversed around - to reach the start of the Marble Showers traverses proper. I didn't find these too bad at all... exposed and prolonged but relatively easy. Before we knew it (after a slight detour due to not being entirely sure where on the survey we were actually meant to climb down) we were back in the streamway. The water levels were pretty high and there was a lot of white water so we had to be very careful with footing, cos of not being able to see boulders/holes in the floor and also cos there were a couple of places where it wouldn't have been too difficult to get swept away. Probably partly to do with us taking it fairly slow, but that section of streamway was longer than I remembered and it was a bit of a relief when we finally reached the confluence.

The remaining stomp out was straightforward. Aside from Dim Dwr which is a bit of a pain, I've always maintained that Cwm Dwr is actually a really nice piece of cave. The proximity to the hut is obviously a bonus too, and before long we were back having hot showers and a cup of tea. Great trip!