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TOPIC: Cwmorthin question

Cwmorthin question 3 years 9 months ago #21329

Its been a while since my first trip around Cwmorthin, recorded here on one of Ian's excellent films



However, returning later the same year the film was made I recall that one of the chambers was cordoned off due to concerns about the state of the roof. Looking at the video I think it was shortly after the shots of me crushing my balls on the rails across the roadway at just below waist height. Recollections of various forum advice was to detour around the chamber due to continual falls of material, and this is what I did on later trips led by others.

I made a return to Cwmorthin on Saturday and found no trace of the original cordon, and am unsure whether I managed to avoid the chamber, or did in fact cross it. We certainly went up a flight of slate steps that were surrounded by recent fall in a pretty ropey looking chamber, shortly after climbing the knotted rope and short aluminium ladder in Ian's film.

As it was one of the party was struggling with nerves, an iffy ankle and the loose ground, and with uncertainty over whether we were in fact following a viable way out, we opted for a safe known and doubled back. So I'm unsure if the unstable chamber is now regarded as OK, or if its gone completely!

Any thoughts? It must be a pretty well known route....
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Cwmorthin question 3 years 9 months ago #21330

Also, having eaten in one of the cafes in Blaenau, there is a story going round (one which appears to be widespread) that access to the mine is about to be closed as it's unsafe..... Now I live in a Welsh community where rumours are rife, however..... perhaps its been started by the FoC website being down?
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Cwmorthin question 3 years 9 months ago #21331

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My knowledge is very limited on this but ....

If you thought you were in the closed off chamber with the collapsed roof and the tape had been moved - you should have made your way up a makeshift staircase which still would have had debris on it and large roof pieces lower down (no one could have picked them up and carried them out). Also, there was a roped diversion around the point of the staircase that had suffered the all - even if that roped diversion has been moved - the very obvious footpath created by the footfall would still be there.

With regards to the rumours of it being closed; I don't know but I do know Miles has done a lot of work in there to facilitate his commercial trips - that seems a long way from "it's unsafe and it will be closed soon"

:)

Ian
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Cwmorthin question 3 years 9 months ago #21332

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You are also right about the video ... the chamber with the "stairs" and the fallen roof is immediately after the clip of you getting your balls crunched and the shot after the actual stairs is the party ascending using the roped detour around the actual fall.

:)

Ian
A door, once opened, may be stepped through in either direction
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Cwmorthin question 3 years 9 months ago #21333

Yes, the rope line left the line of the stairway and went diagonally up/across the chamber. The stairs were only covered right at the bottom with fallen material; the biggest piece of slate being dining table size. Some very nasty jaggedy looking pieces of slate hung from the roof, half way across the chamber's width near the bottom. Once up this, the next chamber had a large piece of slate with yellow chalked arrow indicating UP, but no obvious route at all: though it was possible to pick our way over the pieces of slate and make it out of the top. This in turn led to an incline.

However by this stage I was no longer recognising features of the previous trip.....
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Cwmorthin question 3 years 9 months ago #21334

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ivortheengine wrote:

However by this stage I was no longer recognising features of the previous trip.....


At the top of the "staircase" bear left and you enter a short manway which would take you to the calcite waterfall and, further on, through the crawl you can see yourself emerging from in the video. If you went too high up in the chamber you would have missed the left passage.

;)

Ian
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Cwmorthin question 3 years 9 months ago #21335

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The chamber with the bad roof Old vein 8E has a diversion through it avoid spending any significant time in it.

enter from the bars and go straight through to the next chamber via a hole in rubble on the other side of the chamber then along and down a ladder to the next level down. Ian should remember that as we went that way on the last trip.
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