Cave dive at Daren Cilau, South Wales

A long weekend and more than a mile of exploration underground

Author: Pat
28th April 2021
 
Full - George Linnane at St David's Sump, Daren Cilau

George Linnane at St David's Sump, Daren Cilau - (c) Andy Torbet

It’s April 2021, and George ‘Deficit’ Linnane, Andy Torbet and Chris Jewell report on a successful exploration to the ‘divers end’ of Daren Cilau, the fourth longest cave in Wales.

George: “Setup day on Saturday involved carrying a lot of kit down to Pwll Y Cwm, which is a big hole in the bed of the River Clydach.

we entered the cave and didn’t come out for 48 hours

“Sunday we dived through into the cave and didn’t come out for 48 hours (Tuesday lunchtime). During that time we spent two nights at the underground camp known as Hard Rock Café and did a trip to one of the known ends of the cave, which involves four additional dives and over a mile of caving, all x2 because each direction, there and back.

Full - George Linnane in St Agustin Way, Daren Cilau

George Linnane in St Agustin Way, Daren Cilau - (c) Andy Torbet

“We checked out (and unfortunately closed out) a couple of potential onward leads but we did manage to extend the known end of the cave by a small amount and have a new lead which will be examined and hopefully extended again on a future trip. This trip took about 10 hours, camp to end and back to camp, on Monday.

George Linnane in Hard Rock camp, Daren Cilau

George Linnane in Hard Rock camp, Daren Cilau - (c) Andy Torbet

“This image shows me sitting at Hard Rock camp, eating my dinner and chatting after the trip to the end and back, I’m wearing the BARE SB base layer in camp to keep me warm. Another is me carrying kit up St Agustin Way, at which point we’re in a part of the cave that only divers can get to.

“The trip involved diving a pair of 15s, a pair of 5s, a kit bag full of caving/sump diving gear and towing a drytube full of camping gear, down a vertical shaft in the bed of the River Clydach, through a squeeze at about 17m depth into the 630m long Pwll Y Cwm sump. The 5s and the bag of gear were used for the onward travel to the end of the cave and back.

“Epic trip, as you can imagine.”

George Linnane exiting Daren Cilau cave

George Linnane exiting Daren Cilau cave - (c) Chris Jewell

“This last pic of me looking completely ballbagged was taken during the carrying of the gear back up the hill on the Tuesday!”

 
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