/ Croesor-Rhosydd : underground version of Snakes and Ladders?

This topic has been archived, and won't accept reply postings.
BALD EAGLE - on 03 Dec 2012
Morning all

Looking for adventure with a capital “A”? Well having recently got back from a trip to North Wales, I had the pleasure of a speleological outing for troglodytes known as the “Croesor-Rhosydd Through Trip”. More “Via Ferrata meets Mine Exploration on steroids”, rather than climbing (however it is an excellent wet-weather alternative if the weather is grumpy in Snowdonia), I had wanted to do this ever since I was told it was a bigger and badder underground version of the legendary cult-classic “Snakes and Ladders (and Tunnels)”. So a quick Google search revealed this trip contained evocatively named delights such as the “Chamber of Horrors” and even had its own “Bridge of Death” so definitely merited investigation! So has anyone else out there who has done this or have an epic tale of derring-do to tell? Been repelled by the Bridge of Death, had a rope chopped or had to retreat? Anyway the entertainment was duly recorded so for anyone interested in viewing a short HD film of this memorable trip then please use the following link. All constructive feedback welcome and hopefully it will inspire a few folks to get on this great outing and join all the crisp wrappers, cub scouts and lost dogs still down there…
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hp-KlTNvezM
If you wish to sample the full High Def experience and your computer has enough va va voom, you should be able to change the "Quality" icon to at least 720p HD in the bottom right hand corner on the You Tube screen. So take a seat, fasten your seatbelts and come and join us on the surreal madness which is the “Croesor-Rhosydd Through Trip”! May the force be with you… :-)

Cheers Dave
Seb Lee on 03 Dec 2012
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t8jhh1HhaOk

really, really amazing place!
jwa - on 03 Dec 2012
Bridge is a pretty loose definition isn't it?
mrchewy - on 03 Dec 2012
In reply to BALD EAGLE: Looks amazing! Anybody fancy dragging me round on christmas day?
timjones - on 03 Dec 2012
In reply to BALD EAGLE:

I'd suggest losing the first 50 seconds. I lost interest and watched other peoples videos of the same trip.
joelc - on 03 Dec 2012
In reply to BALD EAGLE: Hmmn, without meaning to sound like a party-pooper I don't think that this is the sort of thing that should be promoted on this forum: it's a very sketchy place & really not the sort of adventure that loads of inexperienced people wanna be doing! The rock quality is poor, the bolts on the pitch-heads aren't reliable (and I'm being very generous by using the word "reliable"), the in-situ ropes are often abraided, and there's far more to go wrong than the casual visitor would appreciate. Saying that, though, the North Wales Cave Rescue Organisation may quite like being dragged out of bed in the early hours because someone's fallen into a pit full of contaminated water so maybe the world and his wife should go down after all? Good practice for them!!!

I'm not one of the mine enthusiasts out there but I guarantee that they'll be crapping themselves if they see this thread as they take conservation of historical sites very seriously. Just my opinion, though.
BALD EAGLE - on 03 Dec 2012
In reply to joelc:

Hi Joel just a quick response as I'm very busy! Yes the Croesor-Rhosydd Through Trip is certainly only for experienced folks well versed in SRT techniques, and a quick copy and paste, taken from the Croesor-Rhosydd wiki page should be read by all:

"Due to the dangerous and fragile state of both the mine itself and some of the fixed aids, it must be assumed that parts of this route may become impassable or may change at any time. Past roof collapses have necessitated changes in the route on more than one occasion. That said, over the years the route has become increasingly popular which has led to many of the dangers being sanitized and the quality of many of the fixings such as the zip-wires is excellent.
It is essential that all party members are well-prepared for this trip. All members will need:
A reliable light source. The trip will last several hours and your light may become submerged.
Warm clothing. The mines can draught strongly and become very cold, especially if you're wet.
A helmet
SRT knowledge and equipment. You should carry the appropriate equipment and have the knowledge to both descend and ascend ropes. It is not enough to only know how to abseil. You may find your route blocked and need to reverse your path to the entrance.
Some means of buoyancy and the ability to swim. At times you may need to swim across flooded chambers and you may fall in from the traverses or from a boat.
Before embarking on this trip you should leave details your trip and a proposed exit time with a third party who will be able to summon the rescue services if you become stranded in the mines."

Dom Whillans on 03 Dec 2012
In reply to BALD EAGLE:

err, just a quick note; if anyone finds a ring when they're doing the through trip can they give me a shout? I think that's where I lost it and it was really quite precious to me...
IainRUK - on 03 Dec 2012
In reply to BALD EAGLE: Great, I'd love to do this one day, it looks superb.. think I'd be bricking it the whole time but one of those things I'd love to experience.

I'll watch later when the wifi's better.
deepstar - on 03 Dec 2012
In reply to BALD EAGLE:Brilliant! I bet Peter Jackson will be bricking himself when he sees this!
Bobling - on 03 Dec 2012
In reply to Dom Whillans:

Have you tried Gollum?
bill briggs1 - on 03 Dec 2012
In reply to BALD EAGLE: The fixed ropes and rope protectors require constant inspection. On some occations I have found them in a poor state , so be careful, its not really like the Dinorwig trip as the stability of the slate ( the roofs ) is known to be unstable. Blocks have fallen from the roof in the first chamber the size of buses. Also take steel pulleys for the zip wires as they shred alloy ones. The state of the boats is constantly changeing so always take a blow up one. Remember its not like cragging its caving, so be careful.
pauldr - on 03 Dec 2012
In reply to bill briggs1:

Did it last year.. It was bloody brilliant fun, we took a dingy and a spare rope incase we had to back up any of the abseil ropes .. Loved the bridge of death.. ...
BALD EAGLE - on 04 Dec 2012
In reply to Seb Lee:
> really, really amazing place!

Yep it is super amazing and nice video by your mates! :-)
BALD EAGLE - on 04 Dec 2012
In reply to jwa:
> Bridge is a pretty loose definition isn't it?

...erm yes!

MikeR - on 04 Dec 2012
In reply to BALD EAGLE:
When did you do this trip? I did it a few years ago and the suspension bridge was collapsed under water, brought down by a partial roof collapse I think. Did you guys bring the canoe down wuth you!?

Just to emphasise how unstable the place is, I went with a guy who'd done it twice already and he said each time the route had changed slightly due to substanial collapses....
BALD EAGLE - on 04 Dec 2012
In reply to deepstar and IainRUK:

Thanks for the kind comments guys!
BALD EAGLE - on 04 Dec 2012
In reply to bill briggs1:
Hi Bill yep wise words indeed though it would be fair to say there are huge unstable blocks of slate in the Dinorwig Slate Quarry as well!
Anyway just to reiterate please note that SRT knowledge and equipment is essential for this outing and a few top tips as follows:
Be very careful and super quiet in the huge Chamber 1 East for the very first abseil as the chamber + roof are very unstable...
I would strongly recommend using Petzl tandem pulleys for the zip wire as plastic/alloy ones would be destroyed by the wire cables.
Also a couple of Ropemen each or similar were very useful on the fixed rope prusik at the end of the Chamber of Horrors.
The canoe is still in-situ but I would still recommend taking your own inflatable <oo-er missus> and back up rope just in case... :-)

BALD EAGLE - on 04 Dec 2012
In reply to MikeR:
> (In reply to BALD EAGLE)
> When did you do this trip? I did it a few years ago and the suspension bridge was collapsed under water, brought down by a partial roof collapse I think. Did you guys bring the canoe down wuth you!?

Hi Mike I did the trip 3 weeks ago and the suspension bridge is in-situ again and is a great feat of engineering! Nope the canoe has been there for about a year or so I believe, but we took our own dinghy just in case... :-)
Cheers Dave
adamki - on 04 Dec 2012
In reply to BALD EAGLE:
> (In reply to MikeR)
> [...]
>
> Hi Mike I did the trip 3 weeks ago and the suspension bridge is in-situ again and is a great feat of engineering! Nope the canoe has been there for about a year or so I believe, but we took our own dinghy just in case... :-)
> Cheers Dave

a friend of mine was part of the group that resurrected the bridge and put the canoe in about a year ago.
pauldr - on 04 Dec 2012
In reply to adamki:

Reading this makes me want to do it again...
kiwi boy on 04 Dec 2012
In reply to BALD EAGLE: Just brilliant Mr Eagle. Best yet I have to say. Great on wide screen and HD. Well edited I think and not too long at one point which helps to keep the journey flowing. Perhaps be mineful of face on light glare. I start thinking about giving up the day job.
cheers Andy
BALD EAGLE - on 05 Dec 2012
In reply to adamki:
> (In reply to BALD EAGLE)
> a friend of mine was part of the group that resurrected the bridge and put the canoe in about a year ago.

Hi adamki
Please pass on my many thanks for the superb job your mates did. Ironically after completing the Through Trip and on the walk down, our group all agreed if there was a re-equipping donation box or similar we would have happily chucked in a few £ for all the sterling efforts which has gone in to equipping the Trip!
Cheers Dave
BALD EAGLE - on 05 Dec 2012
In reply to kiwi boy:

Hey Mr Kiwi many thanks for the kind words and constructive critique! :-)
BALD EAGLE - on 10 Dec 2012
In reply to BALD EAGLE:
> Morning all
> So a quick Google search revealed this trip contained evocatively named delights such as the “Chamber of Horrors” and even had its own “Bridge of Death” so definitely merited investigation!

Afternoon folks
For anyone who may be interested in embarking on this trip I've been reminded to inform you that the blue cord on the pulley system connecting the 2 chambers for the canoe in the Chamber of Horrors was badly frayed and kept snagging on our outing a few weeks back. Consequently I would consider taking in a long length of your own cord (up to 100 metres) as the current cord needs replacing asap! :-)
mattsccm - on 10 Dec 2012
In reply to BALD EAGLE:
Plenty more here
http://www.mine-explorer.co.uk/
BALD EAGLE - on 11 Dec 2012
In reply to mattsccm:
> (In reply to BALD EAGLE)
> Plenty more here
> http://www.mine-explorer.co.uk/

Wow Matt how exciting thanks for the link. Indeed plenty more wet weather options/silly things to do in the UK so happy days! :-)


This topic has been archived, and won't accept reply postings.