The infamous Croesor to Rhosydd through trip.

North Wales Mines May 12/13 2007 ~ Report by Chris Grimmett

Click for the pictures (numbered pics by Dave Dobson, unnumbered ones by Graham Christian)

Allan Richardson once again organised the traditional North Wales mines trip which was once again attended by the usual suspects. It was perhaps the choice to rerun the infamous Croesor to Rhosydd through trip that put off anybody else. In 2003, this trip nearly reduced the Dobson count by one.

The route is well known to involve SRT in both directions, the crossing of some 'interesting' old wooden bridges, pulley descents along zip wires and a subterranean boating exercise. This time round, things were easier as more zip wires and a suspension bridge over two of the flooded sections had been installed. Fred Levett had also taken the trouble to test the dinghy at home before it went underground and as a result, there were none of the life threatening leaks that we had four years previously.

All went well until the worst of the old bridges was reached; this one is now in a seriously poor condition. Shuffling out over a large expanse of cold, deep water, with your feet on a pair of old railway lines and only a slack handline for balance is not for the faint hearted. Add to this a difficult transfer to an overly high zip wire at the halfway point and you have a recipe for disaster. Hopefully, the excellent work already done by those who maintain this route will extend to replacing this arrangement. Chris Grimmett distinguished himself here by treading on a large piece of timber that was not attached to much else, consigning it to the icy depths with a large splash.

Andy Dobson bravely undertook the abseil into the boat over the final wet section, thankful that this time he did not sink up to his shoulders in the water. Most went over with two per boatload in order to save time. Allan and Chris were deemed to be of sufficient dimensions to warrant going singly. Communications across the water were greatly improved by the use of radios.

John Lister was pleased to see that the upwards rope towards the end of the trip had been rerigged as the so-called belay on the 2003 trip had been rather scary. The underground connection between Croesor and Rhosydd was found quickly, although there was some going up and down levels via the main inclines before the exit via Piccadilly Circus and No.9 adit was reached.

All then traversed back over the top to return to Croesor and as on the way up, John Lister provided his Land Rover ferry service down the hill to the car park.

On Sunday, the party looked at another slate mine, Cambrian Mine, above Glyn Ceiriog near Llangollen. The workings were again quite extensive, one of the highlights being a fairly well preserved toilet close to one of the cabans. After an hour or two looking around, everyone dispersed into the now heavy rain that had set in and set off homewards.