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Author croesor Slate Mine (mine)

Joined: 12/03/2019

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croesor Slate Mine (mine)
Posted: 14/10/2020 22:51:14
Hi all, this is my first trip report so any advice on how to properly publish them on this site or how to write a good one is always appreciated.

Croesor – Rhosydd through trip.

This is a quick report on my trip to Croesor on the 06th October 2020. Little disclaimer, I did write this a week or so after my visit so I have tried to be as accurate as possible but I have an awful memory and may have got a few bits mixed up but it is a fairly simple mine to navigate but research is key.

This is my first time traveling to the mine and thanks to those on Adit now I had a wealth of resources to effectively plan and execute my journey along with my friend. With me I had a very detailed written description of the mine along with a survey with the through trip marked on it as well as spare ropes and a inflatable dingy.

First obstacle was getting to the start at Croesor from the national park car park in the village of Croesor itself, a long schlep up the track to the mine was a killer, I thought I was relitivly fit until I started on that track so maybe next time I will head up in walking gear and change at the top cause hooo boy caving suits are like boil in the bags even in inclement weather.

45mins later we reached the top and kitted up with SRT gear ready to go in. Located by the style as you walk into the ruins hidden in an alcove to the right is the main addit entrance in. There is a nice gap to crouch through before it opens up into a nice tunnel you can comfortably walk through. This goes on for about 400m where you pass through a doorway set in a brick wall until it opens out. Heading straight on we encountered the first climb up to the incline. The hand line appears to be in good condition albeit just be aware to grab the newer rope not the older tattered one as that has been left in situ and from memory does appear to be substantially damaged.

So climbing up you reach the yellow pipe, following this all the way to the top of the incline there is an opening on the left and this is the top of the first pitch. The anchors look to be in good condition and again the ropes are in good condition with expected grime build up. This leads into the main chamber which from looking at the roof does appear to have had some recent rock fall but I didn’t notice anything hanging too precariously. From here I did have a few navigational issues trying to find the second pitch as the chamber was a bit larger than I first thought. I found for navigational purposes just follow the grey rock off to the right and then down to where there is a window in the rock where the second pitch is, if you hit sandy coloured rock you have gone too far and missed the turn which I spent considerable time trying to work out.

From here it is more or less a linear path hitting the first chamber with a tyrolean bridge which is well tensioned and has two rope safety lines running above. This then leads pretty much straight into the ladder bridge which does not sit high above the water so expect to potentially get wet feet here. Again the safety ropes look to be in good condition but the bridge is unsteady and does go under the water on the far side. Getting off the bridge can also be a bit awkward so just be careful taking cows tails off here.

Following on you reach a third chamber with the first bridge. The bridge itself is rotting like no ones business which is to be expected given its age however you can still walk across it and again the safety lines are in good nick then onto the traverse. You will see the remains of what im guessing once held some form of bridge hanging in the middle of the chamber with a traverse going off to the right which takes you to the other side. Rope is in good working order throughout and this leads nicely onto the third and final bridge which has a beam on the right with a safety line over the top and a tyrolean bridge on the left with a safety line, I personally took the tyrolean bridge as it was far more stable than balancing on a beam.

From here its on to the main event which is the boat trip. The anchors look good, the rope is in good condition, it’s a thinner rope than what is used in the rest of the mine but its still good to go with a stop and runs nicely when accuracy is a factor. There is also a nylon rope which when pulled will reveal a canoe which appears from the darkness. Absail into this taking care not to capsize it, there are life jackets in the boats which again look to be serviceable. From here you can paddle your way across the chamber following the blue nylon rope to the other side where you are met with a hand line on the right and a pitch to ascend which is fairly short, maybe 5-8m at most.

From here go through the hole in the wall and then follow the tracks where you pass two slopes, on the second slope climb upwards where you will reach a wall that takes you into Rhosydd mine. Once past the wall you will see an old turn table on the floor with an incline. Just be carefull in this section as the floor looks like its getting some holes in it around the turn table area but it looks grand. Following on the same level continuing you will reach a slate collapse. This is where you put on your caver hat and wiggle through the collapse where you will come into another chamber to which a small pinpoint of light can be seen, head up the incline and follow the day light to come to a huge collapsed chamber open to daylight. Follow through here and you will see another pin point of light down to the left which will lead to another collapsed chamber. In this chamber when looking down the slope there is a tunnel off to the right at the bottom of the slope so climb down to the floor and follow to the right. Follow this until you hit the stream where there is an old mine cart looking contraption, follow the path right in the direction of the water flow (it was damp when I went so I do not know if this little stream is active in dry weather) then turn 90 degrees to the left and you will see the exit at the end of a long ol tunnel.

On the surface there was a fairly well marked footpath back towards Croesor but I made the mistake of leaving equiptment at the Croesor entrance so we ended up climbing back up the hill but hey we live and learn, the path does not take you back to the mine entrance!

This was a truly enjoyable trip and I hope to return to explore Rhosydd properly as we only spent 3 hours underground but we didn’t want to push our luck with the prospect of failing daylight had we explored more. What I have learnt is mainly from this mainly falls within the realms of safety in regards to SRT but also identifying the wide array of risks within the mine environment from the possibility of rock fall to deep water hazards.

As a final note I just want to pass on my sincere gratitude to those that take the time to rig and maintain what they can in the mine to allow tourists like myself to experience these places as well as those that have created some incredible written resources and mine surveys.

Also if any one is interested i put together a quick video of the trip:

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