Ogof Pen Eryr
A fun and sporting trip suitable for novices, with some sections that may prove to be a challenge for cavers of a larger build. This is linear cave with variety of squeezes, crawls and walking sections along the way, but no navigational difficulties.
NGR: SO 20748 15207 - what3words: ///preparing.spark.shuttle - Length: 426m
Ogof Pen Eryr is located in the same quarry as Daren Cilau, about 250m further along at the easterly end. From Whitewalls head towards the road then take the concrete track heading uphill on the right, then continue heading up on the grassy slope. At the top follow the vague track up through bracken to reach the grassy path that was the old tramway and follow it to the left to where you’ll soon see the cliffs of the Daren quarry and the route to the Daren Cilau entrance. Carry on along the tramway a little further then take a path between spoil mounds towards the further end. The entrance to Pen Eyre is a 1m wide arch in the base of the cliff face, and is partially hidden from view by boulders.
No access restrictions.
A short entrance crawl leads to walking sized passage, but soon after reaches a low squeeze down through boulders. This is swiftly followed by the next obstacle – the calcite squeeze. This awkward 45° wriggle through smooth calcited boulders certainly presents a challenge to any cavers of a larger build but soon emerges into a roomier rift passage above.
However, this doesn’t stay roomy for long and soon becomes a crawl leading to a climb down over polished boulders, best tackled feet first. The passage then continues with numerous boulder obstacles and climbs up and down more polished boulders (for which novices may want some help) before reaching ‘The Corkscrew’. This is a 3m drop through boulders, which larger cavers may again find to be rather a snug fit, followed by a crawl back under the passage where a small stream is first seen. Beyond this the going becomes easier and towards the end of the passage a bedding chamber heads off to the right while the continuation soon reaches a dig that becomes too tight after about 15m.
In the bedding chamber there are a number of ways off; most either loop round or soon end but the left-most route goes a little further and reaches a grotto. This starts as a low blasted crawl, followed by a short climb to emerge in the side of the grotto. This is a reasonably sized chamber with some pleasant but muddied formations.