Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Mined out!

Dates: 24th -26th July 2016

Team: Bill Buxton,Graham Christian,Brian Clipstone, Howard Dare (& Molly),Kevin Diffey, Andy Dobson, Dave Dobson,Clark Friend, Chris Grimmett (& Sheelagh), Mark Hampson, Duncan Hornby, Harvey Lomas,Fred Levett, Tim Lewington, David Mullin, Allan Richardson

Apologies if I have forgotten someone!


Tim and I had stayed at the SWCC hut Thursday evening so we could sneak a trip in on Friday on our way North for the annual North Wales mines weekend organised by Allan. Leaving Claire, Vince and Gary at the hut who were supporting a film crew filming an OFD through trip we made good time to the small village of Furnace about 6 miles south of Machynlleth.

We were to visit the mine Ystrad Einion a few miles up a narrow road. This mine is noted for the amazing water wheel just inside the entrance.
The Water wheel very near the entrance of Ystrad Einion.

The mine has some sizable passages seemingly held up by nothing more than rotting beams!

One of the stopes, if you look carefully you can see one of the many bright green formations at the bottom of the picture.

Further on just beyond a climb up is a rusting Kibble.

The Kibble

As well a bright green formations some of the passage were adorned with fantastic yellow formations.

There were many intense yellow formations within the passages of Ystrad Einion.
This is a relatively easy trip, no equipment needed and simple route finding. Total trip time was less than 3 hours, much of that me pratting around with the camera!
We then travelled North to join the others staying at the awesome Mynydd Climbing Club hut. That evening Tim and I “popped” over the mountain to Capel Curig for a meal.

A view to die for, which we almost did with the onslaught of midges!


The main event was a top secret location, so secret, if the very name of it was revealed it would destroy space and time as we know it and rip apart the very fabric of the Universe.

How a group of 12 blokes casually leaving the track and piling into one entrance was never noticed will forever remain a mystery.

So here is a pretty picture to distract you.

Many fantastic formations adorned “Area 51”.
Trip time: X hours


On our way to Parc mine Mark’s car broke down on the hill approaching the Hafna car park. Fortunately he was able to get phone reception and we left him to it. Mark please buy a new car!

We had split into two teams one entering level two, I and others entering level three (the wet one). I report our experience in level 3, which starts after a climb down into the cave like entrance, in a semi-flooded section, deep enough for the shorter person to wish they had never come on the trip!

Whilst this level is very wet and the constant strong draught chilled you very quickly, it has many interesting things and formations to enjoy.

Andy Dobson at one of the many ore chutes, this one had water cascading down through it.

This mine has many formations, some of them often full of stunning colours and patterns, here are just a few close-ups to show them off.

A multi-coloured stalactite.
An amazing red deposit on the walls of the mine.
A wasps nest like formation in the roof of a passage.
The general shape of the mine passages was rectangular with a constant flow of ochre stained water flowing usually no more than ankle deep.

A typical passage in level 3.
We had split into sub-groups with Brian, Andy and Dave exploring and photographing whilst the rest followed Allan as far as they dared! At one point Allan disappeared down a dark and ominous looking flooded passage. Apparently a lot of the old timber beams had fallen and were just below the surface making walking forwards tricky.

We eventually returned to the surface and met Mark at the car park, a tow truck was apparently on its way.

One thing to note about this mine is that Ochre water stains your skin a jaundice yellow, so don’t wear shorts for a few days until it rubs off!

Thanks Allan for yet another great mine weekend!

Trip time: 4 Hours.


  1. Sounds like fun. The photos are coming along very well.

  2. Sounds brilliant. Another great blog Duncan... Hope you are still not yellow lol

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  4. Not any more! But I will turn a Marros mud brown colour this weekend!

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