North Wales Weekend June 2023

An action packed weekend of mine exploration in North Wales staying at the Bowline Climbing Club hut in Brynrefail, with trips involving zip-lines, ladders, traverses, SRT, formations and lots of mining artefacts.

Those who arrived early enough on Friday for a bonus trip headed over to Dinorwic Quarry for a circuit of ‘Snakes and Ladders’ – an enjoyable journey through immense quarry workings, with ladder climbs and pull-through abseils all in glorious sunshine.

Two big trips were undertaken on the Saturday, one to Milwr Tunnel and the other to Llanberis Copper Mine West. The Milwr Tunnel team, led by UCET cavers (United Cavers Exploration Team), entered via Rhyd Alyn lead mine where a collection of fixed ladders descend to the Milwr Tunnel below. The tunnel itself is full of history and interest with rails, trucks and old machinery. Areas visited were the natural cavern and lake at Powell’s Lode, the vast and impressive Limestone Workings and recently opened sections of Barklay and Halkyn Lode.

The other team took advantage of recent bolting and rigging work in Llanberis Copper Mine West to enjoy an SRT round-trip through this very interesting and previously inaccessible mine network. There were a number of pitches and traverses, making this a very sporting trip, with some interesting artefacts left by miners and wonderful blue and green formations.

Sunday saw a hardy bunch slogging up the mountainside in the scorching sun to undertake the recently extended Croesor-Rhosydd through-trip, with newly installed zip-lines opening up more of the mine for exploration. This was enjoyed by all before rejoining the original route for more zip-lines, wire traverses, abseiling and a short boat ride to reach the Rhosydd entrance, with a couple of detours along the way to look at interesting machinery.

See CSS newsletter Vol. 65, Nos. 7-9 for reports from all trips undertaken on this meet.

Photos from the weekend

  • Llanberis Copper Mine West entrance

  • Traverse over a stope, Llanberis Copper Mine

  • One of the many pitches in Llanberis Copper Mine

  • A narrow bridge across workings, Llanberis Copper Mine

  • Traverse in Llanberis Copper Mine

  • Blue and green formations in Llanberis Copper Mine

  • Wall of blue and green in Llanberis Copper Mine

  • Descending from Rhyd Alyn lead mine to Milwr Tunnel.

  • One of the many orange ladders connecting Rhyd Alyn mine to Milwr Tunnel

  • Milwr Tunnel

  • Milwr Tunnel

  • Eimco Shovel in the Limestone Workings, Milwr Tunnel

  • Ziplines in the new extensions, Croesor-Rhosyyd through trip

  • Ladder bridge, Croesor-Rhosydd through trip

  • One of the Bridges of Death, Croesor-Rhosydd through trip

  • Winding gear in Rhosydd Slate Mine

  • Dinorwic Quarry

  • One of the ladders, Dinorwic Quarry

  • One of the 'snakes', Dinorwic Quarry

Photos by Matt and Mandy Voysey and Andy Ley

© Chelsea Spelaeological Society