Hello, my name is Mal Tabb.
Thanks for visiting our web pages. Marion & I operate a small outdoor activity organisation called Canoes, Mountains & Caves. We provide activities for: adults, young people, schools, charities, families & individuals. A key aspect of our work is the provision of a "Community Programme" which is offered free of charge to participants. If you think we might be able to help please don't hesitate to contact us, you can find out more about what we do on our main website www.canoesmountainscaves.com

Monday, 25 March 2013

North Wales Underground

There have been several references to North Wales on these pages over the past couple of years, I really like the place!!

However, until last week's visit with Alan Rainford I'd never ventured underground in the area. A busy few days of research and some invaluable help from our good friend Dave Baines led to a "to do" list of: Wrysgan Slate Mine; Pant-y-Wrach Copper Mine & Bwlch-y-Plwm Lead Mine - a cluster of venues to the south/east of Bedgellert.

Alan Rainford Looking Down The Incline Plane On Craig-y-Wrysgan

An early start from Sea View on Thursday morning saw us parked up & eating lunch in Tan-y-Grisiau with plenty of time for a good look around Wrysgan Slate Mine. However, the best laid plans & all that led to us spending ages looking for the mine entrance (basically we parked in the wrong place & the grid reference we had for the mine entrance was incorrect). However, we were offered some very kind help from Tegid who lived in the area & very much went the extra mile to ensure we had a good visit - big thanks Tegid if you read this!!

Eventually we arrived at the entrance to number 1 floor of the mine & ventured into what can only be described as a vast underground environment.


Our mine tour was effectively an internal ascent of Craig-y-Wrysgan with much marvelling at the dimensions of this type of mining technology which is very different to our usual experiences in the North Pennines and Lake District.


A final scramble saw us emerge to snow as we exited number 6 floor!


It was a straightforward walk back down the mountain via a look at the incredible incline plane (see photo above). Its hard to imagine that such an engineering undertaking might ever be embarked upon in the British mountains again. A drive back to Llanberis & an evening at Pete's Eats bunkhouse concluded the first day.

Breakfast at Pete's and a concerned eye on the weather resulted in a later start but in the end we decided to have a go at getting to Llanfrothen, our next destination, all fears were unfounded and it was no more than a wet drive. Today's metal ore mines were much more familiar territory in terms of their technology. Pant-y-Wrach copper mine was a gem, short but very enjoyable. Just up the road, Bwlch-y-Plwm lead mine was altogether more extensive - we explored three of the five levels (Deep Adit; Roman Level and number 3 level). There are a few photos below:

Pant-y-Wrach




Bwlch-y-Plwm




There are a few more photos on flickr

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