St David's Day. What better time to visit the spectacular Hall of the Mountain King? Two of our group (Adrian and Mark) had not been to Craig ar Ffynnon before and were amazed by the beauty of the formations as well as the gooeyness of the mud.
We had been worried that heavy rain and the threat of snow today might call off the trip this evening, but the weather was not as bad as initial forecasts suggested, so off we went. Dan made incredibly easy work of opening the lock on the entrance gate (it had taken around 20 minutes to get in on my last visit...) and we headed through the incredibly pretty Straw Chamber, which amazed Adrian with its 'stunning' formations. Fast progress was made through the First Choke, along Gasoline Alley (North West Inlet will be our next destination when the weather warms up) and then up the climb. The more tortuous Second Choke caused no problems and then we found the deep welly-eating mud. Moving as quickly as possible through this meant avoiding getting stuck . . . but it was a close run thing at times. Stopping for some photos in Travertine Passage we had plenty of time to take in our surroundings. We made Adrian and Mark look away to the right as they entered Hall of the Mountain King, so that they could get to a good viewing point before they saw the formations. Then it was a nice and leisurely walk back out. Where we emerged in to a very wet night. Not ideal for getting changed in! But at least it got some of the mud off.
Trip time: 2.5hrs
|Claire, Lisa, Mark and Adrian in Straw Chamber. Photo: Paul Tarrant.|
|The team near the end of Travertine Passage. Photo: Paul Tarrant|
|Adrian, Claire and Dan admire formations in the Hall of the Mountain King. Photo: Paul Tarrant.|