My second trip to Cwmorthin with Ed and Olly, Simon and Briony. The original plan for the day was Snakes & Ladders at Dinorwic Quarry, however the weather was shockingly bad, even for Snowdonia. The rain refused to relent, and while a few hardy (foolish) members of UCET braved the weather, the four of us decided that going underground was a far more appealing prospect.
Old tourist sign

This was a very good decision. In the 10 minutes it took to get ready at the cars, it was clear we were going to get soaked during the 20 minute walk to the mine entrance, thankfully we all had waterproof jackets. I was the fool wearing denim jeans again, which took a few hours to dry out. Cwmorthin's underground workings are huge, and we found our way to the old tourist part of the mine which was once open to the public. I think we spent around 6 hours down there.

Photo by Olly King
We exited the on the other side of the valley, and with the weather clear, decided to walk back over ground to the cars. Starting with some slightly precarious scrambles up the wet slate, we made our way up, taking in the awesome view of the quarry far below. On the way back we also went for a small working that Simon told us emerges out on the cliff face overlooking Blaenau Ffestiniog. We went in a couple of holes (including one with a very unusual smell that none of us could quite place) until finding the right one, which was well worth it for the awesome view. Simon, Briony and Ed's excellent knowledge took us on an superb full day's explore. This being my second trip to Cwmorthin, I have a new appreciation of the mine and surrounding area. After a much needed stop at a take away, we were on the way home. Thanks to Ed for driving today :) To the brave souls who actually went and did snakes and ladders today, bravo. Rather you than me!

Blaenau Ffestiniog
Ed's Pics