Freezing gorges

IMG_0692Today we went to the Afon Ddu gorge (meaning Black River), we went gorge walking. Before we left to go to the Gorge Mr Alderson celebrated his 50th trip to Kent Mountain Centre- which is where he received a golden boot, on slate (unfortunately it was, and we have seen enough of it to last a lifetime as you have heard). It was also Beccy’s birthday which was hugely celebrated by everyone here- we had chocolate cake as well! We had a fifty minute mini-bus ride there which many people in our group did not enjoy as sickness took over from us (Leah, Katie and Charlotte)! We then eventually arrived at Afon Ddu Gorges however, it isn’t just get off and go- we had to kit up which included; nappy look alike harnesses, helmets, over the shoulder rope carries- because we are so helpful and it kept us alive! Then we had the cow tail ropes with karabiners attached to the harnesses, we also needed to gear up with the oversized waterproof trousers and coats with the damp green wellies.
We then did a 150m walk uphill to the start of the trek up the Gorge but……. We saw lots of people on the Gorge at that part so we decided to adventure further uphill to begin our long journey to the top. To start we had to abseil down a small cliff luckily we abseiled on Tuesday so we were pros, Keith walked up further to set up some ropes and Mr Alderson abseiled ahead and completely disappeared for about ten minutes, the whole group thought we had been left to go down after but clip ourselves on and manage to stay safe and get to the bottom of the rather vertical cliff face but then an extraordinary sight came about which was Mr Alderson who had arrived at a different way and was fine like nothing had happened although, he was soaked as he must’ve fallen in the waterfall  then we all took it in turns to abseil down except this time we had been told what to do with help. We then landed on a rock and climbed over onto a big rock where Keith pilled us up when we were climbing next to a powerful waterfall where everyone but Leah and Eva managed to stay upright unlike the rest of us who decided too venture off the path which was given but slide into a chest deep pool of ice cold water (bearing in mind it was at the start and was ice cold) the water then filled our wellies but cooled us down.
We continued our journey up the Gorges then we came across 2 massive boulders with a very claustrophobic tunnel which only fitted the width of our helmets through it. Keith decided to take some horrid mug shots of us as we crawled our way through the tight space with some of the worst facial expressions which was mostly terrified mixed with the excited emotion, but Charlotte made time for a pose (of course)! After everyone had gone Orfhlaith started, then we saw her little head suddenly pop out of under the rock with a huge smile on her face! When she was finally getting up from the rock a sudden horror occurred where she dramatically slid back down into the boulder where she came from, and her head seemed to have appeared in a muddy, leafy puddle which dunked her chin! After we found a pool off a waterfall which pushed us down a slide like hill. Some of us went backwards some went headfirst into the numbing pool.
After a long scramble up the gorge we got to the top of a waterfall that split in two as it went down, Keith needed to take the rope he was carrying off. But dropped one of the very important and expensive karabiner into the waterfall, he did not realise. Then, Mr Alderson came to the rescue and abseiled down the waterfall to collect the fallen item, it was right at the deepest part of the pool at the bottom. He eventually handed the £20 prize back to the butter fingered Keith, who seemed relieved at the sight of his dropped karabiner.
We then visited the plunge pool which was freezing cold but we still jumped in twice with hope and enthusiasm, Orfhlaith’s first words after resurfacing were ‘I think im going to lose my wellies’ she said panicking! We then told Keith he had to jump in because he dropped the karabiner so that was his punishment even though we found it- but that didn’t matter. We then got changing out of our soaking clothes and went back in the minibus to a lovely roast dinner and banoffie pie!

Written by Izzy Smith and Katie Burton
To make all this happen was: Mr Alderson, Keith, Orfhlaith, Izzy, Leah, Katie, Charlotte, Torin, Eva

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