|The barracks from the upper processing area waliau. Arenig Fawr in the distance.|
Not the Antarctic, but Manod, near Blaenau Ffestiniog- although trust me, it can feel just as cold on the South Pole of the Manod in February. This is a very old working which we first explored back in October 2011 here. I had felt that there were more adits than the entry adit to the pit...every time I drove up to the operational Manod Quarry I was eyeing the ground looking for signs. Yesterday, intending to walk along the Rhiwbach tramway, we detoured to the South Top and had another look at South Pole.
|Inside the lower adit. I forgot the attachment for my tripod...again! So this is not well-exposed or steady...|
|The two adits emerging into the pit.|
We climbed around the front of the quarry, a couple of hundred precipitous feet above cwm Teigl, to get in the pit from the tip run. There were a couple of rudimentary shelters here, too, with alcoves for candles. Material was simply chucked down the mountainside from here. Once inside, we spotted some graffiti on the slab face of the pit, which made interesting reading.
The views over to Drum and then towards the Arenigs are stunning from the pit, given a sense of drama on this occasion by the very brooding sky. Down in the cwm, the farmer was driving slowly up the road, checking his sheep. His 4x4 looked like a tiny speck, smaller than a mite from the viewpoint of the ledge outside the pit. How lonely the men who worked here must have felt, especially as it is thought that this operation pre-dated the nearby Bwlch Slaters and Craig Ddu enterprises. It must have seemed a long walk back home to Llan Ffestiniog.
|Can you spot the farmer's white 4x4?|
|The view in winter from the slopes of Carreg y Fran.|