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Croesor Slate Mine - North Wales

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Obi Wan

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The Croesor slate mine is a huge mine complex situated in the mountains of North Wales close to Ffestiniog. They connect with a neighbouring mine known as Rhosydd and were both "built" during the 1860's. The mines were operational up until the 1930's when both ceased production.

During their operation there was at one time a dispute between both mines as to whether or not one was actually mining the other's "land". To settle the dispute, a tunnel was driven between the two to survey both mines easily (see picture "Connection with Rhosydd" in Flickr set) and it was dicovered that in fact both were trespassing into each others areas. The tunnel was left in place as ventilation and a useful emergency exit, until it was discovered that workers from both mines were using it as a "discreet" exit into their nieghbouring mine to clock off early, without being noticed. It was walled up but remained active as a ventillation point. The wall has since fallen again, and now provides the perfect opportunity for a through trip from Croesor to Rhosydd.

The trip is one of the most unusual I have ever done as it involves obscure moments such as using a zipwire to cross a pool, or abseiling delicately down into an inflatable dinghy.
The trip is relatively long, and not to be taken too lightly, yet conversely it is the most fun you will ever have underground.


















To see more pictures from the trip take a look here, enjoy - http://www.flickr.com/photos/18394337@N00/sets/72157615108621575/detail/
 
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BigLoada

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Fantastic man! Those Welsh slate mines are so cool, huge caverns etc. Wish we had ones like that, all our lead mines are low roofed generally. Class photos you got there :)
 

evo_mad

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That looks amazing, must have took a fair bit of planning. Kudos on the rubber dinghy.

Nice job.
 

tarboat

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Scary place but so rewarding for those who make the trip. Nice shots.
 

infromthestorm

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Love this place and the surrounding area,at first glance its depressing and grey and more often than not raining but as your explore shows its full of hidden gems.... Top of my list for a visit
 

Obi Wan

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at first glance its depressing and grey and more often than not raining

Yep, was raining when we went too, kind of an eerie oppressive low mist really but to be honest it just added to the atmosphere of all the various scattered old settlements on the hillside.

When we exited Rhossyd though the cloud had lifted and the sun was out, made for a totally different ambience altogether.
 

Obi Wan

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Kudos on the rubber dinghy.

On the first pool crossing we used a dinghy that some previous explorers had left behind on the edge of the pool, all we needed was our pump (and the element of speed considering it had a substantial hole in it).

There is actually a rubber dinghy graveyard adrift on the bigger "lake" in the chamber horrors, a wierd kind of flotilla of discarded boats all gradually sinking. A strange sight indeed. No use though when you have to abseil down directly into the water, thats why we took our own to drop in first then ab down into, which incedently is the most delicate/comedy manouvere I have ever had to perform on the end of a rope.

:)
 

Foxylady

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... until it was discovered that workers from both mines were using it as a "discreet" exit into their nieghbouring mine to clock off early, without being noticed...

LOL. Like it! :mrgreen:
Looks like a gruelling but fun explore. Fabulous pics too. Love these old slate quarries.
Excellent stuff, Obi Wan. :)
 

Badoosh

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Simply awesome explore guys, but not so simple!! I went mountain biking in this area back in '92 & back then would have loved to do places like this. Quality photos & a story to match, love it!:notworthy:
 

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