Useful images from previous inspections

Here’s a few images/warnings issued over the years that still stand for some sites. These images have dropped down to the bottom of the news feed on the site so I thought I’d add them again and stick them to the top of the updates feed.

Rhiwbach Brow

Here’s a photo of the brow taken after the cracks were originally painted, this image can be used to compare any changes

22 MineReports2013 Rhiwbach Boating Brow PictureRhiwbach Entrance Adit

Picture of the entrance which has seen some vegetation’s slippage over the Winter of 2015-16


Rhiwbach Top Entrance

Photo following clearing some loose rock at the exit of the mine

22 MineReports2013 Rhiwbach Top Exit Picture

Wrysgan Slab

Route passed the fallen (eased) block between floors 4 & 5 in Wrysgan


Wrysgan Roof

Section of roof which pealed away in 2014. Photo can be used to compare changes

WrysganRockFall 2014

To inform other users of any changes to any of the mines used within the North Wales LCMLA scheme please either send an email to: (these can only be sent from email addresses registered when purchasing this years mine reports) or alternatively click here to send your report through the contact us page.

If emailing the group please note that all users will receive your message, so please use this mechanism considerately.

Any important updates will be summarised and reported here

Users Meeting: 12th March 10am

Hello all,

We’re putting a users meeting together for those who’d like a bit of an update regarding the mines etc. The meeting will go ahead using Google Meets, you can join the meeting by following this link:

A rough agenda is:

  • Date for the 2021 inspections
    • NW MineReports Ltd
  • Update regarding the Mines Inspectorates letter
  • Update regarding radon
  • Update regarding CAL and mines access
  • Venues, problems, concerns, COVID
  • AOB

Be great if you can join us.


Inspection Reports Now Available

This years inspection reports are now available, however will only be added to providers Google Drive once payment has been received.

For any new providers interested in buying into the reports for this year, the cost of the reports alone are £135, with an additional £25 if you wish to lead groups in Rhiwbach (to cover the cost of parking at the base of the mine, 2 vehicles only please) and replacement locks etc.

Inspection Week Programme

This years inspections will take place next week (starting the 16th March) with the programme as follows:

  • Monday: Dolgoch Adits & Henddol
  • Tuesday: Wrysgan (inc floor 6) & Bwlch y Plwm
  • Wednesday: Gerionydd Adits, possibly another small trial, & Rhiwbach
  • Thursday: Cwmorthin

Limited places are available for those keen to accompany the engineer and see what it’s all about! Get in touch if you’re keen


Users Meeting Minutes

A brief write up following last weeks meeting has been circulated to the email addresses for those registered to receive updates on the mines. If you’d like a read bug whoever you’re working for!!

Some key points:

  • Please hang up the BAs in Rhiwbach after use, leave them in the boat for others unless you’ve confirmed with the team behind you they’re planning on using the boat
  • All BAs in the mine have been checked and are fit for purpose
  • All anchors in the mines have been checked. Rigging diagrams available to confirm those that passed, and those that did not!
  • Some work on the reservoir above Rhiwbach may start in the next few months. No access restrictions just take care walking the track with groups as there may be heavy machines using the track
  • Upper gate of Rhiwbach being looked at and options discussed
  • Radon Underground update coming soon, expect a requirement to comply with the new regulations
  • Next round of inspections starting week commencing the 16th March. More info soon…
  • If you spot any changes in the mines following the storms please let us know so we can spread the word. Be extra vigulant in the slate mines after the heavy rains!


Rhiwbach BAs tested

The BAs in Rhiwbach were checked today with all passing. Each BA was visually inspected for any damage or lack of function and a selection float tested.

The float test took place in the mine, it would be good to get feedback from users on how quickly they dry should we need to do testing outside in the future. Testing in the mine was quick and easy, and would be even easier in the future as a suitable weight and tether are now in hidden behind the boulders in the boating chamber.

Sheet within the mine’s been updated and a copy here. This sheet may change depending on the outcome of this years users meeting with regards the frequently of inspections.


North Wales LCMLA Mine Users Meeting

North Wales Mines Users Meeting

Monday 10th of February 2020

Oaklands OEC 


Following previous years gatherings, we’ve arranged another opportunity for those working within the mines to get together, discuss any hot topics, concerns and find out about on-going projects and issues. 

Details are also available here:

Rough Agenda

  • 10am Welcome/Introductions
  • Access
    • Likely review of the award scheme with the Mines Inspectorate 
    • Update from CAL (Cave Access Ltd) who are manage access to some of the mines owned by National Resources Wales (previously the Forestry Commission)
    • Update on Gaewern & Aberllefenni 
    • Rhiwbach
      • Feedback from residence
      • Forestry work
      • Buoyancy aid testing and monitoring 
  • Any changes/concerns
  • Update on Radon Underground
  • Update on Anchors
  • Mine Inspections for this year: Week Commencing the 16th March 
    • Any new sites? 
    • Venues: Wrysgan, Bwlch y Plwm, Cwmorthin, Rhiwbach, Dolgoch Adits, Henddol
    • Any additional sites people would like to have inspected?
  • AOB

I’d hope we could rattle through this lot in a few hours, hope you can make it. Directions to Oaklands can be found here:


2nd February 2020

Anchor testing completed

Anchor testing in Rhiwbach, Bwlch y Plwm, Wrysgan and Fish Caves has now been completed (to be fair Pete finished off Rhiwbach and Bwlch y Plwm over the Summer!)

Anchors within the blue routes were visually inspected, and where appropriate pull tested with a Hydrawjaw test rig up to 6kN for 15sec. To pass the test the anchor needs to hold the load for that period without fluctuating.

All anchors that passed both the visual (i.e. recognisable, no signs of corruption, not deformed, no movement) and pull test will have a green cable tie fixed to them, any that failed (but we’ve not been able to extract) will have a red cable tie. Anchors with no cable ties may not have been tested as it wasn’t possible to fit the test rig over the anchor.

Rigging plans with all the tested anchors are available here, with the exception of Wrysgan which just needs double checking, all will be added to the Mine Inspection Reports folders available through Google Docs.

Several anchors failed during the tests (see video).

In several cases old 12mm SPIT type anchors (found in Wrysgan) pulled at relatively low loads. These all showed signs of corrosion. There are several Petzl long-life (see photo) anchors in Bwlch y Plwm that were not tested, if using these you do so at your own risk. Any expansion anchor to be tested really needs to have the anchor plate removed and the pull device attached directly to the anchoring component. This isn’t possible with the Petzl long-lifes. Petzl Longlife

Notably several anchors in Fish Caves failed, and frustratingly it was not possible to remove them. The failure mechanism looks to have been a resin/rock bond failure which suggests the holes were more cleaned throughly before placing the resin. The failed anchors are all on the second pitch in Fish Caves and so requires a slightly different approach to rigging (see rigging diagram). I’m afraid this is going to persecute the short!

Fish Caves is rigged predominantly with DMM anchors. These flex when the tested so it’s not unusual to see the resin around the head of the anchor crack (see the image of a passed anchor below). Do not be alarmed by this if using these anchors. However as will all anchors ultimately the user must make a decision if they feel it’s safe to use. Before each use check;

  • Do you recognise the anchor (i.e. is it PPE, manufactured by a reputable company)
  • Check for signs of corrosion
  • Is the anchor set properly (i.e. nor proud of the rock)
  • Check the anchor isn’t deformed or have any sharp edges (especially if tying in direct)
  • Does the rock around the anchor look sound?
  • Does the anchor move if twisted by hand

Please report any defective anchors through the mines inspections email account, through facebook or direct here:

Latest Mine Reports Available

The latest mine reports have been uploaded to providers Google Drive box. Those with access should be able to log in and download the most recent repots by following this link:

Any problem get in touch


Message regarding conservation from the N. Wales LCMLA panel

Hello all,

At a recent panel meeting concern was expressed regarding the conservation of our mines. The panel would ask the following statement is shared among current and aspirant instructors;

Members of the N.Wales LCMLA trainer/assessor panel are becoming increasingly concerned with the level of food waste and rubbish found within the mines, and the deterioration of some unique artifacts.


We would ask that group leaders try to eat outside the mine where any food waste accidently dropped will degrade. If eating underground is unavoidable please consider what you’re eating, for example try to avoid eating crisps or grated cheese which is easily dropped, save them until you get out! Please also make all efforts to pick up any dropped food or rubbish.


Please do not pick up or move any artifacts such as the slate wagon in Rhiwbach or the hobnail boots, and please make sure groups are appropriately supervised when exploring areas where there are known caches of artifacts. It’s sadly noticeable how much some of these artifacts, having survived for decades, have degraded or been completely destroyed given the increased activity within the mines.


Please be aware that the panel will be taking a more robust stance during assessments with regards to conservation.


Leaders should be aware of the cave/mine conservation code:


North Wales LCMLA Trainer/Assessor Panel. 

April 2019

Thank you