CC15 Nant y Crochan (Raven1)
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This is the fifteenth of a series, the “Caerphilly Collection”, that explores the whole Borough Council area. This cache is also one of a subset around the strenuous circular Raven Walk. One virtual cache leads to the final regular cache in a small plastic clip-lock box. A hard 4-mile walk is encouraged but, even if you drive as much as possible, expect an overall walk of about a mile with 200' of ascent. It may be muddy at times.
The Caerphilly Collection is distinguished with a unique CC number and is made up of 50 caches. The caches vary in difficulty and type and usually have other “C” word connections – castle, cheese, coal, canal, etc. There may even be Cryptic Clues for Clever Clogs! The current Caerphilly unitary authority grew out of the former Rhymney Valley and Islwyn Councils and stretches from the outskirts of Cardiff and Newport in the south to the Brecon Beacons, north of Rhymney. Despite a past dominated by coal and heavy industry, it has a diverse history and varied and dramatic scenery. We hope you will enjoy exploring it with us.
Towards the end of the Collection is CC48 The Accumulator, the location of which is given in coded form. The translation details of the code are distributed around the whole Collection, but only about a third of the caches will contain a piece of the code, which is on the back of the Log Book. To do the Accumulator, you will need to keep a note of each piece of code that you find. Unless you are very lucky, you will need to find the majority of the Collection in order to do the Accumulator. The Accumulator cache is hidden in an area of difficult terrain and demanding navigation, with a 5,4½ rating.
CC15 is the first of a subset of the main series, following the Raven Walk which is about 14 miles long with 3500' of ascent, around the confluence of the rivers Ebbw and Sirhowy. The official start/finish is at the Cwmcarn Visitor Centre and our set of caches begins here and is designed to follow segments of the circular route (so CC could also stand for Cwmcarn Circular) in the recommended anticlockwise direction.
There is plenty of pay parking at the Visitor Centre (2 hours @ £1: all day @ £3, in 2018). When originally established, the guide from the Visitor Centre included the cost of a badge for those who completed the walk. Proof of the achievement was the aggregation of four brass rubbings from posts (topped by carved ravens) placed strategically around the Walk. There was (and still is) no obligation to do the walk in one go. Sadly, all of the original carved ravens succumbed to vandalism and their posts (and brass plates) have been removed and most of the original waymarks (see uploaded image) have disappeared. But don't let this put you off: there are new raven sculptures and waymarks, an improved guide and a new challenge, which requires the finding of Ogam characters at the sculptures and translating these into a Welsh word. The correct word will gain you an enamel Raven Walk badge. Despite its proximity to over-populated valleys, the trail finds some beautiful countryside and achieves magnificent vantage points. You are advised to use a 1:25000 map to ensure that you find the Raven Walk route and use public rights of way to get to the cache.
In the following, VC stands for Virtual Cache and RC for Regular Cache.
VC1 is at the coordinates given above for this cache. There is parking nearby and this is also the time to check out the Visitor Centre and to get any advice on the Raven Walk. At VC1, find the post with a small plate on the top. Make a note of the heading name (a mountain bike trail consortium) above the fir tree and convert it into a set of numbers using the keypad of your mobile phone.
RC2 is at N51 3a.bc6 W003 0d.cf8 and close to the first raven sculpture which is at N51 3a.bc0 W003 0d.ce2, where:
a = the sixth number in the set derived at VC1
b = the fifth number
c = the ninth number minus the eight number
d = the sum of the sixth, seventh and eighth numbers divided by the first number
e = the sum of the second and third numbers divided by the first number
f = the third number
It is about a 2-mile walk from VC1 with around 1000' of ascent, most of it in the last ½ mile and steep and rough in parts. At the wrong time of year, it may also be wet and muddy. Because of the tree cover, GPS accuracy may be poor, but the sculpture should be easier to spot and, if you are really stumped, the "hint" will get you from the sculpture to the cache. The difficulty and terrain ratings assume that you approach from Cwmcarn. For the easier option mentioned above, you should park near the church at Mynyddislwyn (starting point for CC16) and follow the Raven Walk in reverse, passing to the south of the rifle range and clay pigeon shooting area. If you do this and use the hint, the difficulty and terrain ratings would be reduced by at least one.
If you do the whole subset (CC15 to CC19) and the complete Raven Walk in one go, please include this achievement in your log.
Sebz gur enira fphycgher, urnq sbe gur erq fcbg va gur fcbvyre vzntr.
- Original Raven Walk waymark signNot sure if any of these are left around the route now.
- SpoilerFrom sculpture, head for red spot
- View down Nant y Crochan Valley
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Coordinates are in the WGS84 datum