Mr S had kindly agreed to acompany me on an easy(ish) trip for my return to the underground world and I’ve never yet been down this cave so it made it an obvious choice.
We rigged the direct route down the entrance shaft as I wanted a bit of SRT practice….we also took the rope for the rest of the pitches (I’m not really fit enough to risk free climbing them) but they were already rigged courtesy of the Cave Diving Group. We both decided we would go upstream to Gour Pool Chamber first (Chris had never been there) and used the pitches to make our way down to Complex Junction Chamber (not to be confused with Complex junction itself as we did!) which lived up to it’s name. Chris had done the cave before, we had a faily detailed map and the description from the new Northern Caves…non of which seemed to felp us with finding the route to Gour pool chamber. Maybe I’m just out of practice but both the map and the description are rather hard to follow if you don’t know the cave and (I hate to point the finger) Mr S did strongly insist that what transpired to be the correct route upstream, was most definately going downstream!
Regardless, we had a good poke around most of the passages leaving Complex Junction Chamber and saw a good chunk of the cave (though neither of us fancied crawling through the canals at the bottom so don’t know if the sumps were passable or not). On finally finding our way to the upstream passages next to Gour Pool Chamber Mr S was once again thwarted by the tight upward sqeeze that had prevented his getting into the chamber in the past. I carried on along the hading rift as according to Northern Caves you can get to the chamber that way but after some fairly tight and awkward thrutching over pretty worn rock, I arrived at what was most certainly a dead end. I don’t know if we missed something or if there has been a collapse?
We then made our way out and I made a half hearted attempt at the upwards sqeeze but by this point my lack of fitness was starting to take it’s toll and I’m not sure I’d get through anyway.
Fun was had and it was a pleasant re-introduction to the joys/miseries of caving. All topped off by a pint in Don’s favourite drinking establishment.