Pikedaw Calamine Caverns, 7th of April 2018

Pikedaw Calamine Caverns, 7th of April 2018

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This topic contains 6 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by  scaife 8 months, 1 week ago.

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  • #6166

    scaife
    Participant

    Pikedaw Calamine Caverns
    Saturday 7th of April 2018
    Chris Scaife and Chriss Shaman

    It’s been a bit moist recently, so the Shaman and I decided on a safe all weather, albeit quite easy, option. I’d never been to Pikedaw Calamine Caverns before and Shaman had but couldn’t remember anything about it.

    The metal lid entrance is easy to find using the map in Northern Caves. In the 1991 guidebook it’s the dot under the “ve” of Caverns. I’ve no idea what the dot is under the “ne” of Calamine.

    Anyway, once down the mined entrance, we went to Lord’s Chamber. (Actually, come to think of it, I first had to go back up the pitch, because I’d forgotten to close the metal lid. It was a good job I did, because when we exited there were cows everywhere and the last thing you want when ascending a pitch is a Belted Galloway crashing down on your head.) The first, ascending, passage to the right from the chamber was one of the most enjoyable parts of the cave – a narrow, winding crawl with a few easy squeezes. Before the narrow bit there was an entertaining climb up into a very short mined passage, from which we both jumped back down.

    Cave Pearl Passage was the next bit leading away from Lord’s Chamber and involved a few puddles, a slope and a couple of interesting passages off to the side. We then returned to Lord’s Chamber and up the 12 foot climb, which leads into a boulder choke. A narrow slot in the floor of the boulder choke is known in some circles as a pitch, but we bold explorers of course free-climbed it, via footholds initially and then a smeary final few metres.

    East Passage was at the foot of the “pitch” and we followed this to the foot of the entrance pitch, then back to Lord’s Chamber and we walked to the end of Cavern 84.

    On the opposite side of the entrance pitch, we headed down Cavern 44, which merged seamlessly into Cavern 104 and The Great Shake, and then things get a little hazy. There were little passages going all over the place. We seem to have explored every nook and cranny before heading out.

    We went to the Lister Arms, which was a marvellous themed pub, entirely based upon the life of the eponymous Red Dwarf character. Malham was extremely busy for such a rainy day. I can’t help but feel partly responsible for this: all these people hoping to see a waterfall flowing over the cove, like the one I saw once.

    #6167

    Don
    Participant

    I’m glad that you were finally able to visit old Calamine, as I know you’ve mentioned it a number of times over the years as a potential wet weather option. Was the cave full of gloppity red mud? I seem to recall having read somewhere once that the cave is notorious for leaving visitors, well, extremely dirty.

    How long it did take you to explore every nook and cranny?

    #6168

    ChrisSh
    Participant

    It didn’t seem particularly muddy when we were there, but when I got home my oversuit seemed to have been somewhere much muddier than I remember.
    Not sure how long we were down – probably about 3 hours?

    #6169

    scaife
    Participant

    It’s really not very muddy at all. I don’t know why people say it is.

    We saw an unforgivable act of vandalism in there. Some bastard had written, “D. Miller 1986” on the wall. If I ever find D. Miller I’d like to give him a piece of my mind.

    #6170

    Xandar
    Moderator

    Red mud, I think don is getting mixed up with the cave/mine we visited in the Lakes. Pikedaw is only muddy if you try the wet final sections towards the sump at the bottom.

    #6174

    Dunc
    Moderator

    The metal lid entrance is easy to find using the map in Northern Caves. In the 1991 guidebook it’s the dot under the “ve” of Caverns. I’ve no idea what the dot is under the “ne” of Calamine.

    Without looking at the book, would the second dot be the other (blocked) entrance to Pikedaw?

    #6175

    scaife
    Participant

    Now that would make sense.

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