As ever with our evening trips we were heading up the M6 with only a selection of vague ideas. Finally we opted for Ribblehead, although this time the southern side of the road.
First up was Black Reef Cave; which doesn’t mess about, within a few metres the water deepens and it’s damn cold water at that. At the worst point it’s chest deep, thankfully it relents and a pleasing streamway follows. After a brief crawl it becomes obvious where the cave gets it name, a dash more walking then it lowers to another crawl.
Next up, after a detour looking at the scenic Thorns Gill, we reached Cove Hole. We had to dig our way in a little but once in we found another pleasing stream passage – it became lofty and clean washed, before becoming lofty and mud coated – evidence of flooding is all around. At Halfway House Rob carried on through a low shuffle in to a gloomy continuation. There’s more to the exit from this cave, but more of that at a later date (when something is sorted)..
As the night was still young we headed back to sample more of Thorns Gill on our way to Katnot Cave.
This cave starts with a bit of clambering over blocks to a heavily graffiti ridden chamber. Once you exit the chamber you find yourself in a fairly surprising stream passage, carrying a respectable sized stream, after an impressive amble the cave lowered, Rob carried on a short way before we headed out.
On the walk back we spotted someone watching us from the Gritstone Hut – he came out for a quick chat. It turns out they were lamenting the fact you never see cavers out midweek and there out of the blue, well, up the green field, stride two yellow suited goons!
We stopped for a well earned pint at the Hill Inn.