I looked at some interest at my old copy of northern caves. The cave was almost a mile long but I had never heard of it. It had no pitches and seemed like a straightforward kind of affair so it was perfect for an after work solo trip.
Off I set up to the traditional village of Arncliff where I found am easy parking spot in a layby on the opposite side of the village. Arriving at 7pm I had a wonderful stroll across the still very sunny farmland, where after a mile I set off up hill into a small wood.
The cave entrance is a very large affair it looked like it had been mined, however not too far in these impressive dimensions soon diminished when I took the left-hand branch (Historic way). Crawling at first led to stooping before becoming flat out. The passage split, one way just got too small even for me after calcite and the other ended in a boulder choke, no draft.
Historic way before it became flat out
Back in the main cave, I followed the main route I realised I would not have any time for side passages, so on I crawled and crawled and crawled along the main passage, past rocks, through pools, some mud and quite nice smooth phreatic passage.
Half way along the left hand series
It in varied many ways with the exception it remained crawling height. Spurred on by a strong draft finally about half a km from the entrance I reached the stream.
Downstream ended quickly in an inviting clear sump, up stream led via (you guessed it) a crawl to a large boulder choke with water pouring through it, it drafted something fierce, but it would take a colossal effort to blast through.
I headed out, returning to the crawl… after about 300m I decided to turn my light off both to see if its possible to exit a cave with no light and to relieve the boredom of the crawl. Crawling was quite easy I just followed the wall, stooping while the passage remained narrow was also not too difficult with the occasional boulder to scramble over in the dark. Then suddenly, still some distance from the entrance I was not in complete darkness, ahead of me was a small light and it was blinking. Initially confused, I soon realised it was the bat detector, a solitary light leading me towards the exit, more scrambling over boulders and keeping a firm grip on the right-hand wall I finally reached the exit, a slightly less black, blackness, night had fallen.
I turned my light back on and went back in for my satmap I left in the cave for safe keeping. It was 9:50pm
In summary the cave kept me interested on the way in, but its a bugger on the way out. Still its another cave I had not done before.