Me and Don wanted to do something different, so with the rain forcasted for the afternoon we figured we could fit in a quick sneaky trip to the slight flood prone Short gill cave first and then Barbon pot which is not partially flood prone.
The description does not do the place justice and is not very helpful. In the old northern caves it basically says “Harmless” in the new Northern caves they have extended that description greatly to say “Mostly harmless”.
The entrance climb was quite fun, a little narrow then it opens out, quite difficult climbing it one handed as I held a rope in my other hand for the first “pitch” we would need to hand-line. However the “pitch” not only had a fixed ladder on it but also a bypass underneath.
The cave started off quite large but soon became crawly we took the right-hand passage and after passing a dig and some larger passage we came across some real nice gours.
From after here there was a few ways on. I could hear water to the left, which I assumed was the main stream. This was rather tight and flat out and through water before it finally opened out into a dead-end chamber, Doh. The sound of the water was coming from a fist sized hole in the corner.
Finally we went the right way and after a short bit of sideways crawling in a trickle of water we emerged in bigger passage
We were stomping down the 229 meter stream passage. Only it wasn’t it ended after 15 at a sump. Some more crawling by an obvious passage on the left bypassed that and we were back in the main stream passage but again not what was promised as we were now slivering over gravel in a low passage. We soon came across a ladder on the floor. We took this to be the one that we would use for the second sump bypass. Once ladder righted (good job it was tied on) we popped up a 4m high climb not even mentioned in Northern caves. The ladder was way too short meaning you had to climb most of it.
Finally after more crawling we came into proper sporting stream passage, with some sporting cascades thrown in, again not mentioned! Before finally reaching the sump.
We exited swiftly knowing rain was due soon. We then set about looking for Barbon pot, only Don has miscounted the gullys and we spent 2 hours searching the wrong hill side before horizontal rain set in and we escaped to the inn in Barbon. Got to be one of the most friendliest places I have been for a while. Another alternative to the Whoop, which is by all accounts the least friendliest. (I don’t think it’s that bad!)