Interesting report. Scaife and I have talked about visiting the caves in this area for a long time. There’s a lot to check out if you’re willing to walk around. I’ve done a lot of fun Grade 2 caves in the past, like that one near Buttertubs that several of us (including, you Scaife and Carol) did a few years ago. Can’t remember the name. Elpha Green in Allendale is a lot of fun too.
I’d like to go back and check out P69a (I think that’s the name) again, the one near Knacker Trapper that Dave Ramsay was digging a few years ago. It had a duck in it. I wonder how far it was pushed.
Though we may not have travelled far into these two caves, it was still a good trip. The passage in Marble Sink, in my view, is exactly the same – albeit narrower – as the first part of Roly Poly Passage in Peterson Pot, i.e. the short section with a tight squeeze immediately below the entrance pitch and climb that leads into a small room before Roly Poly proper starts.
The Marble Pot we visited only partly matches the description of Marble Pot in NC2 (and I’m not referring to the collapsed section). Someone(s) have obviously put a lot of effort into exploring various avens, though not recently, given the condition of the ropes, which actually weren’t too bad. It would have been nice to have ascended the rope with the bat attached to it, but for obvious reasons we couldn’t. The shakehole is very impressive and steep.
I’ve been reluctant in the past to cave much in this area due to the long walk required to reach it, which I thought was uphill all the way, but the walk was actually pleasant. It is uphill most of the way, but the gradient is never too steep. Probably best to visit this area when the weather is warmer though. I thought my fingers were going to fall off on the walk back to the car. Lying in a puddle for 30 minutes surely didn’t help.
Given how flood prone the cave is, I imagine it would be pretty terrifying if you were to encounter water in the cave (i.e. water beyond what is there in dry conditions).
How long did the trip take, once you found the right cave?
Both (you and Scaife) of your right legs were ripped out, creating a five inch tear? Hmm… Sounds like it was a ‘hard’ cave.
At one point when he was rigging he told me that his left arm was going numb. I told him to attach an alarm clock to it to stop it from falling asleep.
I was worried about whether you’d remember how to rig. If you’d forgotten how to rig we could have gotten hurt. That would have been a ropey situation.
Your turning into Alex, solo boy. Next thing you know you’ll be doing solo trips to the bottom of Quaking.
I don’t know, but when I tried to solo Bull Pot a few years ago I swear I could hear two people talking. I could almost, but not quite, make out what they were saying. It’s as if they were just beneath me in the slot pitch. It’s strange because I had never noticed anything like that in a cave before. Then again, I haven’t done much solo caving apart from Swinsto and Chapter House Traverse. I’m sure it was just water, but it did freak me out, as I was in there two or three weeks after the infamous accident.
Wake up, sheeple!
How are you doing Dan? Where are you living these days? Isn’t it somewhere east of Bristol? Do you think you’ll ever come back up north for another caving adventure?
I tried soloing Bull Pot a few years ago as well, but had to turn back at the top of the third pitch as I heard a ghostly voice emanating from below the narrow slot. Did you experience any paranormal phenomenon?
‘I can say I am still quite sore around my chest and it’s still quite painful to bend down and stand up due to bruising on my lower back caused by me retreating out of the squeeze.’
Oh dear… Are you referring to your love life or the caving trip?
Losing your keys is definitely a recurring theme with you, Alex. Do you remember when you and I did Turbary Pot a few weeks ago and you couldn’t find your keys when we got back to the cars? You looked for about ten minutes before I pointed out that they were sitting on your bonnet. Oh dear. It’s terrible the way one’s mind starts to go as one gets closer to 40…
‘That was a weird encounter but took him to the end and explored the inlets as well.’
I really enjoyed this trip. In spite of the fact that there were only a couple of small route finding issues, the trip somehow managed to take around five hours. I don’t see how anyone could possibly get bored doing this trip. Next time I’d like to do it from Dow to Providence. I imagine it would almost be like doing a new cave.
An excellent trip. It only took me an hour and eight minutes to drive home, and that includes a diversion as the A1 was closed for several miles due to resurfacing. We should do trips like this more often!
I had a look at the survey earlier and, as you highlighted in your account above, Keystone Passage ends at Choke Aven. I really think we should go back – when it’s very dry – and have a go at digging it out. The floor is gravelly so it would be very easy to dig out. One can see that the passage continues, though in its current state it’s completely flat-out and the only way to proceed forward would be to treat it as a duck and go forward on one’s back. There might be potential here though. You never know.
As I was saying to Scaife last night, it’s funny how whenever people do long caving trips people rarely give up and keep pushing to get to the end. However, when it comes to shorter caving trips, or in this case an easier caving trip, people (and I’m including myself here to an extent) look for any opportunity they can to turn around. ‘This is probably the end of the cave, so let’s turn back.’ ‘We probably won’t find anything interesting if we keep going forward, it will just be the same as before.’ ‘I’m kind of cold. Let’s go back to the cars.’
So I say we go back and try to dig the passage out.