29th December 2001 – Gatekirk Cave
Myself, Pete & Iain had planned on doing Bruntscar Cave but we got out of the car decided it was too cold to get changed (Pete was happy enough in the car) so we opted for a walk instead. We walked up the dry stream bed towards Gatekirk having a glance at any cave we found on the way. Upon arriving at the entrance, it was decided that we should do a through trip (well we did go for a caving trip after all) in our normal clothing. A nice crawl into the darkness of the entrance with only one little 0.1watt torch to light the way for 3 people, saw us all in. After a quick stagger in the dark and a dead end, we opted to jump from a high crawl across to a small ledge the other side of the streamway. Following this upstream was entertaining, as the ledge narrowed quickly and the roof lowered causing more hindrance to the task of remaining dry. Luckily the route we were following (cheers Dunc) was a dead end. The way out was actually a stride across the stream with traverse (fighting gravity to remain dry) with a small climb up and crawl through a bit of passage. I made it out with a slightly damp foot, Duncan with a bit of crud on his fleece. Pete took out half of the cave crud with him. After a sedate and serine walk back to the car, we enjoyed a couple of nice hail storms on our return journey.
The moral of the story: Caving without changing is warm and luxurious. :)
15th December 2001 – Lancaster Hole, Dig
A previous visit to Lancaster Hole found us having a quick look round Bridge Hall, where upon we came across a small hole at the lower end, a quick look down and
we realised that a dig had taken place down in the floor but round to the left was a very small draughting hole, fairly obscured by rocks and cobbles. A quick digging session
led us to a small squeeze into a short crawl with a draughting hole in the floor and a passage off to the left which quickly choked. The floor was partly dug, although it was
getting late and cold and we had to leave it for another day. On the 15th Dec we returned to Lancaster with our hopes high, quickly arriving at the dig we proceeded to attack
the mud/cobble floor and slowly made downward progress, eventually bigger gaps started appearing and then I told Duncan to go and have a look. He slowly slid down the mud/cobble
slope and disappeared, with reports of small passage heading off. Then I heard a strange grunt and Duncan saying we had broken into known ground. Ahh well we thought, no new
passage but we had found an alternative way into the Graveyard with no pitch and slightly quicker than the old route although the mud/cobble slopes aren’t
perfectly stable its better than nowt!.. A quick look around the Graveyard and we made our way out.
1st December 2001 – Knock Fell Caverns
Four of us slogged up the fell and down into this maze cave, decided to follow the South Route, towards Merlin Cave and undertook an enjoyable round trip.
As ever the excellent survey was utilised to navigate around this complex little cave.
17th November 2001 – Diccan Pot
The weather was suitable for Diccan and we had someone else rigging it who was prepared to let us use their ropes.
The rigging party set off leaving me, Pete and Jan to catch up, which we soon did. On our way to the first pitch I
had trouble with my light so with that along with knowing it could be a slow and cold trip I decided to abandon Diccan and go for an easy play in Long Churn Caves. Pete and Jan
who were wearing Neofleeces continued down. Jan made it as far as the top of the last pitch and Pete got to the
bottom but opted to exit via Alum Main Shaft.
10th November 2001 – James Halls..White River
Not a BRCC trip but myself and Pete were on the trip and the only ones to make it all the way up to the Kingdom.
A cold day saw us gathering in the Peak District for the trip, eventually we got into the warmth of the underground and we quickly made progress down JH, after a while we arrived
at the bottom and we undid the lock at the gate wondering what the water levels were like in Speedwell, at the bottom of the ladders we came across a wet section which neither of us
remembered from last time, at this point we thought it might be wet in Speedwell but arriving at the junction with the streamway we soon realised
something was missing – water!.. it was very dry and progress along the streamway was very easy and we soon arrived at a (reasonably) dry Bung Hole.
A quick rest at Block Hall saw people slowly making their way upwards into the darkness, it was at this point people started dropping out, one by one they left
until it was just me and Pete clambering up muddy slopes and along the muddy crawl following the draught we just knew had to come from
the Kingdom. Emerging from the crawl we were greeted with some superb formations. An easy walk along the passage which was adorned with pretties we knew the
effort of prusiking all the way up here was definitely worth it!
As time was getting on we decided to turn round and set about making our exit, we could hear the distant sound of the other members of the group making their way out and at the
bottom of JH we caught up with one of them. There was some rope in place down JH which we used to make our exit as our rope had been taken out by the people who left
the cave early. Arriving at the entrance we waited for Jan to make her ascent and slowly getting cold me and Pete decided we would double prusik on the way up to
save time, plus it kept both of us warm and we had company for the 50m ascent. Arriving at the top in the dark it was warmer than what it had been which was a
welcome relief, we made our way back to the cars happy in the knowledge that we had had a superb caving trip..Well worth doing..
3rd November 2001 – Notts 2, Committee Pot/Iron Kiln
An easy dig led us down a scaffolded shaft and into the easy passages of Notts2, a nice streamway led us to the sump. On the return journey we had a look down Green
Tape Inlet, we then made our way out back to the surface. And if you don’t know the full story behind this trip, ask around I’m sure someone will tell you their
opinion on the subject…
Pete Dale & Duncan Jones