Log-2009

Log-2009

12th December 2009 – Ogof Draenen
An enjoyable 6 hour trip for two (Alex and Dom) was had in Draenen taking in the round trip and a few little side passages such as Wooden Spoon passage. The only drama to be had was that it took us over an hour to get into the cave as the code had changed and consequently me and Dom were ringing around all we knew before eventually after speaking to Dan and getting the number of someone who knew the number of Whitewalls it self we finally got the code.
Alex

1st December 2009 – Walking through Dovedale photos
A cold start and dry morning seemed the perfect chance to enjoy a stroll through some fine Peak District limestone scenery. Arriving at 8am I found the Dovedale car park still closed (opens at 9!) so I had to find an alternative parking solution close by.. Starting from Ilam a quick visit was made to the top of Thorpe Cloud before the stroll along the dale beckoned.
Along the route I took in quick visits to Reynards Cave & Kitchen along with the natural arch, a small resurgence cave (the name of which I’m unsure of), Ilam Rock Cave and finally Dove Holes. From here I continued onwards to Milldale before heading back across farm land to the start.
Dunc

14th November 2009 – Deaths Head – Big Meanie
Full trip report. A fine and somewhat less popular exchange trip (it’s only the top metre of Big Meanie that’s narrow, the rest is fine). 2 people down each hole and a straightforward exhange was undertaken.

7th November 2009 – Rumbling Hole
Had a permit for Rumbling….3 Descended Rumbling, Dan got to the bottom of the second pitch, where he discovered as we all expected it was too wet. I waited at the big ledge at the bottom of the first pitch which was far warmer than the fell! Daz went to the re-belay and back. Oh Pete also came down to tell us they were going short drop.
When I reached the re-belay (going out), Pete shouted to me that they were actually going to Peterson but I was wearing a neoprene hood so I did not hear, and assumed they went down Short Drop still. So that was where me and Dan went and had a pleasurable hour and a half to two hours caving in there while the rest had their “fun” in Peterson.
I really wish I did go to Peterson with the others as I would have been able to go through Roly Poly and show Chriss the way through to Mistral having been through there in both directions now (though as I understand it he did not have his SRT kit!). Oh well glad he is okay as were concerned. Especially since the police made us all drive down to Lancaster to give a statement we thought things must really be serious, but it was just the police over reacting. Why couldn’t they take our statements at the scene, F-knows. Driving in that torrential rain was awful and damn dangerous as the roads were flooded in places.

We finally met Chris at about 11pm back up at Leck Fell after completing his through trip, which he really wanted to do, just not with the CRO!

31st October 2009 – A walk taking in some obscure holes photos
An early start saw me arriving at a gloomy car park, the walk started pleasantly and with a gentle gradient I soon reached ‘Pots & Pans’ (a rock formation) with the war memorial close by, not that it was that noticeable being masked by low cloud! From here I decided to abandon my plans to walk to Running Hill (I will save that for a day with better visibility) and headed over to Aldermans Hill. Here I set about scouting around for a couple of gritstone cave features listed in NC3. Having eventually found a line of depressions that led to Fairy Holes, Twin Shafts was located quickly after. With no sign of the visibility improving I headed back down to the car and a short drive home for a well earned coffee.
Dunc

31st October 2009 – Lower Arch Cave
See the Lower Arch Cave page (broken link) for more information on a three hour solo digging session.

25th October 2009 – Giants Hole
A fantastic trip to Gaints was taken today, taking in most of the sights that the cave has. When we got there it was like a day at the circus, imagine Churns and then double it. Luckly they needed to faff alot so we ran into the cave before the crowds descended on us. We shot down Garlands Pot and got away, safe!.
A brisk stroll down the Crab Walk and a fixed ladder saw us to the Eating House. We spotted the way on for the round trip instantly but we wanted to bottom the place. Looking at the survey we though we had to go that way partly. We popped up the climb in the Eating House and continued on up a boulder slope past the round trip turn off. It went up and up and up until it eventually terminated at a dig (recently blasted, we could tell due to the quite fresh smell of destroyed rock in the air). After a bit of ferrting around we gussed the way on for us was back down in Eating House so back down we went.

We found our way on and then proceeded to head to the bottom of the pot. Now it was getting quite sporting we had it all a duck, a few climbs a couple of pitches (one pretty nice) as well as a traverse all thrown in (all in-situ rigged). We reached the bottom sump canal and spotted pitches going up, perhaps a round trip? – looks like on the survey. We started heading up the correctly named Filthy Five pitches only for Rob to check the survey once again. He found our way is blocked by a sump darn! P.s. the anchors in Filthy Five have seen better days!

So down through the mud we went and back up the pitches, ducks and climbs to return to the Eating House. From there we took in the upper series with the damp Giants Windpipe, before heading down the rift to the start of the Crab Walk, completing that round trip.

Was a good trip despite the short wait, to get out of Garlands Pot.
Trip length, Approx 4 hours long.
Alex

17th October 2009 – Lower Arch Cave
See the Lower Arch Cave page (broken link) for more information on the digging activities. A solo digging session to kickstart interest back in to digging on Storrs Common and in particular our old favourite, long term, sandy dig! Grab your spade and push it further..

11th October 2009 – Skirwith Cave and Storrs Common photos
After many discussions about digging and having a nosey at Storrs Common again we finally found a day to do it! A team of 5 descended on the common and visited Lower Arch Cave – nothing has changed apart from the fact it is now home to a rabbit, I just hope it likes water :-\  We then progressed on to Long Gour Cave for a short but pleasant trip, the choke at the end was described by Alex as totally hopeless so the large passage regrettably remains lost. A few bits of rubbish were removed from the cave before we headed over to Skirwith Cave.
As ever it was a pleasant and easy stroll through this former show-cave, above the waterfall the choked inlet was looked at and the stream passage was followed to the sump by some before a retreat was finally made. A couple of photos later we emerged into a fine sunny afternoon and after a leisurely change we rounded the day off in a local watering hole!

4th October 2009 – Hammer Pot
See bottom of the trip report. A solo gear retrieval trip for Alex. Nobody else was available to help so off he trotted with a ladder and a ‘fishing rod’. The tackle sack (the main item he wanted) was retrieved successfully, the wellies still remain if anyone wants a pair!
The fishing rod, alas, failed to make it out also.

27th September 2009 – Otter Hole
A four man team descended on otter, getting in at about 9:15 am. We made it to the first sump within 30 minutes, where it was already half way to filling up any later and we may had missed it. A none eventful scramble followed, which led us between and up and over boulders before arriving at hall of the thirty, after about 2 hours from entry. It was at this point our guide warned us we were too quick, and would have to slow down a bit or we will get bored waiting for the sump to open again!
Anyway, we didn’t know how to do this and continued on at the same pace passing into the next passage from impressive hall of thirty – If only my camera weren’t in Hammer Pot! We entered the new stuff. The first bit of this new stuff known as the black stal stunk of tar, having a look at the survey puts us right under the A466 at this point. After this and a few calcite climbs we reached Gour Passage. We all thought while going along this decorative passage was actually on par if not more beautiful then hall of the thirty and I was certainly glad to visit this part as I missed it last time. We carried on to the bitter end, the terminal sump, all the time scrambling over blocks and small climbs.

After looking at the sump we poked our heads into terminal chamber which was surprisingly large. With still plenty of time to kill we had a look up tunnels right were the risk of damaging formations forced us to stop. We then began the long scramble out. We had a quick stop in the hall of thirty for some refuelling. We then popped a look at sump 2 had a chat for a while before heading to see if sump 1 was still a sump. Luckily the tide was little early heading out. We were not expecting it out until 5pm and it was only around
4:30pm. Chris and Jen got through the eye hole but by the time it was anyone else’s turn the water level was too low to make the climb up and we had to wait 10 minutes or so, before we could get though the duck without our whole head being under water.
We exited at around 5:30pm making the trip about eight hours and a quarter long. A quick hose down in the “bath” broke up the walk up the hill and made the walk seem no where near as bad as last time!
Alex

26th September 2009 – Magnetometer Pot photos
With most people unavailable due to various reasons it was left to Dunc and Pete to undertake a trip in this classic and, it has to be said, strange cave. A straightforward trip to Caton Hall taking in Styx Slope and sticking our heads in the Holes of Holes Junction along the way.
Also indulged in a few snapshots. Below Caton Hall we entered the low Rough Crawl and aimed upstream to find the start of Purgatory Passage, which we did easily, after looking at the first (snug) squeeze we headed back out.

20th September 2009 – Hammer Pot
Full trip report. A Fountains Fell ‘classic’. Four hopefuls entered and made it to the bottom, then three exited without too much difficulty, one became stuck at the bottom of Stemple Rift and eventually freed himself from his predicament by following the rift at stream level!
A long but good day and potentially expensive unless the abandoned personal gear in Stemple Rift can be retrieved..

12th September 2009 – White Scar Cave (beyond the show cave) photos
Full trip report. Five people assembled in the car park of White Scar Cave, all but one with neoprene of some description. A straightforward trip taking in the fine streamway to the upstream sump, a nosey at Moonmilk Inlet, the start of Sleepwalker and Straw Chamber.

30th August 2009 – Jean Pot
Full trip report. The weather, once again, meant Penyghent Pot was off and the backup plan was brought in to action, Jean Pot ‘an awkward hole full of character’ according to NC2. Character, hmmmm, I guess you could call it that.. Five of us had a reasonable trip without too many issues, the formations at the traverse and just beyond were nice, the awkward sections weren’t overly awkward and we emerged in to the rain, which justified our decision to spend the afternoon wallowing around in the mud and not a clean washed stream pot!! Not the best trip of the year, but good to ‘tick’ it off the list.

18th August 2009 – Bye George Pot to Peterson Pot photos
Full trip report. A two man team on a little Sunday through trip, taking in two of the more challenging entrances in the area.

7th August 2009 – Some place somewhere
A fine and pleasant evening saw me, Pete and Alex strolling around on a fell for an hour or so, after a while we got bored of scouting around and headed underground into a nearby pothole for a short but pleasant evening trip. Not quite the trip we had planned on but work is underway to organise another trip!
Dunc

17th-20th July 2009 – South Wales weekend photos
Full trip report for OFD1.  Full trip report for Daren Cilau. (broken link)
Friday and Monday were Mountain Biking days, Saturday was OFD – where we split in two, one group going in the bottom end (OFD1) and the other doing a sporting through trip from Top to Cwm Dwr. Sunday was meant to be Craif a Ffynnon but the weather had other ideas and we ended up poking around in Daren Cilau and Ogof Pen Eyr. Accommodation was at the SWCC cottages, where some merriment was had!

11th July 2009 – Mistral Hole
As no one was interested or was too busy to do Ireby Fell Caverns I ended doing my plan B which is going down Mistral with Daz’s lot from Huddersfeild Uni. Progress was a little slow due to two caving freshmens with us, however we did manage to get to the really deep water just before Bye George Pot helping the newer ones up the little climbs on the way to there.
On the way out from dusty junction I tried setting a cave land speed record when exiting managing 4 minutes to the breakdown chamber just before the exit where unfortunately I was stopped by people coming the other way. They all left as they had a rental car that needed returned so I got drunk all night at Bull Pot Farm without them.
Alex

4th July 2009 – Mistral and Javelin Hole
Full trip report. A short solo trip taking in a dig and a foray in to the Canyon and Far Streamways of Mistral.

27th June 2009 – Valley Entrance – Rowten sump investigation
Full trip report. A short trip to make an assessment of the Rowten sumps with a view to doing a through trip at some point in the future. Only two people were available (or willing?) to undertake the trip. The first sump had a little airspace and the second was enjoyed by only one person.. A return will no doubt be had when time and equipment allows.

20th June 2009 – Peterson Pot
Full trip report. A three man team gathered for this short and fun through trip, certainly makes a change to the usual Pip-Mistral affair. Roly Poly provided entertainment, especially the sky-dive at the end of it!

14th June 2009 – Darnbrook Pot and Cherry Tree Hole (Far North) photos
Full trip report. Three of us undertook a two for one outing; Darnbrook Pot with it’s pleasant streamway, some nice formations and a sizable chamber, Cherry Tree with nice easy passages to start followed by a refreshing duck and more involved caving above the cascade.

13th June 2009 – Wretched Rabbit to County Pot
Full trip report. Route taken by us was Mike and Rick rig the County Pitch. Then in Wretched, down Spiral Staircase to Holbeck Junction, upstream to Easter Grotto and Gypsum Caverns, then out of County via Battle of Britain chamber. 7 of us had an excellent trip.

30th May 2009 – Birkwith caving
Well Daz couldn’t make it but a real turn up for the books as I actually made it on a trip!! We opted for the easy (read very easy) options and did Calf Holes/Browgill, Birkwith Cave (where Alex tested out Coppy Gill exit but gave up in the end while I enjoyed the sunshine) then did Old Ing and on to Red Moss where we went to the canal leading to the sump and back although Alex detoured up Long Mire inlet. Very easy caving but lovely weather.
Rick

29th May 2009 – Brown Hill Pot
Full trip report. An easy trip down a fine pothole, Puits Ian Plant being particularly impressive.

24th May 2009 – Corkys pot to Stream Passage Pot photos
Courtesy of the BPC. Bruce led the way down Corky’s and after a few pictures in Mud Hall we headed for the Main Chamber which was tropical; nice and warm! After a look around we headed for Sand Caverns and took a detour to look at the balcony overlooking Sand Cavern. We then headed for the pitches out with me in the lead followed by Bruce then Dan who took pictures on the way out. Bruce seemed very scared on the pitch heads which was strange! Anyway we all got out safetly and then had a pleasant stroll back to the cars. 5hr trip in total.
Pete

23rd May 2009 – Bull Pot of the Witches
Me and Daz undertook our planned trip to BPOTW, headnig in the direction of Gour Chambers and then heading downstream to the top of the pitch. We also visited some of the higher level passages and chambers including Burnetts Great Cavern.
It was also suprisingly dry considering the weeks weather! To round off the day we also helped someone out on a nearby dig.
Alex

16th May 2009 – County Pot to Wretched Rabbit (via an obscure route) photos
Full trip report. Take one standard trip undertaken by many, throw in a veritable mixed bag of obscure and lesser visited passages and you have a perfect recipe for an off-beat through trip adventure.

9th May 2009 – Lancaster Hole to Wretched Rabbit
Full trip report.  A through trip via Wilf Taylors, the Main Stream and the Depot 1.5 route of exiting Wretched Rabbit, Alex explored a minor inlet to nowhere..

3rd May 2009 – Penyghent Pot
Full trip report.  After umming and aahing about the weather, we had a great trip to the sump and back in 5 hours 15 mins. Sadly Alex only managed to descend the 3rd pitch as he was cold after spending a lot of time trying to find his chest jammer in the 300 metre entrance crawl. Pete unfortunately decided to miss this trip due to his concerns about the weather which was a great surprise to us all! There’s a first for everything they say.

25th April 2009 – Craftsman’s Pot photos
Pete, Dan and Rob decided to take a trip down Craftman’s Pot because we wanted a shorter trip. Once down the entrance, you are immediately confronted with a pool of mud, then a small descending rift. This was made much more difficult as the roof has collapsed and the passage was filled with mud and rocks. My light was flickering and then went off so I asked Dan to go first which he duly did. Not for long though as he soon got a little upset in the rift and requested to come out again. I was sent down with dicky light into the rift. It wasn’t too bad, descending 4 metres below, followed by a couple of winding turns and then a small chamber. After another chimney style rift of 6 metres you arrive at Hickory pitch which to our surprise was rigged, followed by Dickery pitch (still part rigged but loose), and then Dock pitch. There is an awkward traverse to the top of Dock pitch (NFTFH). Once down, I had a scurry into the Lower passage; due to time constraints and a need for a serious amount of excavation of this passage, we decided to head out. There were much fun and games trying to extricate ourselves from the initial rift (which has no name!). This involves the muddiest bag removal and wallow I’ve ever known (look at the piccies) and Pete managing to get out by standing on Dan’s hands/shoulders/head. We weren’t sorry to be outside I can tell you! A quick wash of gear at Keld Head was followed by a trip to the re-opened Wheatsheaf which was ok (Black Sheep bitter).
Rob

19th April 2009 – Sleets Gill Cave photos
Dunc, Alex and Rick were the only takers for the chance to sample Sleets Gill whilst we had a respectable dry spell. A chilly start to the day but we soon warmed up on the short walk to the cave. Once down the fine entrance slope we strolled along the Main Gallery, taking a couple of snaps along the way. All too soon we reached the choke and back-tracked slightly to find the drop down to Hydrophobia. A few crawls (some wet) and junctions pass before you reach the real start of Hydrophobia, a delightful low and wet crawl. A short distance in Rick departed for a spot of sunbathing and me and Alex continued along the lower and wetter section before it finally relented.
Walking and crawling brought us to the bottom of the mightily impressive Ramp. Slippy to start, no kidding as I found out getting partway up and losing my footing and sliding back down too quickly for my liking. Once I’d dusted myself down I set off again and made it right to the top – where we were greeted by a fantastic display of formations (well worth the effort). Alex was only in a fleece so wasn’t up to a free-dive or Hyperthermia so we retraced our steps and made our way out into the warm afternoon and refreshments in Kilnsey.
Dunc

18th April 2009 – County Pot
After being pestered for a trip for months, a good forecast for the weekend provided an impromptu visit to Easegill. A beautiful day saw myself, Claudia, Ant Mc and 3 novices enter County where one bottled the ladder and made a quick exit. The rest of us had for a nice stomp taking in the usual haunts of Whiteline chamber and the decorated oxbow before heading down to Eureka junction, Stop Pot and Holbeck Junction. From Holbeck we climbed up into Gypsum Caverns before tiredness of some forced a return the same way and out via Wretched Rabbit. Good route finding practice for me and an enjoyable experience for the rest (although Claudia will probably dispute the enjoyment bit LOL).
Mike S

4th April 2009 – Washfold Pot
A bit of drizzle was falling on the morning but the only wet bit was the big pitch, under water for the bottom 20ft. The last pitch was dry for both parts of it.A fine trip, completed.

28th March 2009 – Ireby Fell Cavern (Cripple Creek – Skylight round trip) photos
Full trip report.  After hearing reports of this being a classic, a trip was pencilled in for ‘some point’. That point had arrived and despite the gloomy weeks weather – unsettled all week, conditions were reasonably dry so we set about the task of undertaking what turned out to be a very fine trip indeed. Plenty of variety and a round trip to boot, it has just about everything packed in to it! A true classic.

21st March 2009 – Spectacle Pot
Full trip report. This East Kingsdale classic was visited after a week of fine weather. A team of four bottomed the pot, to be more precise one bottomed it, the rest stopped at the bottom of the fantastically loose Great Rubble Heap.

15th March 2009 – Ireby Fell Cavern (sand dragging)
Another view of the trip.  (broken link) Myself, Pete and Alex arrived at a warmer Masongill and headed up to Ireby, whereupon Alex declared he was going back to the car to obtain a jammer and helmet! Me and Pete headed down Bubbles and to Well Pitch where we traversed forward – past a large hole, across some looseness before arriving at a pitch (with more loose stuff) which dropped us just past Rope Pitch.

From here we headed to Duke Street and Skylight Passage. Once up we shifted some bags to the pitch head before Mike and Sam appeared from down the passage (Rob was also down the passage somewhere, never actually saw him!). With a small team we set about using the drag trays to shift even more bags (the amount of sand shifted from this passage is amazing, a hefty pat on the back is due to all those that undertook this work!)
Alex arrived, still without a jammer and more bags were moved, Beardy and Helen arrived
later on and the process continued. Unfortunately myself and Pete had to call it a day just before 3pm, due to parental duties or pestering partners! A swift exit was made. I later learned Alex had stayed till quite late (actually he had no choice but to stay, there’s a lesson about looking after your SRT kit there somewhere…)
I look forward to visiting Ireby II (possibly on a classic round trip) and crawling along this cleaned out passage.
Dunc

8th March 2009 – Galegarth Pot (and not Ireby Fell Cavern)
A three man team assembled in the Dales, after much discussion we opted for Ireby. Arriving at Masongill we found a team of four heading down Ding-Dong-Bell and a car of three; Mike, Sam and Rob who were off down Ireby to shift bags of sand from the Skylight dig. They asked if we fancied helping out, we agreed..

A cold walk over the fell and down some fancy new steps to Ireby – upon entering we noticed something, water and plenty of it, especially down Bubbles. At this point, Sam declared he wasn’t going any further, based on the weather forecast with the potential for more rain (Bubbles was very wet already). Sam pointed out the dam was buggered and thus the stream on the surface was sinking differently and causing us these problems. We exited into the cold again, Alex sampled Ireby 0.5 and after much discussion we went our separate ways; we headed over to Easegill to sample the delights of Galegarth Pot. A mixed bag of crawling, walking, climbs, some nice formations. Dunc and Rob free-climbed the pitch and followed the lower level passage, negotiating a little squeeze and climb back to the higher level completing a short but interesting round trip!

21st February 2009 – Large Pot – Rift Pot
Full trip report.  On a dull foggy day in the fells saw a not so dull collection of four characters split in two for this classic exchange trip!

14th February 2009 – Lancaster Hole – Maracaibo photos
Full trip report.  After much discussion a trip to Lancaster Hole was decided upon, taking in a visit to the fine Maracaibo. About this time an alternative caving trip took place.

7th February 2009 – Boggarts Roaring Holes
Full trip report.  An interesting and pleasant trip was had down here, despite Dan being a sheep dragging man.. Boggarts bottomed, but Beryl buggered off leaving big bags behind!

31st January 2009 – Yordas Pot – Acrobatics
The alternative trip of the weekend was a gentle jaunt to a freezing cold and windy Kingsdale for three. Yordas middle entrance and pot and were both rigged along with the Chapter House traverse where some spectacular acrobatics were performed. Not as much water as last time but what was flowing was pulling in some seriously cold air. Three down the pot and traverse, two back up and one down the middle entrance kept the party entertained until we hit the Whoop Hall to stand in the fire LOL.

31st January 2009 – Alderley Edge – West Mine
Full trip report. Four of us gathered at Alderley Edge and met our leader, Nigel. After some faffing by a certain individual we were off to West Mine and spent a good few hours pootling around including short abseils, climbs, traverses, only marginally dampness and a short dig! As we had time to spare we also paid a quick visit to Wood Mine to sample some of the delights this mine has to offer.

11th January 2009 – Titan – Peak Cavern (inc White River) photos
Full trip report. A healthy number of people assembled for this trip, the delights of Titan were enjoyed before heading on to the Speedwell Streamway – here 3 people carried on downstream to Egnaro Aven and Colostomy Crawl whereas the rest headed up at Block Hall and into the fine White River Series. The White River team emerged a few hours after the Colostomists, who were realxing and enjoying the hospitality of the TSG..

3rd January 2009 – County Pot – Lancaster Hole photos
Three men, a frozen fell and a through trip.. Lancaster Hole was pre-rigged before we headed over to County Pot (pausing for photos at Cow Dubs), descending this we did a pull-through on the first pitch. The chimney at Poetic Justice was enjoyed and the second pitch was descended using an in-situ rope.
Once in the high level we stopped at The Minarets for some photography, before carrying on to the slope down to Oxbow Corner. Route finding through the choke wasn’t too bad and soon easy progress was made along the Main Stream to Fall Pot and thus the entrance pitch..

2nd January 2009 – Dow Cave – Providence Pot
Full trip report.  (broken link) Another through trip was undertaken in this Wharfedale classic, this time a team of 7 undertook the trip.