27th December 2012 – Knock Fell Caverns
Full trip report.
On the third day of Christmas, a glorious team of Black Rose Magi assembled just outside the tiny Pennine village of Knock, then attempted to drive up the hill towards the phreatic maze. As all five cars skidded around in the snow, the Sharmanator made the very wise decision to stop trying to drive further, therefore we all reversed many miles down the narrow lane to the nearest parking spot and made the long, steep journey in on foot.
Undeterred by the blizzard, we found the cave, laddered the 7m entrance shaft and then, survey in hand, explored a number of passageways, including sightseeing trips to Merlin Cave and the Final Chokes.
23rd December 2012 – Rowten Pot
I rigged down the Eye Hole, onto the ledge and swung into the rift (which is harder than it seems when rigging). Dropped down into the main stream. Traversed around the hole and entered an outlet on the left a few metres before the first free climb, simply because neither of us had been down there.
We were soon at a dry 30 – 40ft pitch. No P-anchors or even bolts found so we rigged it off naturals. We landed at the bottom of the free climbs where there was lots of water for the next two pitches, Chris said he was a bit cold so we high tailed it out as I only had enough rope to rig this pitch anyway.
15th December 2012 – Small Mammal Pot
I drove Don down to Inglesport to meet Daz and two scumbags who had arranged to meet us on the forum, but it had all just been a horrible lie. Stood up, we set off to Clapham as a ménage a trois and started the very pleasant walk up past Santa’s Grotto to the entrance, an obvious hole in the clints between the wall and the Bar Pot shake hole.
Down the entertaining pitch, made more entertaining by Don’s rope making our Stops go, we looked through the scaffolded crawl to the bottom of the slide down Stile Pot, then crawled across to Flowstone Chamber and through the bedding plane to the foot of Bar Pot entrance pitch.
From there we followed the standard route in Bar Pot, but used the alternative rigging on the big pitch, dropping via a couple of re-belays.
GG Main Chamber was looking good, with plenty of water and daylight coming through, so we had a stomp around there before heading out our own way.
12th December 2012 – Boundary Pot
Three of us set off across in the clear night and traversed the freezing fell (Rob, Pete and Alex). We arrived at Boundary pot to find the starting crawl was full of icicles, which unfortunately had to be destroyed on the way past. Sorry cave conservationists.
A short climb down followed by a bit of crawling, a few more climbs and some rather wet flat out stuff eventually popped us out into a large chamber. The floor of the chamber was some several metres below which was reached via a 5m climb down.
It was good fun, as it was rather exposed and involved a “step over” a deep hole with waterfall coming down to even get to it.
A bit more passage and we were soon in Nagasaki and through the well shored up connection into familiar passages. We headed towards Easter Grotto and Spiral Staircase for the exit. On the way out I popped into the Chocolate Box, which is nicer than it sounds and well hidden too.
On the WR climbs we challenged ourselves to get up them without using the rope at all, which we managed except on the top climb, which was judged to be too dangerous due to how slippery the rock was.
We finished off the night by heading to the Whoop with a wedding party to look at.
8th December 2012 – Bull Pot
Weather: In – Nice but f**kin freezing. Out: Cloud/drizzle and still f**kin freezing.
A final trip of the year for some saw us meet up in Inglesport before heading up to Kingsdale. The road over the top and down into the valley was interesting, however, beyond Braida Garth we were into a proper winter wonderland with crisp snow and tyre tracks to follow.
Quickly changed we were soon flogging it up the fell. After a couple of knot demo’s Don rigged the entrance and dropped down, followed by myself and Chis at the rear. I took over rigging of the 2nd pitch and got Don started on the slot before heading down the gully route to rig as an alternative. Meeting up at the bottom of the 3rd pitch, I completed rigging the remainder of the pot.
Once bottomed, Don and Chris took turns with derigging and we made good time on the exit to a cloudy and windier day.
1st December 2012 – Water Icicle Close Cavern
The four of us met our leader in the Monyash cafe before we sped off up the lane, with Dan and his beast pushing right to the very end to save all our weary legs.
My light failed at the shaft top, so I was on a lesser backup-light (just about managed!)
Straight pitch down, impressive amount of work to drive this shaft all those years ago. Headed straight off to all the gated stuff – then back, along South Passage to see where they think T’owd man first came in, then the newer extensions then back and along north passage and back. Certainly some interesting features and nice passages down here.
I look forward to going back when they’ve extended it to Lathkill.. Had refreshments in the Bulls Head afterwards.
1st December 2012 – Aquamole Pot
Weather: Bloody cold LOL
A decidedly busy Kingsdale (hound trailling) saw parking at a premium lower down the valley but thankfully quiet beyond Braida Garth.
Fay pulled alongside as we were changing and asked where we were off to. As there were only 3 of them, we invited them to join us rather than clogging the pot up with ropes. Emma had prior experience of BRCC having been through Swinsto with Dunc and some fat bloke called Mike Skyrme LOL
A pleasant trip was had with 5 down the big pitch (Rach turned back at the top). A quick exit was on the cards but for the appearance of some BPC spaghetti causing Don some minor derigging issues.
24th November 2012 – Annual Club meal
A healthy gathering of BRCC members and partners (and a ‘flatmate’) in the village of Dent for a meal and drinks at the George and Dragon. A fine selection of ales on offer, some sampled more than others!
Some people started early and retired early whereas the majority stayed up late.
24th November 2012 – Ireby Fell Caverns
A standard trip into Ireby for the lack of a better idea. A bit of rigging practice for me, rigging Ding, Dong & Bell and traverse practice for Don on the high level stuff further in above Well & Rope climb. We went as far as the end of Duke Street owing to time constraints from a very late start.
Alex, Don, Daz and Chris Sharman.
21st November 2012 – Exploration, in theory
A team of three assembled at Birkwith and headed over the fell to inspect a hole in the ground that was taking a respectable stream. Unfortunately at 3m deep, then half a body length in it became too small.
Other dry holes were looked at (including one where you could hear the rumble of a stream) all proved fruitless. Disappointing end but, for completeness, will be documented in the forthcoming journal.
21st November 2012 – Roaring Hole
A 2 man team descended this gem which is particularly sporting in wet conditions. The second boulder choke was guesswork descending due to water volume but that was merely a warm up (or a cool down) in readiness for Morecambe Pier. Very very wet and nasty, yet highly enjoyable at the same time. Perverse I know. We (I) got half way through the now very low airspace duck which leads to the last pitch before sensibly heading out.
For future reference, no tackle is required for the first 3 pitches as they are free climbable with care and for those who are experienced at such things but not sure about the 4th yet. We will return when it’s a little drier to check out the sump I am certain.
Trip time: 2 hours, Pete and Rob in attendance.
Met up with Dunc, Alex and Ron on Birkwith afterwards after very fruitful dig, before a chat and drink in the Golden Lion
17th November 2012 – Vesper Pot
Only one of us had ever done this before and upon hearing it was “okay” in the wet we decided it was a good choice so we headed on down.
The entrance series was a little akward but was nothing really compared to some places I have been about as tight as the entrance to OSB is. A long crawl followed before the stream cut down and an easy traverse led to the first pitch.
The pitch was rather wet but was only 6m deep. Down stream more traversing followed by some wriggling led to the second pitch which we rigged with Don’s spelenium gold, love that stuff. The cave opened out at this point and allowed for a canyon descent. At the bottom almost immediately was the 3rd pitch. I had been told when it was too late that this next pitch needed 45m of rope but the old topo I had packed from said 35m (I did not have a 45m anyway). Nevertheless with using the spare end of Don’s rope to rig the first bit of the traverse and with some tight rigging by Andy we made it to the bottom of the (25m~ deep pitch) with the 35m… just. The water was not strong enough to wet us on the way down only at the bottom we got a little spray lashed. Don waited for us at the top.
We rigged off a natural and dropped down a few meters onto the next ledge, where Andy tackled the lean out over the main pitch. Getting to the Y-hang was fun, I found it easiest to just hang my self over the rope like one of those cats on those “hang in there” Monday morning posters. The pitch itself was a nice hang but not as open as I expected from the description, still with my NORA on full I could see the bottom of 36m deep monster and the other end of the canyon partially shrouded in spray.
At the bottom there was a maelstrom of water so we did not hang around much and headed out with me de-rigging. Thankfully de-rigging the Y-hang at the top of the big pitch was not that difficult as I found I could straddle the gap. The deviation near the top of the 3rd allowed for a gerramano moment as I swung some 15ft across the shaft, great fun.
Good trip we were done in 4 and a half hours and exited in day light, which is a rare treat this time of year.
Andy Jurd (Rigging & bag moving), Alex R (Rigging assistant and De-rgging), Dan J (De-rigging assistant & bag moving) and Don (bag moving).
17th November 2012 – Lower Long Churn Cave
A trip for my 9yr old lass.A very busy Alum Pot Lane!!!!!
Into Lower Long Churn via the Diccan entrance and through the Cheese Press (decidedly dry thank god LOL) and on down to Dolly Tubs before the bus pulled up and disgorged multitudinous volumes of CCPC into all areas of the system.
A quick chat and we were on our way back upstream to Plank and Double Shuffle pools. At the middle entrance we encountered more CCPC members “abbing” down the waterfall. Once down, we climbed up into Upper Long Churn and headed to Dr Bannisters. A bit of a dunking for Meg and Chris K ensued before we popped out of the upper entrance.
Meg was getting cold by this point so we headed back to the car to find even more people heading up to Alum. A busy day indeed.
11th November 2012 – Sell Gill Holes and Upper Long Churn Cave
Don and I met up with some UNCC old lags for a quick trip down the dry way in Sell Gill Holes. The chamber at the bottom is an impressive place thanks to Fucking Nora.
We kept our oversuits and wellies on for the short drive to Alum Pot Lane, then ran up to and through Upper Long Churn and went for a couple of slides through the cheese press.
3rd November 2012 – Stile Pot
We went down Stile Pot, exploring every nook and cranny before descending an alternative to the main pitch in Bar Pot.
We kept exploring, through the main chamber, to mud hall and somewhere nice, then up towards Stream Passage. Alex risked his life on a 2 metre free climb, I took all 4 tackle sacks out of Bar Pot, Don went back in to Stile Pot to help out and Sharman gave up his seat by the fire so Alex could warm himself up.
There were a lot of heroes today.
27th October 2012 – Hammer Pot
Full trip report.
A less than ideal team of just two set off to this classic grade 5 hole on Fountains Fell. Reached the top of the final pitch and also took in Incline Passage.
24th October 2012 – Hardrawkin Pot (and Sunset Hole)
Two of us made our way across Southerscales and headed down my nemesis Hardrawkin, nice and dry and a pleasant 1hr or so was spent going to the bottom and back. Upon reaching the surface we made out way across the fell to Sunset as Rob had never been down.
Rob went to the bottom of final chamber pitch and I waited at the top we free climbed all the cascades. A quick one in the Hill Inn finished the day off.
20th October 2012 – Swinsto Hole (pull-through)
A party of four made pleasant progress pulling through a fairly wet system until the 4th pitch, where one rope jammed. Communication with the rearguard was difficult as I was sat at the halfway point on the split pitch freezing my tatties off whilst they tried to release it – at least they didn’t resort to cutting it.
Beyond split pitch we made slow but steady progress through the remainder of the system to emerge out of Valley into the warm sunshine.
17th October 2012 – P8
Another Peak evening trip, this time to the classic Jackpot or P8 as it’s generally known.
Daz provided the rigging, rigging the higher pitch at Idiots Leap which helped avoid the water (the pitch is actually climbable with care as I discovered on the way out)
The first pitch proper was rigged to the ledge, had a nosey around including an interesting side passage that neither of us had been in before (Stalagmite Passage). Down the second pitch (a first for me) and we made our way to the downstream sump.
Headed out and went to a very busy ‘Wanted’ for a quick drink before driving home in the rain (which thankfully arrived at the time the MetOffice suggested)
14th October 2012 – Oxlow Caverns
Three men undertake a bottoming trip to this interesting cave-mine system.
12th October 2012 – Washfold cave
Quick progress was made to the first pitch where we kitted up.
I headed off to rig the pitch which is a bit awkward at the top of the rift and is free hanging at its head but with Don between us once again and Alex his own personal SRT mentor all seemed ok.
Alex said that Don would be ok so I descended the impressive pitch so once at the bottom and safely dry, I waited, then waited and then waited a bit more. Eventually, after quite a while Alex appeared with the news that Don had retreated because he couldn’t get onto the main hang. There may be further explanations for this incident, but I have to say that it is a particularly awkward pitch head, especially for a beginner at SRT.
Now down to two, we quickly descended the rest of the pot to the last pitches. Whilst waiting, I had re-read the description and realised the last 2 pitches required bolts! Anyway, with some ingenuity with slings, we rigged up these quite wet pitches, quickly said hello to the sump before scampering out.
Alex felt a bit groggy when we surfaced, either through lack of food, over exertion, who knows, but he was ok after a bit of fresh air.
A very enjoyable 4 hour evening trip to be honest!
6th October 2012 – Lancaster Hole to Wretched Rabbit
After a long previous night in Washfold, which included me having to rescue a person from a rift, twice! I met up with Don in Inglesport. Don decided to buy most of the shop including a 40m (Spelenium Gold) rope, krabs, bag etc.
I rigged Lanc hole before going out again to give Don some pointers. Once down we dropped down the climbs under fall pot to the main stream. Water was normal high which gave us great fun on the water slides. After the second boulder choke we turned back on ourselves into the high level route and then on into the Minarets.
On into monster cavern and through stop pot no real route finding issues so far. Below stop pot however, I got a little confused as there is so many ways to go several of them exits them selves. I took a right and heading up stream passing land marks but landmarks for which passage?
After passing the spiky shale things I realised this was not the way on. It only took a short bit of back tracking before I spotted an obscure side passage and followed it to familiar passage Which I recognised as spiral staircase passage. I led us up a few climbs (ropes gone) and up the spiral staircase it self.
Once up the rope climbs we were in glorious day light. All that was left was a walk over to Lanc hole so I could derig it. Trip time 4 and a half hours, not including de-rigging.
30th September 2012 – Dan Yr Ogof (round trip)
Full trip report.
Finally, after many years of trying, we made it. A bit drizzly on the surface, but we were soon underground in this fantastic cave; lakes, canals, formations, large passages – what more could we possibly want from a trip? Great fun in a great cave.
29th September 2012 – OFD I to II (through trip)
Full trip report.
Two nights at Penwyllt, two days caving, a fine weekend! Saturdays trip was planned as I to Cwm Dwr originally but we decided a far better option was to exit Top Entrance, thus enjoying the superb II streamway!
Dunc somehow persuaded everyone a detour to Top Waterfall was in order, it was worthy, exited via Maypole and our usual route out of the cave (because we know that way.)
25th September 2012 – Rampgill Mine (Nenthead)
On a stormy stormy night, Don bravely aquaplaned deep into the North Pennines via the most excellent pub The Rat, to the ‘adventure in silver and lead’ at Nenthead mines. We used the Rampgill entrance, which is conveniently situated in the car park, and got underground as soon as possible, because the weather was not nice – one might almost call the day ‘Tempestuous Tuesday’.
We had a peek down the very wet Brewery Shaft, then headed up the Scaleburn Vein a fair distance, exploring plenty of side passages. We then wandered up Rampgill Vein, again exploring lots of side passages, trusting our lives on various mobile and decayed pieces of wood in our quest to delve into the unknown.
22nd-23rd September 2012 – Hidden Earth (Burnley)
A total of four BRCC members made it to the annual caving conference, all camped, two had dinner (last minute tickets!) and all enjoyed varying quantities of ale. Various lectures visited from UK to foreign, opening and closing ceremonies etc.
The artificial cave was sampled as were the speleo olympics! A fine two days indeed.
21st September 2012 – Swinsto Hole – pull through
I arrived in Kingsdale just after 6pm only expecting an hour wait but got a text saying that I would be waiting much longer. The beck was flowing stongly and there was evidence of recent flooding, it should be fun then. I decided to kill time by walking to Yordas and back. I noticed once I got there that even before nightfall the cave was far warmer than the outside, winter is setting in early it seems.
Back at my car and after much more waiting, finally, the rest arrived. I put my SRT kit on and headed into Vally ent. Once in the cave, I saw water were I had never seen it before half the roof tunnel was under 2ft of water, I was expecting to reach the pitch and find it underwater but alas it seemed fine. I rigged the pitch not trusting the in-situ rope and abbed down to check how strong the water was. It was only a few inches deep. I returned to the ent before returning to the pitch again for me and Chriss to give Don a crash course in SRT.
Happy he knew what he was doing we headed up to Swinsto in the dark and strangely found it in with no real issue. The first pitch seemed no wetter than my last wet trip so I was happy to continue, lots of inlets joined the water before reaching the second pitch. This had a lot of water going down it glad I could rig away from the water. Third was just as wet but the water shoots over where I hung the rope. 4th the climb up bypassed the water. 5th was very wet but if your careful you can avoid most of it at least until you go under the water to get onto the ledge for the 6th.
I was most surprised to find a rope at the top of the 6th but had been chopped at the bottom so was far too short to abseil down. I chucked it down and waited for the bag to turn up for this pitch. The rest of the cave was a fun mixture of wet climbs a few more pitches before we reaching the last pitch into Swinsto main chamber which had a colossal amount of water under it. Abseiling into it, it was impossible to tell which was up or down, thankfully the pitch is short but you still had figure out how to get out of the hole you just abseiled into.
Master cave was fun and Don wearing a neo decided to not bother walking and let the water take him down stream.
Always a fun trip made funner with all the water about, I think I can safely say that Don loved the trip.
We exited just before 1am.
??th September 2012 – Providence Pot to Dow Cave
Everything just kind of meshes together into a big blur. The whole trip was either moving sideways through a narrow stream passage or traversing above the stream. That’s all I can remember. That and the fear inducing Narrows!
A few grumbles about the narrows which were all forgotten about when pints were in hand in the Blue Bell Inn. Trip with Rob & Alex
8th September 2012 – White Scar Cave
A return to White Scar after a two year absence, and what a great return trip. We arrived early and everyone squeezed into their wetsuits, except me AGAIN. Steady stompy progress was made through the show-cave, slowed down by a show-cave helmet rescue and a group photo at the junction, then it was time for the wet wet misery again.
We all got through the first lake with a mix of swimming, climbing and traversing through to the Big Bertha boulder choke. Last time we all went through the duck when in the low water, this time however, it was a totally different case due to the water levels being quite a bit higher. Chris K and Dan went through successfully and unsuccessfully attempted to coax the rest of the wimps through.
Chris Scaife looked at the bypass and dismissed it as too tight but didn’t realise that you dropped down and under. Once Mike sussed that, everyone else followed.The wimps (included me) went through this alternative route which led into the fantastic stream-way beyond. Pete, Don and myself followed up the rear with only a minor incident when Pete tried to send us through a tight wet duck ignoring the far easier climb on the left. My pleasant stomp through the cave was interrupted by Mike, jumping into the stream from the passage above, that looks fun I thought and it sure was. Once everyone had took the jump at least once we went deeper into the cave.
Towards the end of the stompy passage we all took another jump with Dan doing a backflip (crazy git). We were soon in the final canels, a fantastic bit of low passage which is far easier to swim through than crawl. Everyone (except me) then went through the final freedive to a small bit of passage beyond. Once they came back through we made a quick and cold exit, only stopping briefly to see the nice 2M straws up a climb before retiring to Inglesport for hot chocolate and cake.
All in all a class day out, big shout to Mike and the showcave for organising our permission to undertake the trip.
18th August 2012 – Bull Pot Of The Witches
A wet day where our other option for the day had to be left for another day, we decided, over a brew in Ingleton, to visit Bull Pot of the Witches. Had a wander around, over to Cavern 32 and ferreting around in a choke for half an hour or so before heading out. As the yellow boy says, don’t have a cow, man!
16th August 2012 – Cupcake to the Iron Kiln Hole (Notts II)
Pete and I went down Cupcake admiring the excellent array of formations en route (we were glad to escape the midges on the surface to boot). Route finding is fairly straightforward although we faffed a bit because we only had one chest jammer between us. Slither Aven was eventually reached which Pete and Alex looked up previously and then the fun begins – scrotty crawling and clambering through muddy tubes, squeezes, horse troughs and pig swills. Probably the dirtiest place around I reckon. Pete deceived me by saying we were nearly at the end (we weren’t), only for it to degenerate for a further 200 metres! Anyway, a narrow cross is reached in floor – the unlikely looking way on – which leads through a smallish passage to the pitches into Notts 2. This descends impressively down 6 pitches, about 40 metres to a passage a few metres from the main streamway which is a welcome relief where you can wash all your tackle and work out the colour of your suit.
Good trip, 3 hours all told, but very dirty with a few squeezes thrown in to deter slightly larger cavers.
Dunc, enduring an injury stayed on the surface, went for an amble around and derigged the Cupcake entrance rope.
28th July 2012 – Crystal Cave – Dog Hole – Bucket on the Head
Full trip report.
The classic Barbondale through trip, slightly damp but still passable. The connection between Dog and Bucket (choke area) is reported as loose so caution is advised in this area!
21st July 2012 – 3rd August – Felix Trombe
Full trip report.
A YSS trip that two BRCC members (one also in YSS, hence the joint trip) undertook to this sizable French system. A number of ‘smaller’ trips were undertaken but the main one was the through trip of Trou Mile to Pene Blanque.
21st July 2012 – Lancaster Hole (Stake Pot Series)
Five men and a few ropes.. Chris rigged the standard route down, I rigged the side route, we then headed to Chasm where Mike S rigged it (and had a most enjoyable time doing so!), up a fairly sporting main stream to Stake Pot. Up boulders and some greasy climbs to high level, into an equally greasy SPS.
Plodded on to 88ft pitch, where Mike descended and ascended whilst myself, Chris and Pete headed along Maple Leaf/Ramsdens passsage for a spot of route finding. Without too much effort I found the climb up to Cape Kennedy, on to Fire Hydrant and finally, for just me and Chris, Straw Chamber.
A fairly straightforward exit, with me, Pete and Mike W heading out via Fall Pot whilst Mike S and Chris derigged Chasm.
14th July 2012 – Cow Pot
Just two of us for a pleasant trip to Cow Pot. A nice way into the system I have to add and an impressive view of Fall Pot. A quick jaunt to the down stream sump showed foam approx 30 feet up the walls – scary!!!
12th July 2012 – Boxhead Pot
A quick jolly down Box head and out Cracker, Hot! Really just a test for my new harness and yes it is comfy! Met Mike B, Tom, Emma and Dave on their way down Cracker and our way out Cracker.
The rifty tube bit at the top of Cracker is a piece of piss on the way out, you can just walk out with 1 leg in the rift. I didn’t tell Rob where Cracker was much to my amusement upon our exit, he he!
7th July 2012 – It’s A Cracker
We got all the tackle together expecting to rig Boxhead and find the way up Cracker from the bottom, but after a quick scouting trip down Cracker we found it rigged. Cracker is fun, it starts with a 8m climb/pitch down scaffold which we free climbed before popping out into a small chamber.
A short thrutchy passage leads through via a head hight crawl in the rift to the start of the first pitch. Caution! There are still a few loose and large rocks here, despite me gardening the pitch. Chris found this out when one big one came smashing down behind him which was dislodged by Toby. It came off the wall apparently.
Anyway the pitch starts with a short traverse to a Y-hang over a deep drop. ~10m abseil brings you to a free hanging re-belay and ~5m below that is a deviation. A further ~20m gets you to the floor. A short jolly down stream leads to another pitch just as deep, with a Y-hang 2m down. It was then a straight abseil of around ~30 – 35m to the floor.
A large passage, with a bit of traversing leads down a short boulder slope to what appears to be a dead end with a rope going up.
An obscure hole behind and to the right when facing the pitch rope leads down a small tube to the head of the final pitch. To get onto the pitch requires a bit of traversing, the first bit was not protected though thankfully was easy, as there was a big drop below.
Once on the rope about ~15 – 20m below you swing off onto the fly over route 10m off the bottom on the big ledge.
15th June 2012 – County Pot (A wet trip)
Nipped to County Pot on a very wet Friday afternoon after much debate about where to go. Alex caught up with Dunc and I after he finshed work. Delights taken in: pictures of Cow Dubs, upstream waterfall in Broadway, Ignorance is Bliss to the large hidden stals down a dead end passage;
a further attempt was made to connect to Brown and Smelly Chamber (possibly via Fat Arse Squeeze?), but it was still very tight so Alex found an obscure way down to regain the streamway instead.
A quick trip in a very wet and furious streamway to Eureka Junction was had before heading back out via the Poetic Justice pitch which we had discovered was rigged, Alex not enjoying ladders!
Thanks also to the 2 guys who let us use their ladders on the return to save us kitting up!
We called in the Royal Oak in Hornby for a quick enjoyable pint on the way home.
9th June 2012 – Large Pot (Colossus)
Full trip report.
A standard trip down Large and along Secret Seven to the fine pitch of Colossus, where the passage was followed in the direction of Rift Pot as far as the duck, before a retreat was made.
4th June 2012 – Pay Sank
Full trip report.
A trip down this short but certainly worthy pothole, not too much rope needed, the fine pitch into the spacious Pinnacle Hall, a few climbs and short pitches – what more could we ask for..
26th May 2012 – Gingling Hole
Well we all got to the thrutch but only Alex went through it, looks a lot tighter than I remember it being! Alex then made his way down the Big Pitch route and the Sharmoon failed to get past the tight pitch head and had to be rescued!
Alex failed to get to the bottom due to tackle issues, great cave though and good fun!
18-20th May 2012 – Scotland; Applecross & Appin
Full trip report.
Photo trip report.
Five of us spent the weekend in Applecross, a fantastic village in North West Scotland. On Saturday we went to the newly discovered Cave of True Wonders, which is an unbelievable place, so good we did it twice.
We then headed up the hill to Cave of the Liar – lots of muddy crawling but some very impressive formations at the end.
After a short walk we ate in the Applecross Inn, surely one of the best pubs around. In the morning we went for a walk along the beach and then headed back via Cave of the Skulls in Western Argyll – a short but enjoyable sporting trip in metamorphosed limestone
17th May 2012 – Brackenbottom Pot
Another midweek evening trip, another uncertain week of weather that (thankfully) turned out better on the day than expected!
We arrived at Brackenbottom and luckily there was someone at at the BPC to ask about parking, then I asked if he knew about rigging, no but then he set about phoning someone that would know! (Thank You for your help if you ever read this)
A short while later he got back to us informing us that it was rigged and we could use the rope (Cheers Guys), things were looking good.
We were also asked if we fancied bringing a drill out that was at the bottom, owing to the kind offer of using gear it seemed like the right thing to do.
Pleasant walk up, entrance found easily, easy climb down to a stream and then mixed going – climbs, crawling (little grotty in one short section but nothing to moan about), a couple of short ladder climbs, a fine descending passage and even a few pretties!
Eventually we reached the short crawl in water just before the big pitch (just over 30m?) which is a fine pitch landing in a respectable sized chamber.
A quick look at the old dig before descending the impressive ‘new’ dig, which descends a fair way before it fizzles out amongst boulders, with the tantalizing sound of a stream nearby.
With the tourist trip over we located the drill and took it out, well Rob took it out and once up the big pitch I grabbed his SRT kit to help him out!
We emerged into a fine evening, had a quick stroll over to the very impressive Larch Tree Hole (I never realised it was that big, just a shame about all the crap dumped in it)
The evening was rounded off with a drink in Settle.
12th May 2012 – Pillar Holes
After a brief discussion over food/drink, we decided to opt for Pillar Holes.. Parked up, packed up and slogged up.
Mike rigged 1, ChrisSc 2 and ChrisSh 3. Down, along crawl over fissures to Breakdown Chamber, where we headed back and then along the scrotty crawl that lead to the extensions. Ended at Rift Climbs, Mike headed out for a SRT-athon, I waited for everyone else to go up then assisted by tying bags and helped push them up the climbs.
I headed out as I felt like I wasn’t 100% fit.
From what the other four said, there was in-situ rope going up, short traverse then down a pitch with an in-situ rope, down a choke and drop (with rope) into a passage which became stoop/walk to the head of a 22m pitch,
ChrisSh recounts his experience “I traversed over two easy holes to find no way past a third – they all descended the 22m pitch. I looked around for bolts or spits, didn’t see anything obvious. There were quite a few naturals around, but they’d probably make it quite an awkward get-off.”
At this point everyone headed out and went for a civilised cup of tea and food in Ingleton.
5th-6th May 2012 – Newby Moss Pot (digging)
A trip with a few people, over two days, was undertook and some digging took place near the bottom. A small passage, shown as a dotted line on the survey, was opened and entered, unfortuantely a fair amount of enlargement work will be needed to progress further..
3rd May 2012 – Elbolton Pot
With Alex, Rob and Dunc.
After a quick lamb rescue (with Dunc assisting said lamb back under gate and in to field) three men set off across the fell towards the steep hill in the distance. The hill was of a killer walk, steeper than Kingsdale and probably the hardest part of the day, I need more aerobic exercise.
Down the entrance pitch (rigged from fence posts, tackle bag rope protector and two 8mm anchors for deviations on the way down) we set off deeper into the cave. I was on my backup light as my main light refused to turn on. It seems like it was not the batteries that caused me problems in Rowten afterall.
We headed down a slope and dropped the second pitch only to find no way on. We went back up, searched around and found a different small pitch that led to a sump. Where was this third pitch?
We dropped down the second again after re-rigging it and I was sent through a very scrotty vertical passage to find that it was chocked with no way on. Defeated we exited, I took an alternative route to the main chamber up a precarious 5m climb and met the others in the entrance chamber. We exited slowly being careful of the rope-rub.
Upon returning to the van and reading the description it turned out that what we thought was the second was the third and we had bypassed the second altogether as the second pitch was that 5m climb I climbed up. So we had bottomed it, twice!
28th April 2012 – Crescent Pot (joining a working trip)
2 BRCC men joined up for the Crescent dig this time. (Me and Chris S). The day started off with us lugging 20 and 25kg cement bags accross the fells. We then lowered those bags (18 in all, with the help of Ian Peachy) for the next few hours down the entrance pitches. Lunch, then I took Chris on a quick visit to look at the “pinch” point down stream.
Chris was on a short schedule so headed out when we reached the main chamber again at about 2:30. I spent the rest of the time hauling gravel and rock to various places to use as base for the main wall while others built and blasted rock. I exited at around 4:30pm with a very awkward bag of wood, which I think Chris left there as a present for me lol.
Productive day, should only be a few more trips before its finished.
21st April 2012 – Rowten Pot to Valley Entrance (free dives)
Full trip report.
A five man team descended Rowten Pot, four free dived the three sumps into the Kingsdale Master Cave and exited via Valley Entrance. A solo derig was met by one of the others on the way out. A classic through trip!
15th April 2012 – Dale Head Pot
Full trip report.
Four of us got to the bottom with no difficulties, a very pleasant cave and very strange it is not more popular! Our trip took us 5 hours.
7th April 2012 – Newby Moss Pot
A leisurely day out is how this pot is described in NFTFH. I don’t think it is that far wrong in that description.
Like most caves in the Black Book all the main difficulties are in the entrance series, i.e. a few squeezes and a snug pitch head, until you reach what I describe as the crux of the pot, the hole below Guillotine Chamber.
When first tackled it is rather daunting but its bark is far worse then its bite. Head first it’s rather nerve racking as you pop out over a 6m drop, but feet first is, I think, far harder as you can’t see where you are going to avoid the tightest bit, a problem “Chriss not Scaife” found as he was either too high or too low and eventually after 5 attempts decided to call it a day.
The rest of us got through and carried on. From here it does get easier, well once you get past the flat out wet bit below the second so called “pitch”. The next 3 pitches quickly dropped us into the lower reaches of the cave where easy going though moderately decorated passage (not as easily impressed now a days) led to the last pitch.
At this point Dan declared he would rather take some pictures than bother going down the last pitch. Me and “Chriss is Scaife” did go down. Rigging I found the bolt anchor was useless as it would only screw in half way and descended instead only off the sound natural bridge down this very damp pitch.
As described in the book both ends at the bottom do choke but I think the left one, which rejoins the water a few metres lower is worth digging more, maybe a few feet down and who knows it could be another King Pot style break through as there is plenty of depth potential still to go!
A moderate trip with nothing really difficult for us smaller members, overall a mere grade 4 affair, it needs some more digging! Don’t look like it has been dug for at least 5 – 10 years.
Dan J, Chriss (is Scaife), Chriss (not Scaife) & Me
1st April 2012 – Langcliffe Pot
Full trip report.
A two man excursion into one of Wharfedales grand caves. A late start meant a half way trip was called for, reaching Boireau Falls Chamber, very enjoyable trip!
24th March 2012 – Echo Pot
Three of us had a warm walk over to the entrance, Chris went down first and I followed stupidly trusting an old palette as a climbing aid, so I now have a swollen arm, anyway first pitch rigged and down we went.
Landing in a pleasant chamber with an easy walk further into the cave followed by a short crawl and climb down to more walking to the top of the 2nd pitch which we free climbed. This is where it gets interesting, a flat out crawl in mud and muddy water leads to a more open area and the Duck, which is nothing more than a low arch followed by an air bell and another low arch, easy really.
An involved crawl then follows to the Bird Bath, consisting of a flat out crawl in water for 2m with the low bit at the far end into much easier hands and knees passage. Next up is the tight rift which I would say is not tight as such. It starts as a body length sideways rift and then a sharp left followed by another sideways crawl, the passage is about 1ft wide and starts as 3ft+ high and degenerates towards the slot.
Chris went first as he had done it before but failed to gain any progress, then I had a look head first to see what the slot was like, I backed out and John went in and had a go reaching the slot but failing to go any further, I did not attempt it. The slot itself is not vertical but is just hole where the rift trench narrows and the only way is at roof level. So basically it is a hole a bit larger in diameter than a Frisbee, the passage before is a rift and the passage after is a rift so a bit like an hour glass in the middle.
We then exited as we were very cold and enjoyed the duck again swallowing plenty of muddy, sheep bits infested water. The duck is easier on the way in and the Bird Bath is easier on the way out. Next time I am wearing my neo fleece.
24th March 2012 – Simpson Pot – pull through
Present: Mike Skyrme, Chris Kelly.
Weather: Gorgeous for once LOL
Straight forward descent through the system – even managing to get through the Slit this time. Once into KMC, we headed for the Rowten sumps.
The first sump was just open but still necessitated a head wetting. The second sump was passed but this seemed a longer than the described 2.1m or whatever it is (Ed: it is longer at 3.5-4m!).
At this point, with both of us freezing, my bottle went for the big one and Chris agreed to make an attack from the Rowten side next time – either way, we’ll be making a return to tick it off!!!!
All in all, a pleasant day out and far removed from the other trip of the day – hat’s off to them LOL
23rd March 2012 – King Pot
A pleasent trip down a fantastic pothole, in far contrast to last weeks trip. Me and two none BRCC mebmers entered this hole at about 7:30pm, my memory proving perfect in finding the hole.
We made decent progress down the cave, though Roger being big and tall struggled with the T-shaped rift and he had to really push himself to get through. He later said if there was any more like that he would have turned back, but did not want to let down the trip.
The water levels were low and the cave was very quiet.
Easy progess was made along the cave, me and Roger bypassed the Emma’s pitch by a sketchy rift climb where we traversed and slid down from ledge to ledge, I think that climb is one way, down!
After a few obstacles and pitches we were soon at the bottom of Elizebeth and even in this weather it was heavy rain for the last half of the pitch. I can see why we did not descend it a year ago in far wetter conditions.
We reached the sumps in the main stream and due to one members tiredness we did not enter Grasshopper. Banter kept us moving on the way out making the cave pass quickly until we were interupted mid flow by a bat trying to use us as a roosting perch.
First time I ever seen only flying underground and this one was as big as my head! I guess it was getting ready to go out on the hunt.
Exited just after 2:10am.
17th March 2012 – Big Meanie to Notts II / Cup Cake
Full trip report.
Me and Dan did the full traverse mainly so we could de-rig my rope in Death’s Head, we also thought the Lost Johns’ connection would have been far easier.
Chris and Pete on the other hand exited via Notts 2, I don’t blame them. It was certainly an arduous days caving for me and Dan as there were many squeezes, pitches, a heck of a lot of crawling and an awkward pitch head or two, the last of which I made a meal out of as I faced the wrong way.
Big Meanie also put bluntly was a bit of death trap on this day, due to lack of rope meaning for some “interesting” rigging by Pete and Chriss, including a rather large knot pass. Glad also further up it was a P-anchor.
Trip time for me and Dan – 7 hours which was bang on my estimate. Pete and Chriss 4 hours? Plus an hour in Cup Cake from the surface side?
Would I do this trip again? Probably not. Cup Cake is ticked off my list so I have no reason to visit that squalid and horrid little place. If I do the LJ Notts 2 connection again I will not wear my SRT kit through it.
10th March 2012 – Ireby Fell Caverns
A cast a thousands at Masongill, mostly from the Craven, we got underground before them and rather surprisingly hardly saw any of them once underground.
Being a skinny bugger Alex had been asked by Dave Ramsay to investigate a tight passage, so we found ourselves in a clean, spacious dig(!) with Alex unable to move very far.
Beaten by a too small passage we retreated and started heading out, inserting Alex into some obscure side passage on the way. After a bit more noseying around some of us headed up the rope and along the traverse high above Rope and Well pitches.
Easy going back to Bubbles, where Alex found a way of avoiding the bottom part of the pitch.
Planned on having a drink in the Marton but it was shut so went to the Heifer instead.
3rd March 2012 – Some work
Alex, keen on caving had decided on a solo venture but soon found himself being enlisted to help out on a worthy project. He joined a few others in helping out in a cave, doing some shoring / stabilsation work. After about 6 hours graft enough was enough and he exited.
18th February 2012 – Lancaster Hole
As Swinsto would have literally been a washout a change of plan was required when we saw the raging beck.
So we popped down Lanc hole, taking a novice (Ben) down with us. He had no SRT experiance, but this was where I did my first SRT trip and lets face it I was bloody useless, but I pulled it off over three years ago, so I was sure Ben would too.
I was not wrong and with a few words of instruction or should that be confusion from us we got him down safely. We then had a rather long wait for one other who was having troubles of his own, but at least this gave Mike the enjoyment prussiking back up the pitch.
I spent this time showing Ben the wonders of the Colonnades and Fall Pot. I love how new cavers are so amazed by things we just take for granted nowadays and I wish I could be that amazed again. I searched for the rope climb down to Fall Pot to show him the stream but I failed to find it. On return everyone was finally down and enjoying the Colonnades. Mike then showed me the illusive rope that I failed to find earlier.
I took Ben down below the boulders to the water to view the churning mayhem of the stream below. “Wow” was all I heard from him.
As the others were heading out, I led the way back up and after giving the Alex’s 101 in how not to do prussicking. We were out. Only to find that the group had left one of Mike’s bags down there and so he set off again, alone.
10-12th February 2012 – South Wales / Agen Allwedd
Full trip report.
An adventure in South Wales, staying at Whitewalls, most people turned up on Friday with a few stragglers arriving Saturday morning.
The day was very cold, as was the walk to the cave, which was slippy in places. We quickly headed underground, past the icicles adorning the entrance passage and headed off on the Grand Circle.
We climbed up the rope to High Traverse and headed off along Priory Road eventually finding and following Iles Inlet. We missed finding the Courtesan (silly mistake really!) but did enjoy the delights of Trafalgar Passage.
Curry for tea afterwards for quite a few of us, picked up from Brynmawr, few beers and.. relax.. Limited numbers headed to Ogof Clogwyn on Sunday for a short but interesting trip.
8th February 2012 – County Pot
I met chris and the 4 novices in Inglesport, got to BPF and it was cold, ice everywhere! Down County, pulled through and then down to Platypus Junction, back up and through Manchester Bypass and then down the Stop Pot ladder.
Headed upstream to Easter Grotto and back through Sand Caverns and out via Spiral, great trip and the novices did very well!
I left Chris telling them about the Station Inn in the Marton!
2nd February 2012 – Oxlow Caverns
Dunc and I headed up to Oxlow for a quick trip on a very cold night. We made a simple descent to the sump and back noting the connections to Giants and Maskhill. There was also another rope going up somewhere above the 3rd pitch which we didn’t investigate.
It was lovley and warm in the cave but not so luxurious once out – minus 5 getting changed.
West Swirl Passage had an in-situ handline on it which made it pointless dragging a 60m rope underground! As time was limited photos were just snapshots rather than slaves/extra flashes etc.
28th January 2012 – Bar Pot (GG)
Two men and a cripple paid a visit to Gaping Gill on a cold and frosty morning. Descending Bar Pot we opted for the traverse around the big pitch, through the rift and a descent via South East Aven – a fine pitch indeed.
From here we headed to main chamber and up into Old East Passage. After a quick visit to a lesser known place we headed to Mud Hall before returning and making a speedy (albeit interspersed with some cave counselling) exit to the sunshine.
Alex however, keen on aggrevating his knee injury, decided to take the “tiger” option to exit via Stile Pot.
14th January 2012 – Boxhead Pot – Death’s Head Hole
Me and Alex descended Boxhead Pot via Kendal Flyover and then through the Tate Galleries and up into Lyle Cavern, from there a pleasant walk/crawl to the Lyle Cavern pitch and then a very pleasant walk down stream, taking in the last pitch of LJ, to the sump and then out via the new Death’s Head connection
which is even more impressive since it is only a few hundred metres walking from the the master cave. We arrived back on the surface to be frozen getting changed as the sunset.
14th January 2012 – Long Churn Cave
Accompanied by Chris K and Neil H and after lots of deliberation based on time constraints and logistics of hired kit, we opted to take Abigail and her BF Mark for an amble through the Long Churns and a ladder climb down dolly tubs pitch. Afterwards a quick warm was had in the Station Inn.