25th December 2013 – Mulu, The Pinnacles
Full trip report.
A holiday in Mulu, no real caving, but what was like caving (on the surface) visiting The Pinnacles and a few showcaves visited..
7th December 2013 – Lancaster Hole – Negative Dig
The fourth digging trip, this time clearing last trips spoil mountain and pushing the dig face forward. Oh and doing a quick survey.
7th December 2013 – Langstroth Pot (via Hole in the Floor)
Full trip report.
A trip in via Hole In The Floor sampling the decorated inlet, a broken mask-strap or was it the water temperature proved to be on the wrong side of chilly to bother with the sumps..
4th December 2013 – Streaks Pot
With Rob arriving much later than advertised we shelved any thought of going to Waterways and headed to Stoney Middleton.
Arriving quicker than expected we drove straight past and had to u-turn at the Eyam road, drove back up then u-turn and back down to eventually find a suitable place to dump the van (not easy in the dark!)
Headed uphill, fighting past trees and somehow found the top entrance fairly quickly. In, climb down, passage, evil wood, climb down, stream passage. Headed to the upstream end first including the fine Telescope Aven and the stunning Lu Blue Sump. Lu Blue. Looked at West Choke, returned downstream, a few wet patches and some challenges along the way.
Bumped in to some lads digging. One in the stream with a pump and long hose trying to extract foul air from their tight dig. After asking about the route ahead and what local pub was best we left them to it. A bit more wet crawling then drier sandy going, the final sting in the tail is a flat-out wriggle just before you reach the entrance climb. Faffy but not too bad for people our size. Exited a handful of metres from the road and a shorter walk back than Valley Entrance. Excellent.
Bit strange getting changed with HGVs thundering past! Went to The Miners in Eyam to relax with a drink.
1st December 2013 – Yockenthwaite Pot
Full trip report.
A solo venture down this short but interesting Langstrothdale pot.
24th November 2013 – Routin Lynn
I went Up North with the sheath-tearing Don Miller today, and we parked at Fenton, near Wooler. Our walk took us first past the Fenton Hill defended farmstead, which dates from the 8th century BC and is the earliest evidence for a defended enclosure in the North East. A short distance from here we came upon the Roughting Linn inscribed rock- England’s single largest prehistoric rock art site. This impressive patch of exposed sandstone is awash with cup and ring markings from the 4th millennium BC.
Just a few steps away we were walking through the remains of a mysterious promontory fort, before heading down into the gorge to see the 10m high waterfall. In an otherwise deserted landscape, which at times Don seemed to be mistaking for actual prehistoric times, it came as a great shock to see a man in the plunge pool of this glorious waterfall, wearing shorts and showing unwavering devotion to his camera. Undeterred, we launched ourselves into England’s most northerly cave, the sandstone phreatic tube of Roughting Linn. It’s a very short cave, but certainly an interesting place. The floor was covered in dead leaves, which almost completely blocked the passage at one point, so I had to push them in front of me as I went. Just before the end there was a bit of a squeeze and then the last metre or so was a bit wider. Nowhere at all to turn round though, so I had to reverse the whole cave feet first. I have rarely seen so many insects in a cave- the low ceiling was crawling with flies and moths. There were also spiders apparently, which was enough to repel Don.
After our caving trip, we headed up to Goatscrag, where a Mesolithic rock shelter is decorated with deer-like carvings. They looked modern to me. We then walked up to the top of the ridge, where we ate our lunch with marvellous views across to the Cheviots in the west. Down the hill we entered Ford Moss nature reserve, with its old coal workings and a small circular hillfort in some woodland.
We spent much of the afternoon wandering around the hills, and it’s true what they say: time flies when you’re having fun. A lot of the things we saw in the morning feel like ancient history now.
23rd November 2013 – Ireby Fell Cavern
Mike and Chris rigged trade route and sat in main stream passage for a while before venturing back up to see where the others were.
Eventually returned to the main stream with everyone in tow and headed for Duke St. Chris and I visited the sump before agreeing a call out with Don and Laura who were attempting to head over the sump via skylight and into the extensions.
A smidgin over an hour later saw Chris and I back on the surface (after derigging Don’s preferred route for him) and heading home in good time – the others??? Don’s text finally came in at approx 8.15pm so it was lucky that we agreed 9pm rather than the initial choice of 8pm.
17th November 2013 – Swinsto Hole
After a fab piss up in good company the night before a nice easy trip fit the bill. Quickly arriving at Kingsdale we set off on the long cold walk to the entrance. Soon Don found a cave and sent me in a tight entrance to rig, as soon as I squeezed by self in he then decided to remeber Swinsto has a stream flowing in the entrance (thanks).
Once extracted the right cave was found and it was decided that I would rig while Don gave pointers to Laura. The first pitch was quickly reached and some faf ensured finding the end of the rope, all down safety we committed ourselves to the trip. The long crawl was a breeze and fairly dry.The next pitches were rigged quickly with minimum faf. The rope was behaving for once and followed us down all the way to the forth pitch. Here it got stuck and required some standing under a waterfall to release it (burrr).
This is one cave which seems to get longer everytime, on one pitch Don relased the water on a very unsuspecting Laura for a perfectly timed soaking. At the final pitch some Mendip cavers caught up with us and saved time by sharing rope. The master cave was passed quickly and Laura was given some prossecking pointers at valley entrance. We also inspired scared some kids in the entrance and came out to cold sunshine.
Excellent Sunday trip and I was pleased at being able to practice rigging a whole cave without being rushed or taken over. Total trip time about 4 hours (no rush needed)
16th November 2013 – Annual Meal
At the Crown Hotel, Horton-in-Ribblesdale.
A healthy turn out ensured a good night was had by all. Despite some concerns about what we read on Trip(or is it dick)Advisor there were no grumbles.
A selection of photos can be found on Facebook.
16th November 2013 – King Pot
Great trip down King Pot, we completed the trip in 5 and a half hours. Last time I was in King, it was rigging on spits so the hangers are another bonus.
We ventured into the middle sump bypass with the intention of doing the Grasshopper series but one look at the duck made us change our minds!
Only point of note was that we couldn’t find the new deviation on Elizabeth pitch so had to settle for getting a little wet.
9th November 2013 – Long Drop Cave
It was a very wet day, but by the time we got onto Leck Fell, the sun had come out and it was not actually too cold, unheard of!
We reached the first pitch, it was P anchored, so I decided to leave the spanner behind but was persuaded by the others not to. Good job as they were correct the pitches were not. I rigged the second pitch off some rusty hangers, one of which I could only screw in half way, good job it was short drop. I noticed that new holes had recently been drilled here, so it looks like this pitch will soon be P anchored soon too.
The third pitch saw me hanging off one spit to get to this dodgey metal bracket thing on the wall with nothing but blackness below. Once down, on a large ledge I decided to let Chriss rig. Drippy going saw us to another ledge and then to the bottom of the rift pitches. With a still dodgey elbow, Chriss did not fancy the crawl in the stream so it was left to me to explore downstream. After the crawl and a short wet bit the passage grew in size to walking passage which saw me past a few avans to before the passage terminated abruptly at a sump, below an aven. I heard later, its a duck but with less than an inch of air space and not seeing if it went I did not fancy it.
Back up the bottom pitch we then explored up an in-situ rope into some awkward bendy passage that leads onto a vertical tube, with no holds. If I brought my SRT gear and a rope I may have had a go at it, but no one seemed that interested. We headed out of Long Drop, with Don de-rigging.
It hailed on us as we crossed the fell to Gavel/short drop. Don rigged the normal way despite it already being rigged not having permission to use the rope. I opted for the much-o-rope-rub route (having never done it) i.e. the old ladder route, rigging my own rope. I did not intend to ascend it of course. The second pitch and a climb down shoring saw us into a fantastic and wet stream passage. We had a look at the pretties off to the side and everyone seemed to enjoy the flat out sections between the chambers of pretties. After this we had a quick look at the next pitch which had in-situ rigging like all the pitches so far in the cave. We headed out and timed it well with Pete’s trip as we all met up at Whoop hall.
So the long and short of it an entertaining two trips with lots of variety, but nothing difficult.
27th October 2013 – Lancaster Hole
Another visit to the (working title) Negative Dig. Good progress made with some frantic activity to gain a good few metres of open passage.
26th October 2013 – Mistral Hole
A short bimble around this all weather cave. The delightful mud of HOTMK was sampled along the way.
26th October 2013 – Valley Entrance (kids trip)
Met Chris Sharman (plus elbow) in Inglesport to say Hi to Don and Roz and newbies before heading to Kingsdale. Parking up at Braida Garth we noted Kingsdale beck flowing nicely so decided that a stroll to the end of the roof tunnel and a visit to Toyland if the master cave was too wet.
On arrival, there was a fast flow across the floor but not too deep so we stuck with the original plan of heading upstream, aiming for Swinsto final chamber. Pretty cold and draughty today but some pics were taken before heading back to the roof tunnel.
Further pics were taken on the way out and Meg decided to go for a swim at one point
18th October 2013 – Trapdoor Pot
With wet weather forecast, I thought a return to Trapdoor was a good option. Naturally the number whittled down to just 2 on the eve of the trip to just myself, Rob and Alex.
With the help of Alex’s compass, we found the cave reasonably quickly in windy and misty conditions, but not really that rainy.
Very quick progress was made to the head of Electron pitch with the objective being to pendulum into the side passage half way down known as the angel wing. Alex was duly dispatched (I was still suffering with bruised ribs), trying to pendulum across to said passage to no avail. About 20 attempts were made, bruising his back all the while on the way back, before we thought stuff this and heading out.
Hammerhead is about the most awkward bit, even though it’s only a 2 metre climb, before the usual wriggles are negotiated. These all seem much easier on the way out for some reason and tackle was left on by both of us, just remember to face the right hand wall in the stripper (going in) and left on way out.
Also, for the gripper, stay low because it is wider even though it doesn’t look like it.
All told, a 3 hour recce trip, without going to the bottom as we both done it before.
12th October 2013 – County Pot
Full trip report.
A team of six, some on their first trip with the Black Rose undertook a County to Wretched through trip…
5th October 2013 – Fairy Holes Cave
Full trip report.
After being quick off the mark we had a permit for this very recently re-opened cave in Weardale.
Interest was high and the limit of 8 was soon reached, thankfully the dubious weather remained dry for us and we gained the chance to explore this lengthy stream cave. Some made it to just beyond The Choir, others made it to the very end (a long trip!)
1st October 2013 – Aygill Caverns
The first trip of October saw me, Pete and Roz descend Aygill Caverns, taking advantage of the dry weather – although there was still a bit of water down there..
I climbed the first pitch and set off to rig the second. We had a brief head up the very draughty New Year Series (to just beyond Curtain Chamber) then the moist route to the impressive downstream sump. A brief poke about was had here and there before retreating.
Saw a bat on the way out. It was dark and windy on the walk back. Roz fired up her stove and made a brew (and I drank it all, Don).
Interesting place as ever! Now, about that draught….
28th September 2013 – Swinsto Hole
Two of my friends fancied a caving trip so I took them to surely the most fun beginners’ trip in Yorkshire. At first it seemed as though I would be taking 4 beginners without anyone else helping, so in order to encourage others who were eschewing Hidden Earth, we went for a 2pm start, which didn’t encourage others. I thought it was just going to be 3 of us, then upon leaving Inglesport at 2:20, the perennial Friday night forum poster Chris Sharman showed up. I’m very glad he did. Two people who know what they’re doing are a lot more useful than one.
Before heading up the hill to Swinsto, we went down Valley Entrance to rig the Roof Tunnel Pitch. There was already an in situ rope on this pitch, but we wanted to teach SRT to Manuel and Oli before the commitment of a pull through. After a bit of playing around here we headed out and up to Swinsto.
The water levels were fairly low, but this is never a dry place. Very kindly, nobody showed the hilariously arachnophobic Manuel any of the spiders inside the entrance and we crawled along to the first pitch. I rigged the first 4 pitches, while the Sharmanator helped our plucky friends onto the rope. There was no grumbling in the Long Crawl and the next 3 short pitches all followed smoothly. Sharman and I then switched roles, and a very heavy tackle sack. We pulled through to the ledge on the main pitch, then pulled through the next half of this pitch, using the bolts just around the corner. Spout Pitch was rigged as one pitch and then we were soon down the final pitch and stomping our way through the master cave. Back up the pre-rigged rope and out into darkness. I haven’t exited a cave into darkness for ages.
Good trip and well done everyone.
27th September 2013 – County Pot
It was starting to go dark when I arrived at BPF (winters coming!) We were soon changed and slogging over the hill to the entrance, keeping our ears covered as it was cold!! Once down we made short progress to the pitch were I rigged the ladder (cheers Mike) and lifeline and sent Roz down, I then climbed down and we walked round the corner to the climb into Broadway. After coaxing her down we set off down shower bath which was dry with just a dribble entering!
Reaching the way to Trident I showed Roz the way to Manchester Bypass then we crawled through to the top of Whiteline with no water present either! I had a quick look at the climb down which looks about 20ft so all good for the ladder.
We then retraced our route with a look here and there on the way. Once back up the ladder I tried coiling it up but it’s got twisted somehow so needs fettling.
Back on the surface in the dark we made our way back with Roz kindly taking the tackle bag and refusing to give it me to carry!
21st September 2013 – FOUL Pot
Full trip report.
A 4 man team reached the bottom of this lesser known fun pothole.
15th September 2013 – Lancaster Hole
With awful weather conditions our Sylvester permit was a waste of space, so we opted to head down Lancaster instead. The path from BPF was a river!
We encountered four cavers exiting late, they had been stuck for 2 hours on the wrong side of Fall Pot (an intense period of rain can cause the main stream to rise and backup very quickly, we live and learn).
A straightforward stroll around the high level stuff was had, spotting a potential dig alng the way..
14th September 2013 – Jingling Pot
Two had a late start down Jingling not getting undergroung till after twelve! We went in via the gully route which was a pain to rig, then down the Lateral route to the bottom. I then climbed down the dig for a look.
An uneventful exit, even if Roz did get hung up at the top of the big pitch lol! Back on the surface and home for tea!
14th September 2013 – Rift Pot (digging)
Me, Mike and Dan entered first, followed about an hour later by Chris Scaife and Don.
Dig down Rift up the wet inlet progressed by another metre only to find the inlet shrunk to too small proportions and could not be dug further without blasting or digging deep down into water.
Boulder choke downstream inspected, would probbably be best to dig the floor of that passage for this one, to follow the water.
I started a new dig nearby in same direction as the main passage, easy going until a clay layer was hit, but the good thing is it’s going straight into the unknown and we have stacking space for another 5 metres or so of sand and clay.
We each took it in turns to dig this for about 2 m to where the deposits met the roof. This could be a long term dig, I don’t know, but it’s pleasant going into completely new territory.
7th September 2013 – Rift Pot (digging)
No rope was required as we had permission from our partners in crime to use it (Misty Mountain). Water levels were normal. We got into the dig and Mike determined the others were digging in the wrong place and opened up a more squalid dig in an inlet.
With only room for two at that dig face I dug elsewhere at a promising hole of my own in some nicer sand. Mike got a little cold and helped me finish the dig and we entered into a very small chamber with no way out, but more sand to dig.
In all Mike and Chris K made about 2m of wet progress into the inlet and I dug about a metre into the chamber, both digs could continue, they just need more work, the inlet probably being more promising.
I exited Low Douk, not wanting to get my SRT kit muddy from my oversuit and Mike and Chris existed back up Rift.
I had a good wash off in the duck in the connection crawl, only to get muddy again on the way out. We exited at the same time and met up again on the fell.
5th September 2013 – Penyghent Long Churn Cave
We had a swift stroll over to Penyghent Long Churn (didn’t take as long as expected).
A very nice entrance shaft and one that requires dry weather, too much water and you would definitely get a good wetting. The deviation eluded us, although on the way back up we spotted a very small flake and possible nearby 8mm bolt sleeve.
At the bottom a pleasant, if a little slippy, passage is followed for a bit before it hits the rift. We headed high and followed for a fair distance until such time as it got silly, it was a little awkward in places, shuffling on little ledges over a very deep and narrow rift.
Returned to the start of the rift where a short pitch was rigged to the lower level, mixed going in what is obviously a very flood prone area. Eventually retreated and headed out in to the dark..
27th August 2013 – Long Churn Cave
A short trip down Long Churn and Window Pitch to the big ledge in Alum Pot. Never done that route down and it was mighty pleasant too! We tried to see the sights of the bridge but there was too much mist to see anything!
We then made our way out and a swift change due to midges was had! A good few minutes looking at the Milky Way before heading to the pub for a quick drink before heading home.
25th August 2013 – Boxhead Pot to Notts II
An easy descent via The Kendal Flyover, followed by pleasant and mixed caving through the Tate Galleries to the large Lyle High Level passages. This soon degenerated in to crawling, slithering, twisting, turning and various other maneouvres required to pass through the impressively worked connection to Notts II. An easy stroll along the main stream was had before a simple exit out of the Iron Kiln.
17th August 2013 – Dow Cave to Providence Pot
A 5hour through trip for Alex and Don, spending very little time in the stream. Undertaken from Dow to Prov to get the wet, flood prone duck out of the way early, due to the forecast rain.
10th August 2013 – Rumbling Hole
Despite the trip almost being scuppered at the first hurdle as I left my wellies in Spain, a fast trip down Rumbling was had. I rigged the first and second pitches, normally when I can see the bottom I would be slightly nervous but having recently descended something far deeper in day light I was not bothered in the slightest.
After some pussy footing around some pools by me, Don took over rigging for the third and fourth pitches. Most of these pitches consist of short drops and the place seems quite tame. I rigged and dropped the fifth pitch and the cave ended as far as I could be bothered going with hiking boots and 10 days of caving recently completed in the last two weeks.
Nevertheless after de-rigging each others pitches, we popped down Notts II for an extra hours or so caving in there.
All in all a relaxed day caving, with no grottieness or Grade 5-ness in-sight which is very unusual for a trip with me!
8th August 2013 – Bull Pot of the Witches
Don and Dunc arrived earlier to spend 30 minutes or so on Storrs Common prodding at Egg Hole, to no conclusion as yet. Then headed off to BPOTW to meet Roz, for a change the three pitches were rigged rather than climbed/bypassed, partly for SRT practice for Roz who was returning to caving after a long break.
It certainly made the trip different rigging for SRT. We reached the Long Gallery and explored to either end before retreating. We had to get out and make pub o’clock!
4th August 2013 – Rift Pot (digging)
Only one BRCC member (Dunc) on this trip, two others made the numbers up. A mere 3m gained, reasonably quickly, in the outlet dig, further work here requiring a longer term approach..
3rd August 2013 – Rowten Pot
Met Don in a quiet Ingleton at 12 noon for a bit to eat before heading off the Kingsdale. Pete and Shelly came in whilst there so had a chat with them before moving off.
Once changed and up the fell side, things were looking good. Dampening the ropes at the entrance to Rowten Cave we headed back to the Eyehole to begin the descent. This is where things began to go awry.
Rope tied off – OK. 1st rebelay tied – OK. Y hang tied OK but, changing over became bloody hard work. I was using new rope and as soon as I weighted the rope, it slid through my stop (even when hard locked) to an extent that my short cow’s tail became loaded again. All the while, Don was observing my aerial antics from the safety of the surface.
Clipping in my hand jammer enabled me to release my cow’s tail but then loaded the jammed via the safety line – much fooking about eventually saw me free of the damn thing and allowed me to descent the rest of the way to the bridge. By this point I was at the stage of saying “sod it – I’ve had enough” LOL .
Things couldn’t get any worse – could they? We dropped the big pitch from the Y hang immediately over the ledge – a good call as I doubt we would have had sufficient rope to rig the traverse in the rift. Once down we discussed which, was the preferred route from this point – Don opting for the Flyover. Continuing to rig, I dropped down the first part and easily spotted a hanger in the cross rift, I continued to abb down and eventually swung into the rift, only to find that I had missed the upper one. Continuing the descent to the floor, Don quickly followed. In the end we opted for a dubious rebelay and a final (if somewhat careful) descent to the start of the traverse for the final pitch.
The remaining pitch was rigged without further mishap and we both headed down to the sumps. The volume of water flowing down Rowten was surprising and evidence of the sumps backing up around 6ft or more was a sinister warning of how this pot responds in heavy rain.
Heading out, I opted to de-rig the last two pitches and Sparticu . . er . . Don offered to sort the main pitch. Don was up the pitches quicker than a rat up a drain pipe and soon met him back in the main chamber for a quick breather before heading up the main pitch. Once up, I called for Don and headed across to the entrance pitch for a better view of proceedings. Don quickly de-rigged and the set off up to the surface, quickly followed by myself. Ropes packed, Don took pity on the Old Man and carried the large rope bag off the fell. A quick change saw us relaxing in the Marton Arms with a well deserved glass of coke LOL.
27th July 2013 – Rift Pot (digging)
Mike and Don attacked the base of the choke shifting a number of boulders before heading off and completing a through trip and exiting Low Douk.
23rd July – 6th August 2013 – Matienzo
A series of short entries for each day can be found in the brief log book. Now with a couple of photos. No doubt more reports or more detailed for certain trips will appear in due course.
16th July 2013 – Swindon Hole – Boundary Pot
Full trip report.
With the dry spell we were enduring and a post on UKC suggesting the connection was open a trip was in order to sample a tackle free trip in Ease Gill taking in lesser visited entrances.
13th July 2013 – Lancaster Hole – Wretched Rabbit
A through trip for a guest from America; taking in the Colonnades, Waterfall Passage, the dry Main Stream and Easter Grotto.
12th July 2013 – Rift Pot (digging)
Mike was on a solo mission for this afternoon/early evening dig as most people were stuck at work or otherwise busy.
Some of the more precarious boulders on the way to the dig were glued, at the dig choke a few boulders were shifted.
6th July 2013 – Out Sleets Beck Pot
Alex and Dan had spent last night on a zombie run, and obviously their sleep was so disturbed with nightmares afterwards that they requested an unusually late start, meeting in Inglesport at 11am.
When we got to Ingleton, the whole village had been taken over by people re-enacting the Second World War, leaving only our beloved cafe as a haven of tranquility. Anyway, the original plan had been Out Sleets Beck Pot, then Holey Moley had suggested Snatcher.
Dan tossed a coin in Inglesport to decide and OSB won. Alex didn’t mention Snatcher again.
We followed the track to the obvious stream, and 60m down from the gate a dam indicated the entrance, which led to a short climb down into some small passage. Mostly crawling, with a few bits of walking height brought us to a straightforward climb down, then more crawling to the first pitch, which we handlined but could easily have free-climbed. Below this the passage opened out quite a lot and soon led to Cascade Pot. Alex rigged this very interesting pitch, with a rising line of P-bolts, giving a clear, dry hang and a good view of the waterfall.
A short bit of wet, gravelly crawling was followed by easy walking to the final pitch- Deluge Pot. I rigged this from P-bolts in the roof, plus one in the left wall, with a deviation half way down keeping us well away from another pleasant waterfall.
We left our SRT kits at the bottom of this pitch and were soon in deep water. Some fairly narrow bits were swum through and there was plenty of airspace at the duck. After this was a big rift, which soon led to See-Saw Passage, so named because we alternate between crawling and walking. We saw a trout in the streamway here. Not far from that the water disappeared into a bedding and we were unable to find the elusive connection with the world above. No smoke bomb, see.
Heading back out, we climbed up the rift and began a high level traverse, which we couldn’t connect back to the main route. We also spied some passage that may be worth investigating in future. Dan then got out his camera and no doubt created some masterpieces. We emerged into sunshine in a way I don’t think I have ever emerged into sunshine before, with the angle of the sun exactly right so that from the foot of the entrance climb a sunbeam pointed straight into our cavers’ pale, lamp-like eyes and for a moment, it was almost like being blind.
5th July 2013 – Rift Pot (digging)
Mike arrived early entering via Rift and at the dig set about clearing a working space in the sand/mud/clay. Dunc, Rob and Tom arrived a little later via Low Douk to offer some assistance.
A metre or so was gained and the site left for other diggers on the Sunday (who subsequently made a breakthrough in to an already entered although probably long forgotten passage, a choke awaits attention).
29th June 2013 – A Pot
A trip took place with a small (and wet) squuezey/squirmy section proving the stumbling back to the remainder of the cave, so a sensible retreat was called for…
23rd June 2013 – Mistral Hole
A trip organised via Twitter. Originally planned for joining in on a dig in Rift Pot, the weather had other ideas so we (Dunc, DR and AC) headed to Mistral and spent a few hours digging for only a small gain. No quick breakthrough here, a long term venture it would seem. Good day out all the same.
22nd June 2013 – County Pot – Wretched Rabbit
Full trip report.
A trip through County, taking in Monster Cavern with various its of feretting and also Carrot Chamber, the exit via Wretched was unplanned but good as always.
16th June 2013 – Digging on Storrs then Low Douk Cave (to Rift and back)
The early shift arrived on Storrs to spend about 50minutes prodding at Egg Hole (Diggerdog Hole) before having breakfast in Ingleton. Then it was on to Low Douk to sample this recent connection.
It doesn’t take long to reach the connection and is only briefly snug before it pops out in the ToD passages in Rift Pot. We headed to Coates Cavern before retracing our steps.
15th June 2013 – Pikedaw Calamine Caverns
Full trip report.
With a poor weather forecast (that turned out a little wrong) a dry option had to be found. They don’t come much drier than this. A fine option for a solo outing.
8th June 2013 – Ibbeth Peril Cave
After about 4 hours of litter picking and car bit extracting I decided on a solo trip into Ibbeth Peril.
First I went through the boulders beneath the waterfall, exploring every nook and cranny of the surprisingly extensive passages. I eventually found my way along the Mud Series, where after a tight awkward section I was forced to turn back as there was a steep muddy slope going down into a small chamber with no holds.
I did not fancy risking getting stuck down, knowing that this was off the main route so I could be there for a long time!
Back in the main chamber I then did a standard trip to the normal static sump on the main route (another mud slope but I knew I could get back up this one) before following the passage above the waterfall finding a large, blind fish in the sump pool. (I know it was blind as it did not react to my presence until I touched it).
So it was a fun trip but I failed in my mission to find that illusive connection to Hackergill in the next valley over.
8th June 2013 – Marble Steps Pot
Full trip report.
A team of three explored the many passages, nooks and crannies of the upper portion of this grand pothole.
6th June 2013 – Low Douk Cave (to Rift and back)
We entered Low Douk and took the downstream passage to look at the sump. This turned out to be a bit more awkward than I remember. It’s almost all walking height but narrow, until you get to near the end.
Back to were we started we then spent a good hour searching various passages, most of them narrow and horrible trying to find the link up before Rob spotted an awkward undulating flat out crawl with a breeze that was memorable to me.
We all pushed through and emerged at the bottom of the last pitch in the original entrance series. I knew this was were the connection was.
The connection looked smaller than on the video it was an awkward uphill tube but not too tight, however despite Don trying his best could not physically get through it, but he should be able to do it going the other way as its down hill. A dive line just before the connection suggests it sumps in wet weather.
Me and Rob then sprinted through the passages beyond to enter the main Rift chamber after about 10 minutes or so.
This sprinting cost me dear, due to a big rip in my back of my oversuit and knocking the screws out of my lamp, so I need to replace those too.
25th May 2013 – Stream Passage Pot – Whitsun – Corkys
Full trip report.
Taking advantage of the BPC winch meet, three of us headed down Stream Passage, on to the Whitsun series before exiting Corkys.
18th May 2013 – Boggarts Roaring Holes (the third)
Dan, Don, Ales (YSS) & Alex
3 times we attempted this hole recently, and twice we were thwarted, but not this day. Joined by Ales from YSS we made our way to the hole directly – thanks to my map and compass skills, but no thanks to the low visibility.
At the hole there was no snow, nor was anyone too injured to descend. So confident we were, I rigged all the way down to Loose Tooth. Despite almost getting stuck with my leg in my chest on the approach to 4th we made good time until I was forced to stop at the top of Loose tooth, due to a minor set back.
Dan took over rigging for the last two pitches while above me, after a bit of struggle, everyone made it through the squeeze. We set foot on the bottom of the last pitch completely in awe of the bland terminus to the cave.
On the way out there were no issues I recall, though top of Franks proved to be annoying as ever but all went swimmingly, even the squeeze was found to be easier by all on the way out, even if you do it backwards like Don does. Don de-rigged the bottom 3 pitches and Dan heroically de-rigged the rest.
Out just before 5pm to the sight of even thicker fog but thankfully no rain, making for a pleasant change at the cars for once.
11th May 2013 – Boggarts hiding, Inglesport climbing wall instead!
Myself and Alex spent 3 hours in howling wind, pouring rain/hail and rather thick fog, wandering around the flanks of Ingleborough searching for the entrance before heading for a cuppa at Inglesport and a prat about on the climbing wall.
Lesson learned…always take a map. PS. there are a lot of big shakeholes on the side of Ingleborough.
9th May 2013 – Gill scrambling & Barbon Pot
An evening with the threat of rain, so a dry trip was called for. We enjoyed a fine scramble up South Barkin Gill and then headed over to Barbon Pot. What a difference a few years makes!
A truly fantastic effort by all those who have helped tidy up the hole (the rubbish is on the surface, shocking to see how much). The pot is mixed going, big bits separated by smaller bits.
An interesting little trip.
4th May 2013 – Meregill Hole
We arrived at Meregill to find the mere only 10ft below the crawl into the cave. As no rain was forcast we decided to go down via the surface pitch anyway. I could always exit out of little Meregill and rig Aven, if worse came to worst. Sharman rigged this pitch and I fastened up the crab. (We have all been guilty of this)
I rigged the second pitch along the longer traverse route avoiding the water completely, though I only just made it to the bottom as I rigged a 40m with a 35m. Don rigged the next one but got a little confused where to go near the bottom due to a continuing route we did not have rope for. After pointing out the way i.e. just go down, we landed in the stream and free climbed the short 4th pitch.
I rigged the 5th, where poorly placed anchors meant that I got a soaking no matter what I did until I got around the corner and put the rebelay in. It needs another anchor on the same wall only alot higher up, I don’t think I missed one.
Shaman rigged the 6th, all the Maillons he put in at least were screwed up. I planned to do a round trip at the bottom taking in the up stream Black Shiver sump and downstream sump but time was short for one and fear of flooding for another restriced this, so only two of us did the round trip, without the extra bits. The crawling passage is not that bad, and once you hit the T-junction with the Black Shiver water all the passage back to the pitch chamber is walking. (or running if you get bored like I did).
Good trip, another well spent 6 hours underground for three
4th May 2013 – Ribblehead novice trip
With 2 novices and a marginally more experienced 9yr old in tow, Chris K and I opted for a potter around the various suitable holes around Ribblehead.
We met Rob and Alex in Inglesport before nipping next door to hire kit. Once at the Station Inn, Chris was dispatched inside and returned with permission to use the car park. Quickly changing in a heavy shower soon saw the merry bunch hit the first cave of the day – Batty Wife.
After all of 30 seconds we headed over to Runscar 3, followed by 2 and then over the top to drop into Scar Top. After refamiliarising myself with the correct way , we made an uneventful journey to the terminal chamber where our guests were suitably impressed with the formations. As always, the return seemed quicker and once on the surface, we headed over to Thistle for an amble through the lower cave on our way back to the cars.
A straight forward trip with a couple of decent lads, who appear keen to try more.
27th April 2013 – Long Kin West
With me rigging the huge first pitch, I dropped down to the ledge and after a bit of thinking rigged the next bit and abbed down only to find the rope did not quite reach the floor, 5m too short. I was forced to go back up to the ledge 45m above my head, doh! I clipped in to the P’s removed my Y and Mike did some inventive rigging above me and gave me a newly rigged rope that did reach the floor.
My advice bring a 60m for the second section unless you want to rig it unconventionally.
More inventive rigging by Mike saw us down the final large pitch, we ignored the P anchor route going across and instead rigged off a natural and one P, a sling reblay and a ridiculous deviation supplied by Dan.
I got to re-ascend the top of this one too, thinking Mike had given up but he did not let the pitch beat him!
At the bottom I explored the 15m deep dig to a tight rift taking me down to about -170m, I was the only one to truly bottom the cave today! Going out it was like getting on the cover of Vogue, where Dan took many shots of us, making the exit a photo shoot. In the end this quick trip turned into an almost 6 hour full day out.
26th April 2013 – Storrs Common
An evening strolling round Storrs (with a bit of hail thrown at us for good measure). Got some GPS refs, measured Lower Arch, looked at digging opportunities in Beezley Quarry Cave.
Descended to the river, looked at Black Rose Cave and Dead Rabbit Cavern before calling it a night.
20th April 2013 – Penyghent Pot
A very fun trip, done in 6 hours 45, from first in to last out, some did it quicker of course.
There were no feck ups I was aware of and everything went fine. (Not being sarcastic either!) Unless you include me forgetting my gloves.
We free climbed most of the rift pitches, which included Coffin, now that was quite scary as it’s 11m and includes an exposed move on a sloping ledge half way down.
Everyone free climbed down it, however. Some free climbed back up (including me, Mike S, as well as both Chris’s too, I think). At least one of us had to as we had not rigged it.
Anyway a fantastic trip a bit like a longer version of Washfold. And finally, thanks must go to the BPC for allowing us to park our cars at their hut!
6th April 2013 – Bull Pot and Yordas Cave
Full trip report.
Daz and Don enjoyed a pleasant descent of Bull Pot and also paid a visit to Yordas Cave, via the middle entrance and rigged direct and traverse routes down the Chapterhouse Waterfall.
5th April 2013 – Diccan Pot
A late Friday afternoon saw three bodies assembling on the lane, luckily the visiting Belgium cavers were on their way out so there was no spahetti problems or hold-ups (definitely the last thing you need down Diccan).
We were hoping for a dry trip but water levels turned out average, the marginally higher temperatures obviously melting some higher snow/ice. The pot was as hostile as ever. A simple if chilly descent and ascent was made, no hanging around!!
30th March 2013 – Lost Johns’ Cave
A straightforward trip down the middle route (Dome), made slightly less straightforward by the fact we were missing the rope for “Candle and Shistol”. We instead short rigged it using a 25m rope (it’s supposed to be a 30). But we were now missing the traverse rope. Luckily we had a longer than needed rope for the big pitch (but not by much). So instead we rigged half way along the rift, swung down and through the rift, saving some rope to a lower y-hang (rigged as a re-belay) and rejoined the main route at the deviation a third of the way down. Problem solved.
We had a little bit of an explore at the bottom, including me looking up an in-situ pitch to find the deviation jammed and useless, causing me to free myself in an interesting manner. On the way out I free climbed the top two short pitches. The lower one was more of a slope and was easily free climbed. The upper one was harder but had a ledge and plenty of holds, though I could imagine it would be harder to spot those on the way down.
28th March 2013 – A Barren Night
With Peter feeling blue we figured it best to drag him down a fine hole.. A climb, some mixed going involving some wriggling, a pitch, some nice pretties, significant engineering (impressive!) and a lengthy passage.
Cold on the surface, very warm underground. Exited to a clear starry night and still early enough for a drive to the Ship at Caton for a swift refreshment.
23rd-26th March 2013 – Mendip long weekender (inc. Devon)
An extended weekend down in Mendip, staying at the Wessex hut. Those who stayed on also had a day out to Devon.
Full trip reports for each day can be found below:
26th- Afton Red Rift, Baker’s Pit, Dog Hole and Pridhamsleigh
25th- Eastwater Cavern
24th- Upper Flood Swallet
23rd- Priddy Green Sink – Swildons
16th March 2013 – Tatham Wife Hole
Full trip report.
team descending a slightly damp pot, took the third-ramp-duck bypass route and also explored up the interesting North Branch Inlet (and found a very loose choke, which collapsed, caution is most definitely advised in this area!).
9th March 2013 – Marble Steps Pot
We went down, we came back up, nothing happened inbetween. No mishaps, no problems, no issues. Nope, everything went perfectly well. Couldn’t have gone any better.
2nd March 2013 – Car Pot
Full trip report.
A three man team descended this classic pothole, taking in both North and South Craven Passages.
23rd February 2013 – Aquamole Pot
Three met in Inglesport and waited for another to no avail and with only half (bottom half at that LOL) of the rope required for Black Shiver we (I) ended up buying an CNCC rigging guide for ideas. Chris S opted for Aquamole and although Chris K and I had been in there recently, we agreed to a return visit.
Changing in snowy conditions in Kingsdale, we rearranged and repacked the ropes we had and were about to set off when Chris S realised he hadn’t packed his helmet. His option of a flog up the fell and dropping the first pitch helmetless was countered with the suggestion that he returned to Ingleton to hire one, whilst Chris K and I set about rigging.
A steady walk up the fell soon had us cracking ice in a pool by Jingling to wet the ropes before returning to Aquamole entrance. As I dropped the entrance and began rigging the next section Chris S appeared sporting the latest in Bernie’s hireware – the delectable FX Nova.
Rigging under an insitu divers ropes, we were soon at the bottom of the entrance series and crawling towards the last pitches. As the big pitch was rigged (divers ropes), we agreed to have a look at the alternative route down. And what a fine pitch it is!!! Unfortunately, after traversing down the rift, we ended up at a point overlooking the last drop of 20m (or so). With no rope available to do this, we agreed to head back to the head of the usual route down and make use of the divers rope.
This was rigged a little different from the usual “straight down” route and made it a little more entertaining. Saying that, we all bottomed it and then headed out into a less snowy but cold (and slippy) afternoon.
Once changed, we headed down to the Marton Arms for welcome refreshment and the warmth of a fully alight woodburner – ahhhhhh.
16th February 2013 – Bull Pot and Simpson Pot
Don rigged the pitches, doing well now, learning quicker than I did. I rigged an alternate pitch. I however got bored on the last pitch as there was so many traverse anchors and instead I free climbed down it.
Quite easy on the way down it’s just a 10m deep vertical rift, hard to get back up though… as we found out when Sharman took the rope with him…
After retrieving the rope part way up, we headed out with nothing more to do in that cave. We had not had enough and went down the hill on the inside, through Simpson Pot, finding some more rope on the way.
All fit through the slot, though I reckon if it was not the only way out at least one member would not have.
Dan free climbed Valley Entrance pitch (despite there being a brand new rope on it) just to see if he could if the rope was removed again.
10th February 2013 – Notts II
A simple descent as ever, due to the recent snow and sudden thaw there was a fair flow of water, that, in the deeper sections was damn chilly!
Took a quick look at Inlet 8 to see the impressive digging before heading to Inlet 5, where we took a steady route through the mud to avoid trashing the formations even further.
(They have been trashed a little in places, some of these places are out of the way and not right next to where people crawl – really no excuse for such sloppy, gormless caving – if you can’t cave properly, stay out of places like this!)
Onwards in to the sizable extensions, certainly an interesting area, before heading to the 6.5 3/4 connection back to the main stream and heading out. A short but interesting trip but not one to be recommended!
10th February 2013 – Notts Pot
A good little trip for 3 people as only one of us had been many years ago.
The cave was not hard to find and I was soon rigging the first pitch from a dodgey slope. The first drop was only 10ft and is climbable if the rocks were not so slippery. I got off the rope on a ledge believing the next bit was a climb but was the second part of the pitch. Nevertheless it was not difficult as I walked round the hole and walked down some boulder steps on the other side. Dan found a P out over the pitch and rigged the bottom half before joining me.
Quick progress down the climb next climb (currently has in-situ hand line) and everyone joined me at the second pitch which took me a little longer then I wanted.
We then spent a good half hour mooching about before eventually finding and deciding Adamson’s route, (confirmed as we found a label saying it was). The way on up this way was from the main chamber via either an easy traverse going up some 20ft, or an easier climb traverse on the other-side (continue at floor level and climb up round the corner). At the top their is a dodgey old ladder going up further leading to a short rock floored passage which leads back down to a 25ft climb/pitch. We rigged a hand line but did not abseil it.
We let Don rig the top half of the big pitch before I took over again at the big drop section, though Don did rig the Y-hang. Down I went, where I had a little scary moment when the rope caught on something above me as I swung to put the deviation in. Still its a nice pitch, nice and dry about 110ft from the Y-hang. Landed on a large ledge where the way on was through a smaller hole to a final 30ft pitch (single anchor backed up from P at the entrance to the hole).
Note: While Don was rigging the top pitch I took a look at the start of the extensions as there was some in-situ rope but had to turn back at “Acrobat Pot” as it was not rigged. All looks very intesting and there is a few small formations along the way.
In the main stream we soon reached the Lower-stream way pitches but lacked the rope to rig them with. So we went back out and braved a blizzard, I hate winter. If only we could do away with this annoying cold green and white bit between me and the cave!
9th February 2013 – New Rift Pot
Just me and Chris Sharman this week.
Met up in Inglesport before heading to a quieter than last week, Masongill. Quickly changed, we headed through a sprinkling of snow to the large shake hole. Some fun was had sledging down the steep slope on bags before kitting up and heading underground.
A straight forward trip down to Coates Cavern before ditching kit and mooching around various nooks and crannies.
An even quick ascent of the main pitch was made all the more interesting by a bat flitting about. Once off the rope, steady progress was made to the surface.
All in all a quick trip but a good one.
2nd February 2013 – Marble Steps Pot
A fun days caving for 4.. Meeting up for food in Inglesport, we discussed the trip before heading up to a sunny (but cold) Masongill. Once changed we headed up the track to the entrance.
Rigging the gully route, we were quickly down to the main chamber and heading for stink pot. The decision here was to bottom the pot via the ninety with an excursion into the intestines on the return.
Once at the bottom, we all had a look at the miserable sump before heading through the crawl to connect with the bottom of the intestines route – Daz, not being one for tightness opted to start the return. Between Chris K, Don and myself, we agreed to ditch the plan for visiting the intestines as save that for another day to incorporate a descent from the entrance via the sidewinder route.
On the way out Daz went to chat to a girl whilst the three of us shuffled up the NW rift for a looksee. However, only I headed up the rope to find my way into the lost inlet series via another two nice pitches and a couple of smaller ones before heading back down to derig/untangle the entrance and meet the others on the surface.
Not being sure where steps pot comes in, I’m pretty sure that I must have been near the surface after the ascent of the pitches and did find a birds skeleton at the point where I turned back.
24th January 2013 – James Halls (JH)
A simple in and out trip of JH, originally planned for the Saturday (with an excursion up and down the Speedwell Streamway) but the forecasted snow late Friday made us change the day.
The farm track to Rowter posed a problem for Robs van and we needed the assistance of the farmer and his tractor (big thank you to Mark!)
A very snowy scene as we headed to a clear JH, which, when the lid was open presented us with a delightfully warm draught, perfect on this cold snowy evening. A straightforward descent was made, only to the base of Levaithan, as time was short for anything else (we didn’t want to miss pub o’clock did we!?)
Rigged the alternative route for Upper Leviathan, which has fixed anchors and provides a nice route down (the final two belays give a fine view over what I would say was the best part of the shaft)
We spent about 4 hours walking from the track junction to JH, underground and walking back. Only one thing left to do after that, head to The Wanted!
12th January 2013 – Lancaster Hole – Near Series
After a quick bite to eat and chat with Chris, Don and Alex, Chris K and I set off for BPF.
The original intention was to drop in via Cow Pot and have a scrat up Woodhouse Way but after chatting to AW and RD in Bernies, we changed our minds, opting instead to remain with our choice of entry but having a romp around the near series for route finding purposes.
A straight forward descent of Cow Pot was made before dumping SRT kit and climbing back up Fall Pot and heading for Montague West, Wilf Taylors and down to the main drain via Waterfall Passage – no issues route finding (even without survey) and a better understanding of how various passages link into each other. However, I very nearly made an extremely rapid descent of the last climb of the waterfall when the in-situ handline suddenly released its grip on the rock causing me to lose balance and almost fall down the last 12ft or so LOL.
Once in the main drain we visited the fairly low downstream sump before returning to Fall Pot. Once back at base we began ferreting to find the entry to Woodhouse Way (RD reckoned we would struggle to locate it). After a couple of pokes here and there, we eventually found what we were looking for and headed up the passage by traversing and crawling (flat out in places) until we reached the flowstone blockage. A squeeze over and down to the left hand side led to a body sized tube with water. Looking in, the tube disappeared around a bend (heading to the first of the 3 ducks, I assume) and looked fairly committing, as progress would have to be in a forward direction until a place to turn around was achieved. At this point we decided to draw stumps and leave the delights of the ducks for another day.
We retraced our steps back to Fall Pot and began what was an uneventful for me, but and epic for Chris, ascent to the surface. As Chris reached the first y-hang of the ascent, he noticed his central maillon was not screwed closed – after some considered thought (including panic supression) and delicate manouvering, he managed to close it and proceed with confidence LOL.
All in all, a bloody good trip.
12th January 2013 – Mistral Hole to Wretched Rabbit
We entered into Mistral meeting a solo photographer named Andy along the way. Chris wanted to see Cigalare, so we did. We then back tracked through Dusty Junction through the crawls and ducks to Link. Down Echo and up the 88.
Through the passages I don’t know the name of to reach the high level route, went along that through Monster Cavern down to Stop Pot. I took the bypass route not knowing that it puts you down stream of where you wanted to go.
Up to now route finding by me was good but I completely failed to find Easter Grotto, and went out Wretched by Wretched Rabbit route. What annoys me, having looked at the survey, all I had to do was to keep going!
11th January 2013 – Haytime Hole (and Sell Gill)
It was dark, it was misty, but Rob found the entrance to Haytime without too much problem. Short low crawl, leads to a clamber down and the fist “pitch” – an easy climb but you have to watch the wall as there is some loose bits in the vicinity.
A small chamber is crossed with a loose looking climb with some shoring – this is the point where the concern was a while back about movement, its easy to see why, although presented no issues today, however I think it needs care to pass.
Across another chamber, SRT kits on, and a short pitch, actually climbable, although not easy and probably best to have a bit of protection, there was rope in-situ. Big chamber with rocky floor, dodgy looking lower bit, but fine really, then the best bit of the cave. A fine meandering stream passage with a smattering of pleasing cascades thrown in for good measure.
This finally popped out in a large valley in the north-western Ered Nimrais, oops, sorry, a large chamber with some pretty formations. Rob undertook a final grovel to the sump.
We exited and headed to Sell Gill, entering via the Wet Entrance, Rob set about a solo rigging exercise not quite following the OTT-CNCC dot-to-dot. I ate a Snickers, washed SRT kit and ferreted in the entrance passages….
Enjoyed a pint in the busy Crown to finish off a good evening.
6th January 2013 – Valley Entrance, short solo
Weather: Nice, dry and quite warm for January
After failing to drum some interest from the club I decided to purchase a 20M rope, some mayo’s and do some practice with no interferance. After a lenghtly debate with myself I decided to have a short trip to KMC to practice rigging.
After seeing some friends to buy a new helmet and some rope from Ingleton of I went to Kingsdale, I parked with some other cars where I assumed Valley Entrance was located and got changed. On my way to the cave I was rescued by the SARDA dogs who all seemed very keen to see me safe and well 20yds from the road. I got chatting to one of the controllers who told me they were out on a practice hence all the cars but this was not Valley entrance (Thanks if you read this)… opps. Back in my car (in full muddy gear) down the road I went to the empty parking space for Valley Entrance.
Finally I was underground and crawling towards the pitch, armed with my rope and limited metalwork it was soon time to rig. After finding the correct anchors I rigged a simple traverse to Y hang and descended into the depths, no rope rub – check, fall factor – check, good knots – check all good.
I went downstream first and immidietly came to a diveline, no way am doing that solo I thought so went upstream through some nice passage and crawls I think I eventually reached the freedives to Rowten, again not somethinkg I fancied solo so I turned around.
Back up my rigging, it worked. In fact I was so proud of it I went up and down twice. Once derigged I went to look at the left route towards Toyland. After a lenghty crawl I did’t find the climb up so out I went.
Trip time = 2 hours(ish)
5th January 2013 – Roaring Hole
Report coming soon..
For a short trip in a grade 3 cave it was bloody fun, in these wet conditions it warrants a grade 4 or higher. Next time though we wont bring all the rope and will bring a wet suit. Final amount of rope used by us, zero.
3rd January 2013 – Owl Hole
An evening trip where parking proved to be the most challenging part of the night. We had a quick abseil off the trees before climbing up to the main entrance.
We explored most of the cave with only a couple of minor stretches of passage being missed. Short but fun.