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.
Just a two man 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.
1st January 2013 - Happy New Year...
Welcome to another year of the Black Rose Log Book. Plenty of interesting trips lined up for this year....