22nd February 2003
People present - Pete Dale, Duncan Jones (Chunks), Adam Cooper (Titch)
Not knowing where to go caving is a big problem but after a few days thought I finally struck gold and suggested Out Sleets Beck Pot as the weather had stayed dry for a couple of weeks. The others agreed on the trip and arrangements were made to meet at Bernies Saturday morning.
Saturday arrived and we met in Bernies as usual finding the Dodster, who was up in the dales in cave hunting mode. So after a brew, a chat and a bite to eat we left for Penyghent Gill.
Out sleets is a bit of a walk from the main road but luckily it is right next to a green lane so we piled all the gear into Titch's landy and set off down the track. Well Titch must of thought he was in the Dakar rally as he drove along the rough track like a mad man, (Don't tell Sarah!) we soon arrived at the cave! He parked up so the wind was off us and then we went to find the entrance to the promised land. The guide book says to check the dam above the entrance, what it doesn't mention is that the dam is the entrance! A few minutes were passed lowering the water level to make the entrance series dryer, then we got changed and sorted the ropes out for the trip.
Back at the entrance again I sent chunks down first with me and Titch following close behind. After the awkward entrance and a short climb down it was easy going for a bit until we reached the first climb down. Me and chunks passed the obstacle easily but as usual Titch struggled with the tight bit. Everyone down and in the first small chamber, that was big enough to stand up in. unfortunately that was it for a bit and a hands and knees crawl followed (Not nice with an injured knee!) about 20m later on was another climb down which, again me and Chunks passed with ease. While we where rigging the next climb down all we heard was Titch whinging and whining about how tight it was! I looked at chunks and he shrugged his shoulders and we both chuckled!
We carried on following the stream in a fairly large walking passage past the main inlet and down some cascades to the top of the first true pitch. Impressive I thought looking down the water sprayed chasm below. We located the spits and chunks set off rigging the traverse so we would be out of the cold meltwater. Chink, chink splash was the next thing I heard as Titch's penknife fell down the pitch Dunc just grinned and disappeared down the rope! Rope free was heard and I set off down the pitch and upon reaching the bottom found Dunc hiding under a ledge out of the spray. Titch arrived at the bottom and dragged chunks under the waterfall to look for the knife. No knife found, we set off down the driest passage crawling over cobbles and eventually gaining walking passage again where the second pitch was found. Once at the bottom we followed the water to where it flowed into a deep looking canal, we then turned tail and retreated back to the pitch, as we didn't fancy getting cold! Both pitches derigged safely we got to the climbs and sure enough old Titch came out with some obscene expletives as he negotiated them! Back on the surface we found it to be dark and later than we had thought it would be so a quick change was had. We then headed for the chippy in settle for you know what!
We will be going back and next time to the end of the cave!