We were soon at the pitch, where I dangled for a while for Darren to get some photos (not necessarily of my best side!) from below. Scott had the job of lighting me from above while balancing on the tiny ledges at the pitch head, not easy when you're trying not to look down!
A few months back, I read an online report of a pull-through trip from Lost John’s, exiting from Notts II (Iron Kiln Pot, if you want to be pedantic), I thought “Really? That sounds fun!”. Having got the new Northern Caves book for Christmas, there seemed to be enough information to find the way.
Boundary Pot and I have a history of failed attempts due to high water and quailing spirits, so I was not over-optimistic when we gathered on Sunday. There had been plenty of dry weather in the past few weeks, but more recent rain. However, the walk up the bed of the beck was encouraging, in fact the pool at Pool Sink was completely empty, which I hadn’t seen before.
Entering the second chamber in the entrance series, I was delighted to hear - nothing! Normally some water either babbles or thunders down the next climb, but it was completely dry - so the trip was on!
|Smallcleugh horse level was followed through to Smallcleugh Flats. (I thought we were Wheel Flats & promptly turned everyone westward along a passage that led directly to Luke Hall’s Sump!) Phil continued along the main passage and discovered a sign hailing entry to Wheel Flats and so we continued without further ado to the infamous Ballroom Flats. The main mineral in evidence was galena—as you would suspect in a lead mine. The arched passages, handcrafted by mine workers, were quite spectacular
County - Lancaster, May 2017
A County/Lancaster exchange on a Wednesday night? We wondered if we were being over-ambitious. But a splinter group kindly volunteered to rig Lancs, have a shorter trip and come out the same way, so the rest of us set off remarkably promptly at 6pm. We had a close encounter with a barn owl on the way, probably having disturbed his tea. Oddly enough, a dead vole lay on the lid of County - we put it to one side in case the owl was still hungry.
Illusion Pot, May 2017
Wednesday night saw us taking advantage of the dry spell for a bit of caving in Illusion Pot, Kingsdale. After exploiting a variety of parking options - mine as usual seeming to be the furthest away from the actual cave - we met up, walked and began the search for the covered entrance in a shakehole. In this crack team of speleo-explorers were Darren, Ali, Jason, Tony and myself; Tony and Ali had the excuse of never having been down Illusion before, and I mumbled something about it 'being all snowy the last time I was here', leaving Jason and Darren to put us on the right track. After some determined searching they found the way in, and we all descended the fixed ladders into the underworld.
SRT Practice in Long Churn and Dolly tubs
SRT Practice and a trip round the Churns
Dowbergill January 2017
|The first time had taken us 6 and a half hours and was replete with arguments caused by neither of us knowing at what point it was safe to descend, several wrong descent decisions, a very scarey traverse and feeling bloody cold. The second time had been faster (just over 4 hours) but this was more by luck than judgement ... This time, the date chosen followed the snowfall and coincided with the snowmelt ... Read More >>>|
Lancaster Hole, January 2017
|We all got to the bottom safely and off we went through into Fall pot, we went at a steady pace so Ali could take it all in, we eventually ended up taking some great photos at Bob’s Boss and the Painters Pallet then with a bit of memory searching for the way on we eventually made it to the Minarets without finding Diamond hall first, I took some backlit photos to try and do my best to copy the Northern Caves photo it wasn’t perfect but I thought it would do, we then stuck ourselves through the link into the way on to Retched rabbit etc.|
Christmas meet, 2016
A great Christmas "Do", a trip to Wet Grooves mine followed by great company and food. Thanks to Helen and Andy for leading the mine trip and for the use of Hardraw Old School Bunk House
2016-09-07 Roger Kirk
A Ribblehead classic, but neither James nor I had done it before.
Found the East Sink entrance ok (thanks, Garmin), and as the water levels were fairly low, we made it through the Tube without flipping onto our backs, thereby keeping a small area round our shoulders dry.
Kudos to James as he hasn't got a proper undersuit!
Found our way to Middle Entrance, popped out, admired the view, back down again to the lower entrances - both of them although the last one did seem like wallowing for the sake of it.
Back to the cars as light was fading, and we had our photos taken with the viaduct in the background by a nice lady who said we looked incredible. But we knew that!
2016-07-03 Birks Fell
A good trip to a fine cave - we didn't get as far as we hoped, as the navigation isn't as straightforward as the survey suggests. I'd heard it was pretty (it is), so took my camera, but all the underground pictures were well down to my usual standard. So here is a picture of an exceptionally fine formation above ground......
2016-04-10 Kingsdale Master Cave
A new comers trip to KMC via Valley Entrance - read more >>>