Notts II – Tom Groome, Helen, Jack F, Pete (his neighbour), Jason
Three of the party hadn’t done this trip before, so it was a good chance to show off a cave which must have one of the highest prettiness to accessibility ratios in the Dales.
At the roadside a chap was waiting for his mates to go on a capping expedition to Bruno Kranski’s. Apparently, a connection to Lost John’s has been smoke-tested and there is only 10m to go. A good through trip is in prospect, but may be some time off due to the engineering required to make the connection safe.
Having descended the artificial entrance (declared ‘awesome’ by the youths), we quickly got to the streamway and turned left for the downstream sump (by way of leaving the best bits to last). I had never gone this far before, and most uninviting it looked !
We then yomped upstream, resisting the temptation to explore the many inlets indicated by lengths of muddy rope and headed for the upstream sump. On reaching the canal, Tom gamely waded on, up to his chest. I climbed up and tried for the traverse, one simply hates getting wet. Finding an inviting inlet (number 3? Or 4?), Helen led the lads up there while I carried on traversing above the canal, not wishing Tom to feel abandoned. I was pushing the envelope of my traversing skills, but managed to avoid a sudden plunge into the water and eventually caught up with Tom at the sump.
After a quick look at what must have been inlet 1 (which obviously went some distance – I hadn’t realised how big this cave was!) Tom and I returned to meet up with the others. I waded – and swam – this time, the traverse was more trouble than it’s worth. Pete was getting cold by this time (his choice of swimming shorts under a ripped boiler suit could have been bettered) so we had a quick look at inlet 5 to admire the fine formations, followed by a quick march out to warm up.
A good trip, well enjoyed by all.