Lancaster Hole – Andy G, Jason
A select team gathered for a trip with few ideas about where we should go. I wanted to visit Slug World, so we turned left at the bottom of the entrance pitch (breaking the habits of a lifetime). The muddy climb quickly degenerates to a muddy crawl, but very soon pops out into a decent passage with some fine formations. A bit of a squeeze leads into another chamber with some even better stal. This is emphatically taped-off so we turned around. The next time you’re waiting at the bottom of the pitch for 5 people to ascend, it’s well worth a ten-minute detour.
Andy expressed an interest in visiting the Graveyard, and as he’d been kind enough to bring a suitable rope for the pitch, it seemed churlish to demur. Now where was the entrance ? I tried a turning off Bridge Hall – a high rift, not what we were looking for, but it went on – might as well have a look… We realised it was the Sand Caverns, a series of, well, caverns linked by some fun climbs and slides. These went for some time until I came to a tight crawl leading to a low bedding chamber. All I could remember from the description was that Sand Caverns had some ‘very tight’ connections elsewhere (the Crater) , which neither of us relished, so we headed back.
A few metres further down Bridge Hall was the Graveyard entrance. A short crawl, the little pitch, then into the Graveyard. I’d forgotten how well-decorated this is. But the route Andy was after was down the big trench in the floor. This looked impossible to climb down, until he pointed out the concealed rope at the right-hand end. This leads onto a narrow streamway. Following this downstream, a crawl off to the right leads into the Stump Cavern Extensions (the earlier passage to the right, up a greasy climb does not go anywhere). This turned out to be a series of protracted crawls, flat-out, but not uncomfortable. However, he was not totally sure of how this linked back to the Graveyard, and time was marching on, and the call of the Black Sheep was getting more insistent, so we turned round and retraced our drag marks.
Back in the stream, we paused for a little wallow to wash the worst of the mud from the SRT kits, then were soon back in Bridge Hall, and out – just in time for a swift one at the other Hall (Whoop). A grand evening’s entertainment – I’d been to three places in Easegill for the first time, whilst leaving some more to do on another occasion: completing the Stump Caverns Extensions circuit and (maybe) the Sand Caverns to Crater link.