Notts II – Inlet 6.5¾: Tim D, Darren, Jason
The advertised trip was Voldemort, which was why I bothered with the 2½-hour drive from West Bretton where I’d been all day. But on the way, the rain set in and the prospect of pulling-through to find the snug crawl full of water was a little off-putting, so we decided to look at inlet 6.5¾ instead.
This was some consolation, as I’d never been there. The water levels were back to normal from the torrent 3 weeks earlier, and we quickly came to the junction on the right of the upstream passage. Some easy passage soon leads to the sparkling white stal formations.
A little backtracking leads to a left turn which links to inlet 5. On the way are yet more fine formations, one or two sadly besmirched by a careless muddy glove (a mini conservation project is called for here – half an hour with a bottle of water and a nail brush would make a big improvement!).
Unfortunately, it also involves some crawling in disgusting gloopy mud. There are compensations, though – as you wallow on your back there are some solution cavities in the ceiling a few inches away. These contain some beautiful crystalline deposits and helictites. I was reminded of the Oscar Wilde quote “We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.”
Returning to the streamway, we continued upstream to the canal in inlet 2b (or not…?). A good opportunity to wash the gloop off by avoiding the traverse above the canal and having a bracing wade, and even a brief swim at one point. We warmed up again by a quick march downstream and out. As a final bonus, it actually stopped raining long enough for us to get changed!