Dismal Hill to Old Ing – 18th May 2011

Dismal Hill      Chris H, Andy G, Jason

A skeleton crew of three tackled Dismal Hill – obviously the rest of the club had done it before!
In fact, they missed a fine trip; not long, but full of variety and interest.
The entrance is tucked away in a hollow just to the left of the path from High Birkwith.  A brief crawl led to a couple of nice climbs.  Turning left, I knew I was looking for a tight bedding plane, and quickly found one about 8” high with 6” of water.  If this was the way on, it was to a short trip indeed!

Fortunately, Andy had turned right along a short passage well supplied with sheep bones and found a slightly more spacious bedding plane, which he was kind enough to let me investigate.  It started off tight and continued that way for what felt like a long time (probably about 50m!) until it emerged – much to my relief – in a nice decorated streamway.
Turning downstream, a narrow but pleasant passage goes for about 150m, getting deeper until you have to swim if you want to get to the sump.  We declined.

Upstream also gets deeper, but a thoughtfully-provided traverse line allows you to stay dry – at least above waist-level.  The scum on the wall showed the water level had recently been much higher still.
A climb up leads to another crawl, soon emerging at an impressive waterfall – we were now in the sump bypass part of Old Ing.  An exciting climb up the waterfall (fortunately roped) led to some more damp passageway.  A little before another sump, there’s a climb up to yet another flat-out crawl (Mick’s End) that showed signs of having been blasted out – ie lots of sharp rubble to inch over.  At least it was fairly short.
This emerged in the roof of the main Old Ing streamway via a particularly tight bit, which Andy’s manly chest proved too much for.  A pity, because the exit was only a short upstream stroll away…

After establishing that the squeeze really wasn’t in Andy’s size, he engaged reverse gear to come out the way we’d come in, followed by me, while Chris went out of Old Ing to fetch a ladder to save us the trouble of at least one of the crawls.

Meanwhile, Andy and I positively raced along – it’s amazing how much time you save by knowing where you’re going and not trying to stay dry! – and decided not to hang around for Chris in the streamway.  Again, we made good time to the exit, but not quite soon enough to stop Chris rigging the ladder in the ‘new’ entrance and descending to the streamway!  Never mind, at least he clocked up 3 different entrances to the system …  And he did find out where the ‘new’ pitch comes out – just before the traverse line in the upstream end of the passage, so now you know…

Old Ing to Dismal Hill – 9th October 2005

Old Ing > Dismal Hill  Rose, Ken.

Rose agreed that this is a really interesting and fun trip, apart from being accompanied by a complete idiot who dropped her camera-case into the canal, got mud on the lens and took ages to take photos whilst she was hanging off a tyrolean.  The fact that he was also hanging off a tyrolean with nowhere to put anything, trying not to drop the camera into the canal as well, using an unfamiliar device without his specs and wearing wet gloves, did not count as extenuating circumstances.  Rose’s opinion was confirmed on discovering that instead of photos, he’d taken a video featuring disembodied headlight, no people, and a voice-over with exasperated voices:  “Turn the right-hand dial to the second notch.”   “I’ve done that, but it won’t fire”.  “Put it on the SECOND notch”. “It IS on the SECOND BLOODY NOTCH, and it WON’T FIRE…”

Old Ing to Dismal Hill – 20th August 2005

Old Ing > Dismal Hill            Ken & Jimmy.

 A brilliant and entertaining through trip!  Follow Old Ing to the downstream sumps.  These can be free-dived into an out of depth canal – if you’re hard enough!  We weren’t, and used a dry bypass instead (Mick’s End) found in the roof about 70m back near a sharp bend.  The low crawl is a bit snug for 5m then gets easier, and emerges beyond the sumps above a large stream in Baker Series. Upstream soon requires swimming.  Downstream leads to a cascade with hand line in place for the climb down into a large chamber.  Beyond is a deep canal but the misery is avoided by crawling to the right until a rope appears, followed as a tyrolean along the canal wall with some metal brackets as footholds.  At the end is a sump, but the rift has been blasted and provides an easy dry by-pass to emerge in Dismal Hill Cave. Once again a tyrolean saves a swim until dry land can be reached (bouncy ropes in place).

Dismal Hill can be followed for quite a way to somewhere near the sump that goes through into Birkwith.  This one hasn’t yet got a dry by-pass.  Returning back up the streamway the way out of Dismal Hill is where a wide bedding goes off.  This is about 30m long, gets progressively lower, and then suddenly pops out into a large rift.  After a bit of rummaging around a climb up a flake, then another climb are found that lead to the surface. Then went back down Old Ing and explored all of Rough Hill Inlet, scene of an infamous KCC epic!!