Maz, Tom, Dave, James, Sophie, Ray
Report from Maz:
THIS AIN’T IBBETH PERIL
For my first lead, those wiser and more experienced than I, had decided a nice non SRT trip to Dentdale would be my baptism of fire.
Unfortunately, Storm Isha had other ideas and it was soon obvious that Ibbeth Peril would be under water or at the very least, put any caver in serious peril. A plan B or C would obviously be needed.
Having consulted the caving gods; namely Ray and Tom, and the bible that is Northern Caves volume 2, it was decided a nice jaunt down Bull Pot of the Witches would be just the job.
With no rain falling for a change, Ray, Dave, James, Tom and myself began the descent. After the first pitch, a puddle of light and voice from above marked the arrival of Sophie bringing the compliment of cavers to 6.
A largely dry series of thankfully short and easy pitches deposited us in a large cavern. There followed a nice section of passage before bypassing a small hole in the floor. This passage gradually become muddier and lower. Obviously, James decided to investigate and emerged brown coated and unimpressed.
Retracing our steps, we descended the hole in the floor via a muddy, sorry looking sling. This led us to the Long Gallery and onto some crawling and more sliding around in the mud and water. Although we just couldn’t get enough of this fun, we reluctantly decided it was time to return the way we had come. James ascended the sling hole first, giving myself below, a face full of welly water. I, in turn passed on the compliment to Ray who was below me, who subsequently passed the favour onto the next caver. Only James’ escaped this muddy shower, having led the climb.
On the way out, James and Dave went on another detour, meeting up near the bottom of the pothole, which looked amazing with moonlight glinting off the falling stream. We surfaced at about 10:15 having had a lovely trip. Thanks to the riggers and de-riggers and to ray for the photography
On a personal note, this trip marked a year to the day since my first foray underground with KCC. I am extremely grateful to all those members who, without exception, have made me feel welcome and part of the club. I am also very grateful to their patience and support while I’ve faffed and squawked. Mostly on pitches, traverses, crawls, scrambles, squeezes, ducks, chimneys, climbs, but also walking any uphill to the entrance!
Most importantly, thanks to everyone who has very kindly given their time and experience to help me develop my skills and confidence; a natural caver I am not, but I do love it. Except Jingling Pot, which needs filling in with concrete.