Weekend Meets 1998-1999

Reports typed up from the 1998 logbook

Yorkshire 23/24 Jan 1999


Jingling: Andy Jurd, Colm Carroll, Bruce Drinkwater

Andrew, Bruce and Colm attempt a rigging tutorial.

Got up way too early @ 9.00AM and went through the usual routine of tea, breakfast, tea, shit, tea, decide caves, tea, packing rope, tea, fill carbide, tea... Eventually arrrived in Kingsdale for our assault on Bull Pot (okay, I was teaching people to rig). After a surprisingly efficient change into caving gear (due, no doubt, to the sub-zero temps) we marched up the hill to our pothole. Unfortunately some other fascists staying at the NPC had got there before us and were just about to descend. We muttered amonst ourselves, but eventually an executive decision to descend Jingling was taken.

Andrew J started off the rigging. Trusty fig of 8 followed by a butterfly around the tree. Then fear/common sense took the better of him and I finished the exposed part. A small bit of abseiling followed by much swinging in free space eventually led to me gaining the alcove. Bruce + Andrew quickly followed, with Bruce rigging on with his 'interesting' Y-hang knot.

After much faffing in a basically straightforward cave, we reached the bottom, and decided to get the fuck out of here asap in order to investigate other holes. Bruce led us out with me taking up the rear. Emerged to greet a bunch of Preston piss artists just about to descend (at 4pm). Wandered over to Rowten (Jan et al), but weather bad closed in and decided it was too cold/wet/far from the pub to consider.

Descended hill to van in record time, drove to Marten Arms and managed to consume Black Sheep & Dent before it was time to pick up others. Afterwards, a fine night in the New Inn was had by all. Dent was in a particularly good mood, and therefore, so were the rest of us.


Andrew's log 1, Stardate 1999 (my 9th trip)

Chose which cave to go down. Fascists(1) said I would go down another - presumably not theirs. They then changed their minds, and again, etc, ad nauseum. Faffed around(1) drinking tea(1) and pretending to pack rope etc. Finally guided Colm and Bruce to Bull Pot. Looked down it, but there were already people down there. Trekked off to Jingling instead.

I started off by tying a figure of eight and a butterfly knot, but fear caused me to chicken out. Colm finished off the job of the first pitch. Bruce tied the next few pitches with his patented(3) Y-hang. It didn't look right according to Colm, but it held our weight. I didn't tie any more knots due to the small size of the cave. At the top Bruce had no problem getting off the rope using his patented(3) 'span the gap' technique. Needless to say, I had considerable more trouble getting out, even though I am taller than Bruce. 10 minutes later I was out, but Colm had caught up (he was derigging) and was shouting at me to speed up. Unfortunately, the 10 minutes I had spent sweating away was observed closely by the 'Preston Pissheads'(1) and Bruce, their words were useful.

(1) C. Carroll, Attempts at Rigging 1999 (report before)

(3) B. Drinkwater, Bumper book of patents, 1732


Vesper: Clewin Griffith, Mike Rogerson (Goaty)

'Jan the Man' Rigs Rowten (aka the hardest cave in the world... probably): Jan Evetts, Tom Ayles, Ed Austin

My second complete rigging trip.

We found the cave with incredible ease. You would have to be a colourblind hedgehog in a bag not to!

Two cavers were coming up the big pitch, as I was faffing around stuck on my own Y-hang at the top of the pitch. Tom + Ed start complaining about being cold, pathetic, they don't make fresher cavers like they used to.

Meet the cavers at the bottom, the go up first so Ed + Tom have to wait another half hour. Haha. One of them asks me to pick up a survey they've left behind.

Traverse round main pitch then descend over the edge of a little overhanging rift, then 40m pitch v big and impressive. Next pitch requires lots of swinging about. Descend down at angle of about 45 degrees to a ledge where we stop because we are out of rope. (~3hrs)

Tom derigs first pitch, the I follow out on main and last pitch (2hrs). Dark, cold and v foggy when we come out, but that doesn't matter because so easy to find way back!


Found Rowten Pot very easily - big hole in ground. Waited ages at the top. Got down the first two pitches, quite a distance, fairly swift. It's very cold and wet until you start the 3rd pitch. The cave is very open compared to others.

Didn't have enough rope for the traverse after the 3rd pitch. Made a sharp exist for the mist above. Meet others (Jingling) who had been to the pub, and Goaty and Clewin who had been down Vespers, they were knackered!

An amazing trip enjoyed by all.


Managed to find Rowten (small miracle whilst following Jan), and were forced to wait for 3 days for Jan 'speed rigger' Evetts to rig the easy 1st pitch. Whilst we were in the cold, Bruce came over to see us while Andy did some (confused?) rigging. Second pitch again made to wait days although crazy overlaps may provide an excuse. 3rd pitch was top quality sideways action which I qualified to de-rig, along with the top pitch. Escape made to van to discover Colm drinking tea (probably) and waited for Clewin & Goaty to appear from Vesper's (haha!).



Lancaster - Cow Exchange

Cow to Lanc: Colm Carroll, Bruce Drinkwater, Tim Wright (Shed), Tom Ayles, Andy Jurd, Jan Evetts, Ed Austin

After dropping Goaty + Clewin in Ingleton, who achieved a magnificent and self-indulgent Fountains/Inglesport Exchange, we proceeded to Red Rose with great haste. A short hike over to Cow Pot before descending, Jan rigged followed by Andy (who buggered off leaving me clueless to the way in). I descended last and hung the other rope over our deviation. Jan also burnt their rope with flame later. Went throught thw two tight climbs and through low rift to the roof traverse, where I waited for fucking ages at the top ( I smoked many cigarettes which could be smelt by others below 50m). Descended after waiting for Andy to change battery while on a Y-hang (20minuts sitting in harness).

Bottom chamber was very nice and big and full of mud. Bribed my way out of LAncaster Hole. A few climbs and passage brings your to the entrance of Lancaster. Wile I ascended a bucket set-up in the cave tipped, it scared the shit out of me, Jan and Andy.

A good trip in all. Jan lost the bet in beer against Colm for being last and shit. Colm and Shed dipped their arses and were refreshed. Returned to NPC to eat bacon. Goaty had great trouble with the stairs in Inglesport.


The Fascist version: Colm Carroll, Bruce Drinkwater, Tim Wright (Shed), Tom Ayles, Andy Jurd, Jan Evetts, Ed Austin

The two lazy twats headed for apple pie and ice cream in the Fountains while the rest of us motored to BPF. Shed, Tom, Bruce and I set off first for Lancaster while the other fascists faffed. Tom rigged on a slightly short rope, so he had to come back up, we re-rigged the entrance as he was on his way up. Mototred down and got to the big chamber in no time. Jan et al were faffing up the top of the pitch so we climbed down to the streamway and went upstream a bit. Came to a deep pool and went through together - fucking freezing. Smokers thought they could smell Ed's cigs so they legged it back to the chamber, turned out Jan had only just got to the bottom.

As I emptied my wellies, some fascist nicked them and filled them with mud. I got my revenge by pouring mud down his back. Anyway, Bruce and I moseyed out Cow Pot while Jan and faffers went out Lancaster. Beat Jan out of the cave very easily and was dipping arse when he finally emerged. Jan therefore owes me two pints and the most comfortable place in the van.


South Wales 6, 7th Feb '99


Cwm Dwr: Jan Evetts, Chris Parry, Frank Zeeman, Fabienne Marchard

All we knew about this cave was there was a 6ft 'grade 2' crawl, whatever that was. There was also a boulder choke which had vlb's (very loose boulders).

We managed to navigate or guess our way to the Dim Dwr, the start of the crawling bits, then we reached a low entrance into a crawl with an ominous yellow sign declaring 'grade 2 confined space, follow code of practice'.


Code of practice rule one:

Fabienne go first.

As leader Jan volunteered because Fab said:

"no, no no nooo no noooo o oo noono" (says Jan) so we didn't argue. She also said 'Merde' & 'zut' several times.

The crawl would better be described as a 50ft squirm. The advice at the caving hut was severly lacking and we found out later it was intentionally omitted to amuse Martin.

Once the crawl was negotiated there was a light scramble to get to the boulder choke. The boulder choke can be compared to a mole's nest dug after two bottles of vodka. It was completed on the second attempt. the choke exits into the maze.

We were saddened to realise we'd forgotten our ball of string but heartened by the absence of the minotaur. The maze leads to beautiful sandy stream beds with waterfalls and a myriad of calcite formations. The road back can be described by reading th above backwards (says Frank).


Fabienne's version:

When Frank would crawl, Fab would be on her knees...

We got lost coz Jan is a useless leader: we ended up doing a loop. Jan also farted in the squeezy bits...


Bruce says we should

^ vetoed by Pete, 'Jan-the-man', Tom, Ed

^^ no vetoeing of any rules - Bruce

Dan-yr-Ogof: Andy Jurd, Martin McGowan, Anna Thaning, Henry Hunt-Grubbe, Stefan Holmgren

Andrew's log 2

The club wetsuits are all the same size. Make sure you are small if you go on this trip.

Luckily Martin lent me his 'spare' wetsuit which was a perfect fit. Stefan and Henry had a few problems fitting into their wetsuits. Arrived at the show cave - look out for plastic dinosaurs - very amusing. Show cave entrance was locked, so we sneaked in the tradesman's entrance - wading up the river and climb up a ladder, through an oven-like door into the showcave. Wandered around aimlessly looking at the formations hidden behind steel cages. To get into the real cave - look for the lakes near the 'do not pass; sign and submerge yourself up to your neck in the water, urinate if Henry.

We wandered around, randomly following Martin. Watch out - the belly crawl in 'Long crawl' through water is unpleasant. We then got to Green Canal. Armed ourselves with various rubber rings and empty petro-chemical byproduct containers and splashed our way to the other end of the 15ft deep stagnant water. Stefan had a very fetching buoyancy aid - a rubber ring shaped into the form of a duck. He blew it up espeically. It was quite cold, so we made a hasty retreat. Nice formations at crystal pool and flabbergasm oxbow. Also, on the way there, Bakerloo Straight is quite nice.

serious bit ends

PS I owe Henry and Stefan half a mars bar each

PPS Take loads of batteries - we had multiple power failure

PPPS It was voted to be a horrible cold wet trip by everyone except Martin and Stefan and Anna the mad swedes.

PPPPS Henry's wetsuit was inside out (someone turned the light out in the van)

[added by Henry] PPPPPS Andrew pissed in someone else's wetsuit

PPPPPPS Henry wore the wetsuit Goaty pissed in, and then pissed in it himself.


A piece of advice: If your wetsuit has huge holes on the elbows AND you are going to do the longcrawl - find yourself some elbow pads.

Anna T

Excellent trip! Wet suits, bathing, crawling, free climbing, formations - what more can one ask for? Well, muddy passages, carbide light, tighter squeezes!


logbook descends into translating increasingly unhinged sentences into Swedish

OFD (Oggof ffy Dwr?? maybe): Colm Carroll, Anna Kelly, Michele, Jessica, Danyel

MUD!!! What more can I say and what a great introduction to the club!!! Ah that's nice (exclude Frank form anything nice I mention). Only got stuck onces & no near misses BUT lots of pretty stuff. Really didn't think much of the singing! - must think of some new tunes before tomorrow! Nobody wanted to do the wet tunnel - next time.

Anna K

All I have to say is it's really sick Colm has all girls in his crew + then tells us that naked mud wrestling is mandatory. Colm is a sick man


Thank goodness we didn't have to call in the concrete crew this time! There were some close calls, but Colm our fearless leader always took good care of us - except for getting everyone wet up to their knickers! The rock formations were cool, everything was great - wonderful first time caving in Europe!!


I think Anna is just jealous cause we knew the words and the tune to our songs. She sang the words of Homer Simpson to the Fred Flintstone tune. I owe my life to Colm. When I crawled down the wrong tunnel he helped pull me out. Thank goodness he didn't call in the concrete. One of the highlights of the trip was on the way back Colm and Anna fell in unison - without even touching each other. Quite a good trip!


Due to expert rigging of the trips list, I had 4 girls on mine. Started off going the wrong way to the minicolumns. Anna had just got through quite a nasty squeeze when I found the proper way on. Hammered onwards to the columns, then found a very nasty pointless passage to squeeze down. Me, being the fearless leader had to go first, followed by Danyel & Jess. Anna & Michelle wisely sat waiting. Down the ladder and on to Salubrious. Went to Trident & Judge and onto Swamp Creek. Bit of faffing then back towards entrance. Met the 4 wasters, lost, directed them to streamway, but somehow they lost Pete. Went down nasty crawly passage to see red stalagmite, Danyel got stuck in a hole, we all laughed before pulling her out, then exited to rain and wind. Anna and I invented our new Olympic sport of synchronised falling. Onto pub for much pivo.


OFD (instead of tunnel DOH!): Bruce Drinkwater, Tom Ayles, Pete (Shrub), Ed Austin + no sense of direction

Arrived at SWCC after spending hours at Dragon, fascists down Tunnel mean OFD Top was the only option.

After a while, headed up to OFD with others. From the start we didn't have a clue where we were going, after missing the route down to the streamway. We unintentionally achieved a round trip, involving a lot of mud and throwing of and just farting aorund. In the end myself and Bruce got to the streamway, oh and my camera broke after 10 shots. Feck! All in all a good trip!


Clearly not a good idea to send 4 people, with no plans, no sense of direction and 4 hours to kill, down OFD. The original plan was for a bit of streamway action, but having taken the wrong tunnel from the main chamber, this was slated. Unfortunately, this decision was not need for 1 1/2 hours, after apparently getting lost in OFD then to discover the main chamber was less than 50ft away. A decision was made to go to the mini columns, which unbelievably we managed to find. A second attempt was made to find the streamway, but this also went pearshaped, when we all lost Pete, and then Ed + Bruce left me!


OFD - Main Streamway: Andy Jurd, Martin McGowan, Chris Parry, Stefan Holmgren

The True Confessions of Stefan "TMS" Holmgren

Well, we came to this plunge pool (which by the way I had passed without getting wet on the way down with the aid of Martin). All the others plunged in and passed the pool emerging dead dripping wet. I began to traverse the pool, with my fists on one wall and my feet on the opposite, slowly advancing with my body horizontally oriented a few inches above the surface. Then I looked up and saw the eyes of my friends gleaming and beaming with the dream of my fall. Then I thought of how disappointed they would be if I managed to come over dry. Well, the answer is that I could not, I hadn't the heart to. So I let myself slip and plunged in, carefully avoiding to wet my beard and head. Then I screamed Gaah! and playfully punched my friends for laughing, just in order to add to the show. And they were happy. So was I, knowing that I had sacrificed my comfort for a good sake.

Yours truely,


Andrew's log 3: a series of mugshots and stickman sketches of this trip.



Simpson's Pot: Andy Jurd, Clewin Griffith, Stefan Holmgren, Kim

Andrew's log 4

Simpson's isn't in the SRT book. We looked in another random 'Northern Caves' book (no.3) which suggested lots of ladders with lengths 5m. We packed lots of random ropes, one was 40m long. Got to Kingsdale and walked up hill. Found cave before we even started looking. I then attempted to use my bran new carbide generator and hat, but ended up spurting water everywhere. Stefan demonstrated how to kill yourself by producing a 9" death flame and then he started to set fire to the nearby grass. Once we were in the cave we crawled along a twatty wet passage and then a series of 5m pitches. This was good, as I could try out my brand spanking new SRT kit. Stefan did a good job of the rigging. He made good use of the 40m rope on a 8m pitch. He used all 5 P-hangers which were put in (very considerate of the people who do that sort of thing). The last pitch we did was excellently rigged by myself. It is very very very wet. Stefan came down, then decided to free climb back up a different way and sprayed loose sand all over us and in our eyes. He got stuck after about 10m and came back down. We saw the duck. It was full of bubbles on the surface of the brown water - no doubt caused by a farmer trying to improve his crop yield without the use of genetic modification. We decided to turn around.

I could also use my new SRT kit on the way up, but for most of the pitches, free climbing was faster. Kim got off the top of the pitches by often standing on my shoulders and head (the pitches were that big). A twatty crab meant that I had to unthread 10m of rope through a fig 8. I also had my first carbide accident, the pipe came off the top, and flames spurted everywhere until Stefan put it out. At the top, with the wet crawl, Clewin decided to go the wetter, twattier route with a tackle sack, and got lost, while we made our way out. Got back to the van and decided to push start it for a change.


Tathams Wife: Tim Wright (Shed), Tom Ayles, Anna Kelly

Well after a fine bit of map reading (!?! mmm) and a 2 1/2 hour walk we finally found the most well hidden cave in Yorkshire. Quite knackered even before getting down. Lots of 'twatty' bits - tight angled rifts with freezing water pouring down (in the direction of your wellies). But a good SRT trip for me (down) since I haven't done any for about a year 1/2 and have since discovered I have no muscles in my arms - AT ALL.

Anna K

Swinsto Pot: Ben Ogborne, Martin McGowan, Anna Thaning

Couldn't find it. Found it. Went down first pitch along crawl came out.


Walked up this steep hill, getting exhausted before we even entered the cave. Reached the path and turned left. (Ben admitted later that he did see the stream on our right, but that he thought it couldn't be the right stream.) We went on until we found another stream and decided, aided by a benevolent but unfortunately not-so-well-informed walker, that it was the right stream. So we started looking for the cave in every possible and impossible hole, but just couldn't find it. This went on for a long long time, until a second walker came along the path. Ben approached him (in an impressive run) and he turned out to be both benevolent and well-informed. (Actually he was a caver, not caving due to hangover.) He directed us to the stream we had seen when we first came up, and we found the cave very easily. (Mainly due to the other party who had just started going down it, sharing two SRT kits between five people.) We waited, eating some chocolate that was so cold it was hard as stone.

Finally we got to go down the cave, which turned out to be rather narrow and very wet. We went down the first crawl and then down the first pitch, in a waterfall. Then we continued with the longer crawl, stooping and crawling through water and getting really wet. Ben set his helmet on fire - fortunately there was lots of water to put it out with. We reached the second pitch, looked down it, looked at the watch and decided to turn back. Going up the waterfall was really wet.

Push starting the minibus was fun.

Anna T

Rumbling Pot: Colm Carroll, Iain McKenna, Ed Austin

Ultra efficient start to the day, ropes packed etc before others had even decided caves. Quick stop at Inglethief on the way, then onto Leck Fell. Another group were going down Notts Pot & Lost Johns, they had permits the fools! Found the cave quite quickly, rigged off fence post & tree and then down a nice ~45m pitch. Iain quickly followed and rigged the next step - 5m to a biggish chamber. Unfortunately this turned out to be blind - we'd gone down Death's Head by mistake.

Anyway, prussicked out and headed to the proper entrance, massive stream just below the lip. Abbed down off a dodgy belay (mad rub point) to a wet sloping climb. Nice streasm passage leading with a few smallish pitches. Fairly easy rigging etc to a tight sump. Quite a straightforward cave, but nice to tick it off. ~ 4 hrs in all



County Pot -> Wretched Rab (via easter grotty): Andy Jurd, Ben Ogborne, Colm Carroll, Martin McGowan, Anna Kelly, Iain McKenna, Ed Austin, Stefan Holmgren



It really didn't matter where we went or how we gtot there, Stephan was always ahead of us and several feet above us! Great streamway and Easter grotto (which Ben doesn't remember - old age you know) but obviously from the mud the highlight of the trip for me was the mud fight. Nasty walk back to Red Rose through bogs & a full blown painful blizzard.

Anna K

Nice cave. Nice snow. Can't be bothered to write any more. Experienced 5 freshers standing on my head (not at once).


Yorkshire 15/16th May 1999



Spectacle-Vespers exchange: Andy Jurd, Tim Wright (Shed), Stefan Holmgren, Colm Carroll, Mike Rogerson (Goaty), Fabienne Marchard

The six 'ard bastards tramped up the hill. After a bit of abuse from the farmer, we headed to the 'obvious' pile of stones. Spectacle is less than a spit from this pile, it's in a small shakehole with a metal bar over the pitch. Down the first pitch & climb downwards leads to the first crawl. This is an excellent tube which must be negotiated on your back with all SRT ger towards the centre of the passage. This is followed by a 3m climb down a metal ladder - headfirst! (a 3m fall in Fab's case). Small and twatty pitch leads to an easy crawling section to a sizeable chamber. This is where it gets nasty. Flat out crawl in shallow water leads to a resting place before another completely flat out crawl in deeper water - you get absolutely soaked. This is followed by more virtually flat out squirming with shitloads of annoying stones in the way before emerging at another chamber. Climbing over the top gains the pitch head with a rebelay halfway down. Wet chamber at bottom leads to eyehole descent to bottom of cave & Vespers entrance.

After much waiting and shivering and waiting in this chamber while Stefan and Shed arsed about throwing stones at each other, we eventually started on our way up. Fab getting tired and Goaty getting pissed off at derigging so we took our time. Not difficult on the way out, small bit of twatty rift and some OK hands and knee crawl with one twatty pitch head. At entrance to cave, tackle bag gets pushed in front and you exit to a darkening sky. Others exited Spectacle at about the same time.

Good trip, can get tiring though. Missed pub due to Jan faffing in dead easy Marble Steps.


Vesper to Spectacle: Andy Jurd, Tim Wright (Shed), Stefan Holmgren, Colm Carroll, Mike Rogerson (Goaty), Fabienne Marchard

Andrew's log 5

Ouch. Ouch ouch ouchy ouch. Doing the exchange this way round is definitely harder and more painful. Also, try and go on a trip with less 'keen' people.


Well, well,

This time we've really bruced it. But brucing the bruce is no big bruce for bruces like us.

Bruce / Stefan


Simpson's Pull Through: Andy Jurd, Hugh Penney, Anna Thaning, Stefan Holmgren

Andrew's log 6 [Stefan & Anna - TMS]

  1. This is the second time I've been caving with Hugh
  2. Stefan fell a couple of metres and hurt his foot
  3. See my log 4
  4. There was an easy duck - still loads of toxic pollution
  5. There was a knot (well, a twist) when we pulled through 1 pitch - Stefan climbed up to free it
  6. Hugh is a pie-man and couldn't get through Slit pot
  7. We could
  8. Kingsdale Master Cave is very cold
  9. Lazy non caver fascists met us when we came out of Valley Entrance
  10. Hugh's 9mm rope is lethal


The reason we were doing a pull-through was that nobody wanted to do much SRT since everyone was tired after hard trials the day before. Still, those who did not cave at all should make no comments about "hard core caving club"! And I admit that the trip was a really nice one.

Found the cave easily - all the other had been there before. Went down following the streamway through a series of small pitches - Stefan tended to either freeclimb or bypass them. However, this ended when he fell down one of the pitches for reasons unknown. Fortunately he did not hurt himself too much (fortunate since he was supposed to freeclimb Valley entrance and rig a rope for the rest of us later on).

Decided to to some conversation in Swedish, but couldn't really keep it up since I don't know what the Swedish expression for "rope free" is. Invented the game of Swedish roulette - choose rope randomly when you go down a pull-through rigging. This is actually worse than Russian roulette - there you only die in 1/6 of the cases.

The duck was fun! Crawling through water is also fun, once you've stopped caring about getting wet or not. Valley entrance was really nice, especially the big tunnel.

When we came out the cats were waiting outside the hole.

A few hours later Stefan's foot started to really hurt. Now he's jumping around on crutches.

Anna T

Rowten: Colm Carroll, Jan Evetts

Being the only hardcore cavers in the club, Jan and I decided to do a quick Rowten trip. Jan had been down before, but not bottomed it, and I'd only ever admired it from above. Anyway, we arrived in Kingsdale ~half an hour after the Simpsons lot due to a spot of shopping (not tea-drinking!). Down the first pitch and across the rock-bridge to a ledge - you've never seen so many P-hangers in your life. We rigged the big pitch the dry way, via a small rift which then opens out to a shaft. I was just approaching the bottom of the shaft when the rope got stuck in the tackle bag - shit, I'd reached the end. A quick prussik & abseil later and I was tying on the new bit. Unfortunately the bottom of the pitch is a bit sprayee, so it wasn't very pleasant.

Jan rigged the next pitch, nice bit of rigging brings the rope around the corner into a dry passage which is also well populated with P-hangers. We avoided these hangers by climbing down to the floor of the rift and clambering along to the final pitch. This short drop enters a dry chamber, following the passage leads to the upstream and downstream sumps. A quick look around failed to find Bristol's tackle bag, we just had time for an arse dip before exiting. Jan wasn't very appreciative of my singing talents on the way out.



Saturday 29th May

Swinsto: Anna, Anna, Andy Anna J and Jim Fat Anna: Andy Jurd, Jim Evans, Anna Thaning, Anna Kelly

First thing to remember: the amount of ropes listed in Northern Caves is inadequate. Bring two more short ropes, making in all seven short ropes and two longer (25 each) or one really long.

Anna T

and the essential knee pads.

A wet and very long crawl followed by more pitches than mentioned in NC. Fun but more fun with enough ropes to get right the way through. Scary sheep waiting for you on exist. Pleasant change to come out of a Yorkshire cave into sunshine & warmth!

Developed a fast moving, elbow avoiding roll through the tight wet bits. Works a treat!

Anna K

When she means 'really long' she means one rope for the entire cave.

Andrew Anna J

Bull Pot: Colm Carroll, Tom Ayles

Decided to do a quick rigging trip with just two of us. Surprisingly there was no one else down the cave, so we took our time rigging the entrance pitch on our short rope. PLenty of swinging around later and we were at the last pitch - this is a small and twatty rift followed by a tight pitch head. The thing to do is to stay high. There's actually no point doing this pitch as it ends in a boring small chamber with nothing much to see. Emerged to glorious Yorkshire sunshine and head to Bridge Hotel for the dinner meet. Oh yeah, we did Jingling on the way back to the van.


Simpson's: Henry Hunt-Grubbe, Stefan Holmgren, Pete Eland (CV Pete)

Went there. Used all our short ropes for the p-hanged steps, traverses and pitches before the duck. Came down to the duck. Found another group there. They were doing a pull through but had lost their 85m rope in the deep pool next to the duck. All the nine of us carried on and rigged three pitches after the duck. Then there came a fourth pitch and we realised that we had far too little rope with us. Did a pullthrough and rigged Slit pot. Left the rest and went out Valley entrance for the dinner.



Simpson's again: Colm Carroll, Bruce Drinkwater, Stefan Holmgren, Pete Eland (CV Pete)

Rigged some missing pitches between the duck and Slit Pot. Derigged, going up at great speed. Lesson to learn: take 4 extra short ropes ~12m, compared to Northern Caves 3, OR freeclimb lots in the beginning of the cave.


Pippikin, Mistral Entrance - The Mud Trip: Andy Jurd, Jim Evans, Anna Thaning, Tom Ayles, Anna Kelly, Henry Hunt-Grubbe, Alva Gosson

Went down the cave with the intention to find some good mud. We used a ladder for the entrance, and thus avoided using SRT equipment at all - which was good, since it meant we did not have to clean it.

I have no idea where we went - we were going to find some mud that Jim and Alva had been to before, but they didn't really remember where. Just after Dusty Junction Alva decided that he was no longer up to this - he took the car keys and went back.

The rest of us crawled on, and eventually we found some excellent mud. Everyone attacked everyone. The strategies varied - from distance attacks to sneaky coming-up-from-behind attacks to full front attacks. When we all looked like soldiers from the trenches of World War I we were satisfied.

Went back slowly. By the time we reached Dusty Junction again the mud was drying, so now we looked like ghosts instead. And to our surprise we found Alva there, fast asleep. Remember that this was the day after the big dinner!

When we eventually came out of the cave and back to Red Rose, there were three little kids greeting us. "You look like aliens!" they said. "You look like monsters!" Henry exchanged his alien look for a bank robber look by washing the lower half of his face in the stream, leaving a mask of mud around his eyes.

Oh, we very nearly did not go on this trip at all. I had to force the others out of the van, and then make sure they kept on going. For some reason they just wanted to lie down all the time. What had happened to the Hardcore Caving Club?

Anna T


Diccan: Colm Carroll, Bruce Drinkwater, Paul Wilcox, Kathryn Atherton

Arrived at Hill Inn to get ready for Meregill, unfortunately there was another group just getting ready to leave. They had rock climbing gear as apparently all the bolts are shagged. We decided to drive on and see if Diccan was free. Got to the cave, water levels being thankfully low. All the same, there's a lot of spray on the fist pitch adn the deviation does very little to keep you out of it. At the bottom of this pitch, we all huddled in a little alcove while Paul rigged the small final bit.

From then on the pitches are rigged dry, with traverses out and then drops. Last pitch was made slightly more entertaining by tying a knot to avoid a rub on the rope. Hun around for a short while before exiting. No one was on top form so it took us about five hours in all.


Tatham Wife Hole: Andy Jurd, Clewin Griffith, Anna Thaning, Stefan Holmgren

Andrew's log 7

Monday really divided IC3 into three groups.

There were firstly the 'faffers'. They spent the day drinking cups of tea and receiving abuse from women with an irrational fear of white vans, or doing piss easy matrix questions. The second group could easily be described as 'soft-core cavers'. They spent the day doing Diccan or Jingling or something.

Lastly there were the truly 'hard-core cavers' (yes, that's us). I actually wanted to go on this trip to finish off my film from Majorca. Apparently this cave is hard to find, and our trip to Majorca told us that a cave is only worth going to if it involves a 7-hour crosscountry walk up a vertical cliff face. Tom had spent 2 1/2 hours looking for this cave last time, so he told us how to triangulate our position and we took a map. Instead, we just walked randomly up the hill, and 35 minutes later we had found it.

We met some friendly people at the entrance who had just come out. They had a multitude of ladders, and strangely dry wetsuits. They told us it would take 6 hours to get to the bottom.

3 hours later Clewin and I had passed the fourth pitch and were at the bottom 150m underground. But where were TMS? When we had reached the duck Stefan free climbed the 'impossible' bypass traverse and disappeared into the distance. I bombed it through the duck (it's a puddle Shed - not worth 2 pints, well done for conning Tom and Anna K) with Anna T hot on my heels. Clewin spent the next half hour rigging the dodgy bypass traverse. I found Stefan down one branch of a Y junction, but I had left Anna behind. Went went back and met Clewin, and then went off to find Anna. Stefan sped away into the distance, and we lost him. Clewin and I went and finished the cave, and met TMS when we had just come up the last pitch. We then bombed it out of the cave with me taking random photos here there and everywhere. A note on rigging: don't take the 5m rope it's not needed, don't take the 10m rope for the duck bypass, because it is fun getting wet. We all did some rigging each, and Clewin failed to stay dry, because of my lack of deviations on the waterfalls.

P.S. This could be the last time I go caving with TMS.


A note left on the minibus and taped into the logbook for posterity:

Why have you parked this monstrosity so close to my front door? There is a pay and display car park just round the corner. I have been at work for the past 9 hrs + to come home + not be able to park (p.t.o) is NOT ON.