Aisha, Annie Yiu, Clewin Griffith, Dan Greenwald, Dave Wilson, Gerardo Ocana-Fuentes, Hannah Heyemann, James Huggett, Jamie Perrelet, Jana Čarga, Jarvist Frost, Jingzhi An, Marc Labuhn, Pete Mansbridge, Rik Venn, Tim Osborne, Tom Jenkins
Bus was a little broken (oh WGO, how we love thee), but made it to the NPC for some ungodly hour in the morning. Marc drove a hire car up, shopping on the way.
Nice early breakfast, but the inevitable couple of hours sorting out ropes, training SRT on the tree and adjusting the new guys' harnesses pushed us the wrong side of Noon.
Aquamole: Jarv, Jana, Jamie, Tim
A charming little cave, not as crowded as it should be due to the fact that its not in any of the cave books! Found a rope going down which along with the diver's BlueWater made for a rather spaghetti-filled entrance pitch. Crossed over with the two Yorkshire men at the bottom of the pitch, proceeded ourselves down the 2nd pitch and had a look at the beautiful final one, before gently exiting out in time for sunset.
Low Longchurn / Alum Pot: Rik, Marc, Annie, Jingzhi
Happy little caving trip, gentle exploration of the route, but ran out of rope before descending the greasy slab.
Heron Pot: Clewin, Tom, Aisha, Gerardo, Dan
They had a nice time, did it as a proper cave rather than pull-through due to the horror of the crawl out of the bottom.
County Pot: Dave W, Hannah, James, Pete
Smooth and efficient as expected. Dave continues to perfect his cave-discovery skills, for when Hannah's FX3 light started to give up the ghost due to lack of wingnuts, he stooped down and plucked a lost one out of the mud!
County team took a while to make it back, so we had plenty of time to let the Chichekn Corriander Curry simmer to tastefulness. Bloody tasty (well, at least - I vouch for the Veggie pot!), and just about the right amount of sauce & rice.
Dave Wilson got the fire going in the Members' room and invited us in for an extended session of P&A in front of the roaring fire, with a brief interlude for consumption of the luxury christmas pudding, washed down with Whisky-max (no idea who left that bottle in stores...) and vast flagons of tea. Jana won the banana splitting contest, with a disturbingly sharp twitch of her biceps that neatly cleved the offending fruit.
Rained buckets during the night! Our early morning plans including a Simpson pull through were hastily abandoned and ropes re-packed when we realised the extent of the downpour. Driving up to Kingsdale, where yesterday had been a dusty brown line of boulders was now a nearly-overflowing beck! Drizzled as we changed, and a few moments of confusion about who was on which trip...
Bullpot: Jarv, Jana, Annie, Jingzhi
Lovely entrance pitch - truly picturesque! Roof traverse took a while to locate - an absolute torrent of water was racing downstairs and making one rather unhappy to tread in the stream of an unknown cave...
Second pitch was dropped, becoming very wet at the bottom. Direct route down was far too wet, so went to end of rift and contemplated the third pitch. Extremely noisy - with the inexperience of the crew we decided to call it a day here.
Gentle exit with Jana leaving between Jingzhi & Annie while I derigged. Out after a speedy couple of hours, to walk along to see firs the Aquamole, then Jingling then Rowten dudes! Amazing visibility Ingleborough was looking mighty fine from where we were.
Aquamole: Rik, Marc, Gerardo, Pete
Err... Seemed to have a nice time! Think they just did the first two pitches, and gawped at the third.
Jingling: Dave W, Jamie, James
Dead sheep rather unamusing placed directly below the final hang. You could avoid the carcus, but not the film of maggots wandering around. I don't think they spent very long at the bottom! All out and derigged by James H.
Rowten: Clew, Tim, Dan
Clewin really seemed to enjoy himself! First attempted a direct descent, to run out of rope & be faced with a 40m prussic under the spray to get a second rope and form an exciting mid-rope changeover. All made it out for sunset.
Welly Removing Competition: Rik & Dan
Stiff competition in the welly removing competition, Dan was in the lead early on by providing some serious twisting action to Rik's ankle, but the running suddenly switched and Dan was ejected forceibly into the drystone wall while showering himself with Welly Juice.
Walking: Hannah, Tom, Aisha
Got halfway to Ingleborough (they think!) before deciding the weather looked dodgy and that some sandwiches had to be constructed. Cooked us fried eggs before we cleaned & left the NPC.
The M6 bites my tranny! Horrific log-jam half-way to Birmingham. Boredom was relieved by listening to the highly entertaining BBC Shropshire Sunday Folk (with Mary Tudor!). Rik TXT'ed in with a request for: "A raucous sea-shanty in honour of James' enormous beard!". Unfortunately the 2-message missive got cut-off halfway through so the Beard was AWOL, and Mary Tudor failed to honour our request even though she read the message, prefering to read out some reader 'contributed' poetry about vampires with tooth ache.