Gaping Gill (Flood->Avalanche) 25-27th April 2008
Vom Brown had crossed over to the dark side once more, and so we dispatched ourselves north in his family's VW Passat. With such horrific fuel prices (~1.20 per litre of diesel?!) we crept up the M6 with a beady eye on the fuel-efficiency dial, cruising along in 6th. It worked: we made 53.55MPG, 56L to make the 600-odd mile round trip. Looking out the windscreen might have been slightly better for our safety however...
TimO, Dave Wilson, Clew, Jarv, Jana & the TomB
Drifted up to Gaping, after abandoning the cars in Clapham. Had choosen to do Flood (for a change), with Jana getting some rigging practice in before DW tackled the main pitch.
Spent a far while in the main chamber photographing, ate some lunch (Yum, pita bread).
The Carnivores (DW, TomB & Clew) were so lethargic due to the digesting of the mounds of bacon and sausage consumed at breakfast that they slunk out early via a quick look at Stream to 'get supper going'.
Le Troglodists on the otherhand, proceeded to Avalanche Inlet with a roc pecker and other assorted goodies. Plan was to work on the climb at the top of Rainbow with some shiny (scary) 8mm rawl bolts. Alas, I (Jarv) was feeling really under the weather (nearly didn't make it up to Yorkshire at all), and so feeling dizzy at the bottom of boulder chamber decided to leave the pushing gear and just take photo stuff.
Tim went and got properly wedged in the tight rift, Jana squirmed through and I thrased for a bit. Really wish the traverse off the top was a bit longer - might put in another bolt or two.
Tim & Jana were impressed by Rainbow. Jana went and wriggled round in the wet crawl at the end of 'grotty inlet', to find that "after the column in the middle of the puddle, it turns a bit right, then left, then straight for a 2m section. Small puddles (not all covered). Not massively decorated, then ceiling comes down to nearly meet the floor (far too small for human), and its difficult to see whether water would flow in or out.".
So we took some flash photos (had left the survey kit unfortunately in London), had a general poke around, and after the flash slaves got cold meandered our way out.
First caving rip after Croatia. The decision was - Yorkshire, Gaping Gill - pushing and surveying Avalanche Inlet.
Five of us, plus the caving kit managed to fit in Tom's car. We arrived at midnight, where also Dave was waiting for us.
We start walking up to Flood entrance pot (Wade's entrance) at around 1 PMA and start getting underground at around 2.30-ish, well, we do have loads of time. I start rigging and gave up, when I reach the 40 m deep pitch. Hmm..next time..:)
We still catch the daylight in the main chamber and Jarvist took some lovely photos. Afterward we had a huge luxury lunch - pita bread with cheese, ginger cake for pudding and Dave's squashed tetra Pac juices and an apple. Njam, njam...
While eating we decide to split in two groups:
Dave, Clewin and Tom - visit the Stream way and out. I, Jarv and Tim - go to Avalanche Inlet and derrig.
A first pitch going up toward Avalanche ends in an interesting squeeze bend and then you still squeezing into traverse again across the same pitch. We come into a chamber with another rope to climb up. We decided we not gonna continue, because Jarv was basically caving half ill and he was not really feeling up for more. So we took some more lovely photos of beautiful formations and I squeeze into a side passage to confirm that it does not continue.
Me and Tim derrig and was midnight when we finish our trip in the park spot in Clapham.
On Sunday we slept till 11 AM and after cleaning we decided to go for a short walk to Ingelton Waterfall walk, have some coffee and cakes at Bernies and back on our way to the city.
Here you can take a look of a short CatCam movie of our trip to Gaping Gill: