Due to difficulties in getting the team to agree on a week-end, and getting a caravan to suit! no trips were made until
January 20th Marble Steps Pot
Malc D, Malc Scothon, Dave G, Dave E, John
This was Malc S's first proper trip with us, so decided to buy SRT gear. so Sat AM was spent in Ingleton around the shops.
Had the cave to ourselves, steady trip no problems, Malc S first time on SRT, so was dark by the time we came out, and misty, the visibility was only a few yards, some had problems finding the way back.
January 21st Drinking
Sunday, it was eventually decided to have a trip down Sell Gill Hole, but the track up was quite bad & muddy and eventually we ran out of time - so we commiserated in the Golden Lion at Horton.
We didn't get going early on either morning due to the landlord of the Craven Heiffer serving beer till midnight!!
An enjoyable W/E
March 9th Large Pot
Arrived Friday night with good intentions - but overnight rain, made for a change of plan. Eventually we decided on Ireby Caverns - but 2 parties already down - so third choice was
Large Pot, Red Herring Series.
Dave E, Dave G, Malc D, Malc S, Paul, Rick
We had left the guide book behind, so had to guess on tackle, as it happened, we were one rope short - (two pitches)
We had the usual struggle getting bodies and tackle up the second pitch.
The night spent in the Hill Inn.
March 9th Simpsons Pot
Dave E, John, Malc S, Rick
Conditions still fairly damp. - enjoyable trip for once met parties down Simpsons.
Paul went into Valley Entrance and had a look round on his own.
April 13th-15th Easter
The usual meet at Ingleton, with families. Arrived Friday - Malc Debbage & Family, Malc Scothon and family, Dave G and family, Dave E and family, John & Cath.
April 14th Long Churn
Team of 12
Entered by middle entrance and went upstream kids enjoyed the waterfall. John demonstrated how good his dry suit was by sliding down the chute in Dr Banister's pool quite impressive - we all went down to Dolly Tubs - that was enough for the younger members of the trip.
April 14th Bull Pot
We had hoped to get in on a Chelsea SS trip down Lancaster Hole, but when we got there, the place seemed to be crawling with people, so we came back.
Bull Pot done on ladders.
Tuesday saw us in the Hill Inn.
April 27th-May 4th France, Ornans
Dave E, Dave G, Malc D, Malc S, John, Trev, Ken McClay (CSS)
Set off from Ramsgate on the midnight ferry after a kip in a rest area, arrived late afternoon, an easy drive down. Sunday was such a good day spent lazing, and getting gear & campsite sorted.
April 30th Gouffre du Gros-Gadeau
Dave E, Dave G, Malc D, Malc S, John
Our usual starter, seemed quite wet, signs of ditching in fields so stream was flowing quite freely - We were doing fairly well till top of 12 m pitch, when we were left with one usable bolt. all the other spit holes were stripped, so we turned back.
May 1st Gouffre de la Chenau
By luck some French cavers staying on the same site, they took some of us with them. We took the la Chenau II route to -125 m. the rest is crawliing, so we didn't bother. We had a picnic with the French, bread, cheese, sliced ham!!
French team from the Marne area of France, a useful contact.
Malc Debbage and Dave Epton take 'butties' with the French in
Gouffre de la Chenau
May 2nd La orbe
Valleorbe. Can you spot the English Tourists?
We all went to Switzerland, and had a look round + a trip in the superb show cave of La Orbe. This is the best show cave I have been in.
May 3rd Gouffre de L'ouzene
Dave E, Malc D
Shown to us by the French cavers a day trip but a system on 3 levels - all inter connected, some excellent formations - a very interesting trip 45 m entrance pitch.
Gouffre de L'ouzene
We had set out to do Gouffre du Paradis, but the guide book not too accurate, our french poor, - We thought we found it - but there was a gypsy encampment next to it so we didn't dare stop and leave the car.
We didn't have all the correct ropes for L'ouzene. Worth another trip.
Since the trip to France in April very little caving done over the summer, but Alas and against tradition we returned to Yorkshire in Mid July.
July 14th Diccan Pot
Malc S, Dave G, Dave E
Leaving the good weather behind headed underground at about the normal time 12.00 O'clock. A reasonably easy trip in had some problems with hangers which are either loose or stripped and paying attention to previous visit (May 87) kept high in the rift. Malc did not come down final pitch which was rather wet towards bottom - could not find the bolts. - but alas still did not reach the sump, some 20 ft more rope required. A slow haul out with Malc taking about 30 minutes on 1st pitch to ledge. Returned to Ingleton via Hill Inn were refreshments were sought. Met John Addison at the Craven Heifer where more refreshments taken. Spent the night camped out on the Car Park at side of community centre.
Last wk July South Wales
Whilst on summer camp with scouts visited Llangatock Mountains for climbing and caving (twice) Using Kevin Walker mountain adventure school made a visit to most of the entrances along the base of the mountains as well as extended trip into Eglis Fawn.
August Bank holiday Dan-Yr-Ogof South Wales
Nic Geh (CDG) + Pat Cronin dived into resurgence to find 10 metres later at base of an aven some 6 metres high. Complete with sound of running water, de-kitted and climbed to a stooping passage some 30 metres long to a 3 metre pitch, free climbable. From here the passage splits, North to a sandy chamber with a passage off, this choked partly with sand, which is going towards the blank area of the Limestone mountain - Going West from the pitch is a large streamway involving swimming mostly along its length. Just as you enter waist deep water the river coming towards you veers to your left and after 25 metres becomes a sump. At this point a small rift to the right, Partly hidden, had various chert nodules removed to gain access to an upper series containing a very pleasant Grotto extending some 20 odd metres. Within there are heletites etc. a crawl below this gives access to various sumps pools at bottom of rifts. All these must connect via the vast sponge work of disovled limestone underwater, very poor visibility. a Passage to the Right leads to a final pool with a Large Passage, high level to the right. this turned out to be an overflow from the main river, We had come round in a large circle to the upstream end of the river.
We guessed that the water level was some 18" to 2' lower than normal. This being the case the duck through to "Gw Yr Saunders Hall" would be below water and not noticed. At this Point you are 50 metres from where the stream turned South (The waist deep bit Previous) The duck into Gw Yr Saunders Hall is short and brings you in under the 15 m water fall which issues from a small rift, to tight. The hall is 20 m high and 18 m wide 20 m long. mostly a lake. There is a sump that connects the 12 m to the next chamber.
Here the flooded chamber has been dived for 65 metres to -9metres. Line tied off. Above this chamber via a short sand thrutch is a final rift chamber with a very nice pure white cascade 6 metres high 0.5 metre wide. Total length 400 metres.
110 metres of passage after syphoning two sumps.
September 15th-16th SRT
Refresher week-end for those whose S.R.T. kit has been laid to rest over the summer.
October 26th-28th Ingleton W/E
Rick + Ken (C.S.S.) John, Dave E, Dave G, Malc, Malc, Trev
Late set off, Friday night, on the M1. it was decided, that we would not make the Craven Heiffer by 11.00 so we used the car phone and with the help of dir. of enquiries phoned Craven Heiffer and got O.K. to come in after 11.00, due to clear roads made it by 11.00 pm - stayed in quite a while.
October 27th Lost Johns Cave
Dave E, Dave G, Malc, Malc, Rick
We decided on Dome route - the first two pitches we used ladder. On Dome, we missed the deviations, so swinging into side passage was interesting. Battleaxe traverse makes an interesting pitch. - went down the master cave for a long way until the air space lowered & the water level became higher.
During the night it poured and was still raining heavily during daytime, so we thought the best trip was the Hill Inn.
October 28th Dan-Yr-Ogof, South Wales
Pat Cronin, R.Wallington, D. Horstelun, N.Geh, A.Whitbase
Dig at end of bypass passage now at a length of 80' with cobbles in floor and roof beginning to rise.
December 8th Ingleton W/E
Set off Friday night - weather forecast mentioned snow showers!! Arrived OK in Ingleton - snowy and windy. Craven Heiffer snug &warm.
However next morning awoke to about 6" snow and strong winds. On walking around the village found all side roads impassable due to drifting snow. Couldn't get to any caving area without a long walk - very strong winds - forecasts - more snow.
We decided to go back home in the afternoon - we had heard that West of Ingleton the roads were OK. - made it to M6 - where there was no trace of any snow - M6 to Stoke - first signs of snow Manchester - gradually worsening - Stoke quite bad - made it back home everyone thought we were crackers!! A long way for a few beers.
December 18th The Drought of 1990 Remembered
While sitting up here on my own, snow outside the old faithful stove roaring away and a big mug of steaming tea by my side I decided to write something.
It may have gone un-noticed to some people but during this summer we have suffered 'speleologically' a worse drought than in 1976. The precious few weeks during August and Sept haven't been wasted, much work has been done and still goes on in the Monyash area.
Without going into too much detail, the first thing to go was a choke at the end of Lower Cales Dale Cave. After a junction and approx 700 ft of cave explored we were stopped by another choke. This suprisingly didn't last long and a further 1000 ft of fine cave was explored over a matter of several trips.
The nature of this cave is mostly dry streamways mainly on hands and knees with one section a superb 200 ft stroll and others a flat out but not unpleasant 500 ft crawl.
Meanwhile at the same time as all this, finally after 21 years someone got passed Handshake Chamber choke in Lathkill Head. Before describing it I must stress that if you can get to it do not attempt the hanging death as the whole choke is deadly. Its not big and its not clever! Anyway the whole cave steps up 30ft to a well decorated large chamber This leads to a passage 40 ft wide and 200 ft long and its walking size. The way on is somewhat confusing but it will be found once a safe route is established.
Both systems draught inwardly and with no known swallets feeding the system in a catchment area as large as Castleton or Bradwell things look good for next year! Watch out for the connection of the two caves via Dawkes Crawl 57 m and counting, to a cave nearly 10,000 ft long in Monyash!!
D.A.N. (Dave Nixon)