Saturday 6 December 2003

Giants Hole, Derbyshire

The Round Trip arranged this time for new members, Peter, Juliet and Nick. Rumour has it that last week's epic lasted 7 hours.  This jaunt was completed in 3 hours 8 minutes, so we went back in and knocked off Upper East and Upper West passages.  Then just for good measure we polished off both ends of Giants Cave.
A good time was had by everyone.

Nick descending Crabwalk.

Present:  ACr (+ friend, Neil), KEd, JGo, NGo, PLi & BMa.

Saturday 29 November 2003

Notts Pot II, Leck Fell, Yorkshire

A scaffolded entrance shift which has to be seen to be believed, a fantastic streamway and decorations second to none make a trip into Notts II a caver's dream.  Highly recommended.  Thanks to the West Midlands Cave Exploration Group for letting us share their permit.

Vlad the Impaler and Andrew Cross in the Main Streamway.

Martyn Barrett and Andrew Cross in the Main Streamway.

Brendan Marris in Curry Inlet.

Present:  MBa, ACr, KE, BM & PS + Colin, Fenella & Tom from WMCEG

Saturday 8 November 2003

Ogof Craig A Ffynnon, South Wales

A pleasant trip to the Promised Land taking in the sights and side passages as we went in. The rigging of the Promised Land pitch was as interesting as we had been advised. A few pictures of the formations were taken before we looked at our watches and realised we were near then end of the Promised Land and five hours into the trip! A quick exit was made and 8 hours after starting out emerged to see the night sky lit up with fireworks.

Seb Ballard at the Pagoda, Promised Land.

See more photos of Ogof Craig A Ffynnon here

Present:  SBa, CJe & BMa

Wednesday 29 October 2003

Tatham Wife Hole Nr. Ingleton, Yorkshire Dales

A mighty fine pot which has some pretty decoration which is unusual for so active a pot. A damp but very pleasant cave, which exceeded my expectations. This was rigging practice for me. It was my turn to get hung up when my foot loop got stuck whilst sliding out of a tube - I ended up hanging from the rope and the foot loop with the hand jammer at a frightening angle. It's both a long way up the hill to the pot with a lot of rope and a strenuous trip underground. I felt like when I got out of Juniper Gulf.

Present:  ACr + Tony Jordan

Tuesday 28 October 2003

Gaping Gill (Flood Entrance), Claptham, Yorkshire Dales

Gaping Gill was as impressive as always. It's a shame that the walk is so far with 160m of rope shared between two. Tony got hung up at the re-belay at the top of the last pitch, unfortunately he got off before I managed to rig a rescue. We came out into 100m visibility, it was more pleasant underground.

Present:  ACr + Tony Jordan

Monday 27 October 2003

New Goyden Pot, Nidderdale, North Yorks

An interesting but relatively short SRT trip in the far away valley of Nidderdale. Sunshine made for a pleasant day.

Present:  ACr + Tony Jordan

Saturday 25 October 2003

OFD 2 Rescue Call-Out, Penwyllt, South Wales

After the rest of us had left and were nearly home Brendan was called out to search for an overdue party.  After a Land Rover ride up to Top Entrance the party were located in Gnome Passage.
All in all a very packed caving day.

Present: BMa

Brickworks Dig, Penwyllt, South Wales

A quick look in the cave revealed that nothing had changed since our last visit in September.
Colin and Brendan took the opportunity to complete the round trip.

Present: KEd, CJe & BMa

Powell's Cave, Penwyllt, South Wales

On the way back up-hill from OFD 1 we completed the through trip in this well-decorated system.  We were particularly impressed with the "car tyre" formations and the fantastic reflections from the floor littered with "broken glass" crystals.

Present: SBa, JCa, KEd, CJe & BMa

OFD 2 to 1 through trip, Penwyllt, South Wales

Everyone turned up in wet-suits and neo-fleeces except no one had thought to tell the novice (Seb) who only has dry gear, that it was a wet trip.
We decided to go downstream for a change which meant two knackering walks up-hill, and it was a little bit more than the standard through trip, we took in Top Waterfalltoo.  On the way back from Top Waterfall we found the way up into the lower end of Pendulum Passage.
Keith fell off the climb up into the Great Oxbow but survived without so much as a scratch.
All of this was done in a mere 5¼ hours.

Present: SBa, JCa, KEd, CJe & BMa

Saturday 18 October 2003

Juniper Gulf, The Allotment, Nr. Austwick, Yorkshire Dales

The big one completed in a little under 6½ hours, plus an hour's walk each way.  Lovely classic Yorkshire clean-washed pitches - pity about the traverses between them!

The team and the entrance rift.  Graham Smith rigging.

Emma Porter negotiating the roof traverse between pitches two and three.

Mike Clayton rigging the final 175' pitch.

Andrew Cross about to start the long slog up pitch three.

Present: ACr, MCl, KEd, EPo & GSm + special guest Steve Tomalin.

Sunday 12 October 2003

Rowter Hole, Rowter Farm, Derbyshire

This was another training trip for Juniper Gulf.  The mined entrance shaft is 225 feet deep and breaks into a large natural cavity. The trip only took 2½ hours and after getting changed we went and eventually found the Titan dig.

Mike Clayton descending the 225' entrance shaft.

Present: MCl, KEd, EPo & GSm

Sunday 5 October 2003

SRT Practice, West Bromwich

More much needed SRT practice for the Juniper Gulf trip - 7 'downs and ups' (approx. 420') followed by sausage sandwiches and tea at the Bizarre Cafe and back in time for lunch!

Present: KEd & GSm

Sunday 28 September 2003

Knotlow Cavern, Near Monyash, Derbyshire

A practice SRT trip in preparation for Juniper Gulf next month saw an almost record turnout of club members.  We all descended the Climbing Shaft and proceeded along the coffin level to Four Ways Junction where bad air forced a hasty retreat.  Most then attempted the long slog back up the 210' Engine Shaft.

Mike Noble ascending the Climbing Shaft.

Seb Ballard in a coffin level.

Present: PAn, SBa, MCl, KEd, BMa, MNo & GSm

Sunday 21 September 2003

Long Rake Spar Mine at Youlgreave, Derbyshire

It had been some time since this old Spar mine had been visited, and minor details such as location of the mine, number of pitches, lengths of rope and routes had faded into distant memory. All assumed someone else knew the mine. Unfortunately someone else was sat at home with his leg in plaster.
We only had enough rope for the first two pitches and so had to return to the surface and follow the walk in level to the rake.
A few hours were spent exploring tunnels on different levels, occasionally breaking out into the stopes.

One of the levels.

Present: SBa, MCl, BMa, Epo & GSm

Sunday 14 September 2003

Brickworks Dig, Penwyllt, South Wales

A very tired (from the previous day's caving and walking) digging team cleared a lot of the infill from the pile by the dig face. BMa & GSm took the first underground shift and KEd & ASt the second one.
The rift straight ahead shows no signs of opening out lower down. The right-hand rift still needs further investigation.

Present: MBo, KEd, BMa, GSm, JSm & ASt

Saturday 13 September 2003

Pant Mawr Pot, South Wales

We'd forgotten a) how long the walk is and b) just how pretty the cave is.  We used SRT to descend the entrance pitch (SBa's first SRT trip) and two brave souls (Ked & BMa) explored part of the Fire Hydrant series.
Seb Ballard in the Chapel.

Present:  SBa, KEd, BMa, GSm, JSm & ASt

Saturday 6 September 2003

Rescue Practice, Wet Sink, Gloucestershire

The Gloucester Cave Rescue Group hosted this practice from the end of East Stream Passage in Wet Sink.  EPo, MCl and GSm went underground on the first stretcher party whilst JSm wandered about in the hell hole of a field bathed in sunshine talking on the Heyphone.  This was followed by a great barbecue. Great Forest hospitality as ever.

Present:  MCl, EPo, GSm & JSm

Sunday 31 August 2003

Ogof Cnwc, Llangattock Escarpment, South Wales

A photographic trip into Busman's Holiday.

Seb and Clive in Busman's Holiday

Present:  SBa & BMa + CHa and CWe from WMCEG

Saturday 9 August 2003

P8, Sparrowpit, Derbyshire

To Sump One in very dry conditions.  The first time I had done the second stream pitch.  Left the ammo box at the bottom and had to go back down.  Seb showed Brendan and me up on the climbs - not a wise thing for novices to do!

Present:  SBa, BMa & KEd + Ambar, Bill, Mark, Paul & Jenny from WMCEG

Sunday 3 August 2003

OFD 1, Penwyllt, South Wales

The Round Trip plus Boulder Chamber and the Waterfall Series as an introduction to caving for new member Seb.

Present:  SBa, DBo, JDu, JEd & KEd

Wednesday 30 July 2003

Cwmorthin Slate Mine

A nice walk around Cwmorthin Slate Mine to see if Mike could remember the route after his recent visit with Shropshire C.C.. Lucky for us he remembered most of it but I have yet to see the canteen.

The team.

Present:  PAn, AGr & MNo

Sunday 27 July 2003

Box Mines, Bath

A well-preserved crane.

Present:  MBa, RBr, MCl, BMa, EPo and others

Wednesday 23 July 2003

Otter Hole, Chepstow

The following team assisted in the rescue of an injured caver from this system.

 Dave Bowdley on the phone at the cave entrance.

Muddy gear courtesy of Otter's famous entrance series.

Present:  DBo, MCl, KEd, EPo, GSm & JSm

Saturday 19 July 2003

Sidetrack Cave, Eldon Hill Quarry, Derbyshire

A lovely three hour trip in a newly discovered classic Derbyshire cave.  For those who had the opportunity and decided not to take it, you missed a good trip.  We must go back and take some more photos.

Keith Edwards viewing some of the formations.

Keith Edwards viewing some of the formations.

Keith Edwards viewing some of the formations.

Keith Edwards viewing some of the formations.

Present:  KEd & BMa

Sunday 13 July 2003

Brickworks Dig, Penwyllt, South Wales

More remedial work on dig.  All of the infill from the collapse has now been cleared and the floor re-exposed in the side passage below the railway track.  We are ready now for the push forward.

John Smith clearing the side passage.

Keith Edwards in the side passage.

Present:  RBr, KEd, BMa, ASt, GSm & JSm

Saturday 12 July 2003

OFD 2, Penwyllt, South Wales

A meander around Top Entrance mainly for the benefit of Andy and new member Mike Noble.  A good time was had by all until Mr. Smith decided to take the party across the top of ArĂȘte Chamber!

Present:  AGr, ASt, MNo & JSm

Dan Yr Ogof, Swansea Valley, South Wales

The standard Round Trip to The Rising to re-acquaint Graham with the system.  Water levels were very low.

Keith in a phreatic passage just after the Lakes.

Present:  KEd, BMa & GSm

Sunday 29 June 2003

OFD 2, Penwyllt, South Wales

We went looking for the Northern Lights again.
Spent a long time climbing up something marked on the survey as Very Dangerous Loose Boulders (and nobody was killed).
Many times we thought we were on the right track but every passage closed down, but we think we eventually found our way into 
Lavender Way, the route into the Northern Lights.
Horrible, Tight, Wet and Muddy.

Stuart in Selenite Tunnel.

Present:  SB, JC & BM

Sunday 22 June 2003

Eldon Hole, Derbyshire

A 'tasty' SRT trip, arranged for Pete and Andy.  Two routes were rigged - South Gulley and West Wall.  Keith and Graham ascended the first pitch in the inner chamber.

Graham Smith descending the main shaft.

Keith Edwards rigging the South Gully.

Graham Smith in the Main Chamber.

Present:  PA, MB, JD, KE, AG, BM & GS

Sunday 8 June 2003

Brickworks Dig, Penwyllt, South Wales

The original route into the system has now be re-opened. One more dig weekend should see us making progress at the dig face.

Present: KE, BM, JS & AS

Saturday 7 June 2003

OFD 2, Penwyllt, South Wales

A trip to the Upper Oxbow series via the Midnight Passage traverses and out via the Skyhook.  Mr. M. particularly enjoyed the experience of caving at height.
Adrian Stanley in the Upper Oxbow.
John Smith in the Upper Oxbow.
Adrian Stanley in the Upper Oxbow.
Keith Edwards in the Upper Oxbow.
Present:  KE, BM, JS & AS

Sunday 1 June 2003

Maskill Mine, Derbyshire

A trip to the top of the final pitch. On the way out Brendan learned the intricacies of de-rigging - the hard way!

........Thump ........Thump
........Thump ........Thud!

Dave Barrie at the head of the Third Pitch.

Present:  JD & BM + ex-member Dave Barrie

Saturday 31 May 2003

Swildons Hole, Priddy, Mendips

A trip to sump one.
There wasn't one drop of water going in the entrance.

Present:  PA, AG & MN + Sarah (AG's niece)

Sunday 25 May 2003

Ogof Draenen, Pwll Du, South Wales

An 8 hour route finding trip in preparation for a later visit to the pretties in the Dollimore Series.

The Snowball formation.

Keith Edwards viewing the Snowball formation.

Present:  KE & BM

Sunday 11 May 2003

Cova De Sa Campana, Mallorca

Looking down the entrance pitch to the First Chamber.

Looking up from the first chamber to the entrance.

Present: JC, JD & BM

Box Mines, Bath and Goat Church, Burrington Combe

A quick trip was arranged to see if Box Mines was still open, and thankfully it still is, but work has started to gate off the back door entrance
A nice walk to the wind tunnel via the two shafts and finally out via the Cathedral..... and yes we did get lost!

Present:  PA, PB, AG & MN

Saturday 3 May 2003

Oxlow Caverns, Derbyshire

Had a nice day out with Jim and Jason on Saturday, visiting cafes, tea shops, garden centres, book shops and tackle shops, we even managed to fit in a couple of hours underground.

We spent our time underground practicing rigging, hauling and generally rearranging our SRT rigs.

Present: JC, JD & BM

Sunday 27 April 2003

Oxlow Caverns, Derbyshire

Had a nice day out with Jim on Sunday, visiting cafes, tea shops, garden centres, book shops and tackle shops, we even managed to fit in a couple of hours underground.

We spent our time underground practicing rigging, hauling and generally rearranging our SRT rigs.

Oxlow third pitch seen from East Chamber.

Present: JC, JD & BM

Monday 21 April 2003

Swildons Hole, Priddy, Mendips

The short round trip through the Mud Sumps and the Troubles, down Blue Pencil Passage up to Sump Four and finally out through Sump One. Lovely and moist! Just the thing to clean the caving gear off after the previous weekend's trip.

Paul Smithson strips off to pass the Birthday Squeeze.

Keith Edwards going through one of the Troubles.

Present: BM, KE & PS.

Sunday 13 April 2003

Ogof Cnwc, Llangattock Escarpment, South Wales

An eventful 7 hour trip involving broken ladders, loose boulders, loads of obstacles and a liberal coating of mud.

Even a mud pack does not improve Paul's appearance.

One of the main passages in Busman's Holiday.

Keith emerges after 7 hours underground.

Present: BM, KE & PS.

Saturday 12 April 2003

Jug Holes and Carlswalk Cavern, Derbyshire

Arranged for provisional members, Paul Bradley and Mike Noble.

Jug Holes was chosen because it has a short pitch for them to practise SRT work on which they both enjoyed (we think) - after getting over there initial fears.
Carlswalk was chosen for an insight of a natural water worn cave which was not as wet as some of us hoped for!!!

Present: PA, PB, AG & MN