The trip was arranged by Andy Grimes with the aim of exploring the system as far as the Hall of the Mountain King. Keith was interested in exploring the lower series which is entered via a passage on the left just before the fourth boulder choke. Brendan was interested in photographing large chambers using loads of flash bulbs and requiring the use of a tripod.
So what could have been a simple trip involving the minimum of equipment turned into an endurance test involving carrying several bags of equipment through the system.
The party split into two just before the fourth choke with half the team exploring the lower series and the other half going through the choke to photograph the formations.
The aim of the this trip was to explore areas of the cave none of us had visited before. Initially we were going to head for Bog Passage - a large passage on the right when heading for The Rising. On the way in Brendan wanted to experiment with underwater lighting in the Green Canal. This involved the other two members of the team freezing their private parts off as model and lighting technician while the photographer experimented with different exposures and lighting effects. What we do for his art! Still the result shows quite clearly that the Green Canal is in fact green.
After this we got diverted and went off the explore Tunnel 2 - a very interesting area of the cave with a number of un-surveyed passages and a good draft. We will return to explore this region further.
Finally we made it to Bog Passage where loads more photos were taken before heading out back through the Green Canal.
As we approached Boulder Chamber I saw a trickle of water emerging from Lavatory Dan and while explaining about this phenomenon to Del it started flowing full bore. Without waiting to draw breath Brendan whipped his equipment out again and started flashing. You can see the results on the right - Del does not look impressed!
Whilst Brendan headed off to top up his cholesterol levels with a fry up, Em and Mike went to the YRC to plan their next China expedition, the other three helped Graham from Craven with his CIC assessment and had a great trip.
The Team: JeHa, HeSi, DeWi, Graham Coates and 2 friends and his assessor
After meeting up in Hawes to taste and buy cheese at the Wensleydale Creamery, we soon found ourselves wandering around the hillside trying to find the cave. Three hours later, after the obligatory snowball and icicle fight, we had given up finding the entrance when Em suddenly spotted the top of a scaffold bar just poking out of the snow. With time no longer on our side, we had a very short trip and headed along the passage to Straw Chamber. Dea and then Heather ascended the ladders first and they dashed back to the cars to get changed and put the heaters on. Brendan and Jess got up to some antics on the ladder, with Em out last, greeted by a snowball. The roads were interesting on the way back to Hawes, especially when Dea's car skidded backwards as we tried to climb a hill! We eventually arrived back to the Craven hut safely and made it in time for our table booking for a curry.