Sunday 25 July 2010

Yorkshire Dales - a bit of SRT

Not knowing the area at all but advised by Emma, we decided that Sell Gill is the right choice for us as it is easy to find. The dead sheep in the middle of the Pennine Way next to one of the cave entrances made the decision for us which route we going to take. Wind blowing towards the Wet Route made the smell impossible to bear, so the only choice was the Fossil Route, located downwind (of the rotting corpse). Paulina, me and Rich got changed by the cave. Monika who was going to take a walk up the Pennine Way, but headed back to the car parked in Horton in Ribblesdale as it started to drizzle. We quickly reached the darkness above the 2nd pitch.A large number of P-bolts on both sides of the passage was slightly confusing, so in the excitement of the moment the more obvious one seemed to be the one on the right. After reaching the Y-hang I realised it would have been much easier on the left hand side of the passage, which was behind me now, so I stuck to my own strategy (and let the others struggle behind me :-). The rest of re-belying went according to the survey. Richard, bored with waiting for the third and last pitch to be rigged, tried to assemble his own sheep out of the numerous bones he found while Paulina was looking for fossils.

Straight in the face, that's bright

Richard descending 3rd pitch of the Dry / Fossil Route

We've left our SRT kits on the bottom of the 3rd pitch and went exploring light-weight. Bearing in minds Emma's story about flash flood during her last visit in the cave we were anxious passing through the partially flooded tight passage and crawling towards the next big chamber. We ended our journey at the top of another 6-8 meters pitch, as we had no more rope, and made our way back to the surface.

We've had no caving plans for Sunday, but we visited the White Scar show cave, a treat for Monika. From there we drove back to Clapham and went for a walk to Gaping Gill 105m deep entrance pitch and investigated some shake holes on the way.

Gaping Gill

The Team: Bartek & Paulina Biela, Richard & Monika Wilkes

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