Sunday 24 October 2010

Ireby Fell Cavern, Yorkshire Dales

A wet, cold trip in this beautiful cave with a bit of rescue hauling practice by DCC members to assist one of the group who was tired. Exited to a stunning, clear evening with the sun setting. 

 Present: Mike, Em, Paulina, Bartek & 6 members of CPC

Saturday 16 October 2010

Dan Yr Ogof - No Man's Land

In our relentless pursuit of the most horrid place known to man, Keith and myself took up the opportunity to join a trip into No Man's Land. I had seen the entrance to this unsurveyed part of the cave, and never had the bottle to squeeze my way into it, it just looked too horrid. We joined Richard, Jon and Mike on our our way into the cave, carrying all manner of photographic gear and arrived at the body sized mud filled tube that is the entrance to this area with a little trepidation. Quickly through the tube we dropped into a flat out gravel floored bedding plane that proved a tight fit to get through, but soon we were in a quite impressive sized passage.

Keith near the start to No Man's Land.

Keith near the start to No Man's Land.

A couple of photos were taken here before we climbed up into a hole in the roof to look at the high level passages, three routes led off at this level, one passage led off to a fork with formations in one branch and a crystal pool floor in the other that prevented progress, one passage closed down into a too tight passage and the third led to the bottom of a blasted upward trending rift passage. Ascending this final passage led to a chamber with a small stream passage entering and a calcited aven above a choke at the other end. The aven was climbed by Keith to find no ways on, but at it's base a small passage could possibly be engineered to make progress. A route was followed through the calcited boulders at the bottom of the aven to and area that could be dug, but no significant draft was felt. Back in the chamber the small stream passage was followed to an ascending loose choke to break out into a small chamber with a large loose choke running down the whole side of the chamber, this would be a serious long term dig. Back in the main passage at the start of the series of passages we headed up to take a look at the choke. Near the choke Brendan and Keith looked at a bedding plane in the roof, several rocks were persuaded to move out the way before Brendan slowly inched his way in clearing a path by moving the loose boulders and zig zagging past the once that were calcited in. Eventually this led to a too tight stream inlet and the challenge was now to reverse out doing the zig zag maneuvers backwards. A good ten minutes were spent doing a very good impression of someone stuck, before an exit was made.

See more Dan Yr Ogof photos here

Present: Brendan Marris and Keith Edwards

Sunday 3 October 2010

Mark cools off in a puddle in Giants' car park

Novice Trip to Giants Hole (October 3rd 2010)

Sunday, 3 October 2010

Novice trip to Giants Hole (October 3rd 2010)
Arriving at the Mill one night to be told "You two are taking Dominik (the new member) caving", we arranged to go to P8, with Heather too. The week leading up to the trip was very wet however, and the day itself was solid rain, so we decided not to attempt P8 in case of flooding but to go straight to Giants Hole. We were just getting changed when a group of novices came running back through the rain, having only got as far as the inlets where apparently the water was thigh-high. We ventured in cautiously and found that the stream was indeed fast-flowing but not quite that high - however on arrival at Garlands Pot the stream was pouring over the whole of the rigging ledge, with spray hitting the far wall; it was really impressive but the sensible decision was to turn back. We explored the East and West rift passages and a passage above Base Camp where a rope hangs down for srt, but were out of the cave within a couple of hours into the still torrential rain!
Dominik, MaBu, JeHa, HeSi

Saturday 2 October 2010

Ogof Gofan - In the firing line

Two journeys out to Pembrokeshire in failed attempts to find Ogof Gofan ensured that this time we did some real homework. Now armed with sketches and some local knowledge we felt confident that finding the cave would be a breeze. We arrived at the firing range and changed in the public car park, before walking along the coastal path past Huntsman's leap and out to Saddle Head.

Searching the cliff tops for signs of the cave below

Our instructions pointed us to the correct location, but after scrambling down the top section of the of the cliff we found to very unconvincing looking rusty of steel belays and spent a good deal of time checking all other possibilities, before deciding it was the correct spot and gingerly committed ourselves to the rusty stakes, backed up to naturals belays from the rock.

Graham rigging the pitch from the cliffs down to the cave entrance

Graham using tackle bags as rope protectors over the sharp rocks of the cliff

The limestone cliffs are incredibly sharp and our 9mm rope was very vulnerable as it ran over the ragged edge. Careful placement of tackle bags gave us a degree of protection of the rope for our descent to find the cave entrance.

Graham drops down to the cave entrance as Carol waits above

Keith Abseils into the cave entrance with the view out to sea

The pitch dropped round a corner to reveal a steeply ascending slope up to a balcony overlooking the sea. Once all in the entrance we de-kitted and made our way through the well decorated crawls passing a second entrance that provided a stunning view over Hollow Caves Bay.

The second entrance provides a dramatic view out over Hollow Caves Bay

From the balcony a short length of crawl through some low wet well decorated passage led to a tight squeeze up into the Main Chamber.

Graham and Carol in the main chamber of Ogof Gofan

Keith Edwards by the crystal pool that surrounds the massive central column

Carol Northall in the main chamber of Ogof Gofan

Keith Edwards in the main chamber of Ogof Gofan

Carol Northall in the main chamber of Ogof Gofan

Photos and video was taken in the main chamber before we made our way out of the cave and back up the cliff. Carol and Graham in their previous trips to this area had discovered a quaint little cafe in Bosherton, so we called in for the obligatory tea and scones before setting off on the long journey back.

The day was rounded off with a visit to the Olde Worlde Cafe for tea and scones

Present: Brendan Marris, Keith Edwards, Carol Northall and Graham Coates