Friday, 7 June 2013

Alum Pot - Faffing about in Yorkshire

4am and Mark is woken from his slumber by big hairy lorry drivers revving up their engines in the Ingleton car park, meanwhile Brendan, Ben, Carl and Grant sleep peacefully. 5am and Brendan's alarm goes off, he gets up and ready for the drive, meanwhile Mark tries to avoid the attentions of the lorry drivers and Ben, Grant and Carl continue their sleep. 6am arrives and Brendan sets off up the motorway, Mark breathes a sigh of relief as all the lorry drivers have now set off, meanwhile Ben, Carl and Grant continue their beauty sleep. 7am and Ben's phone alarm goes off, he sleeps, Carl sleeps, Grant sleeps, Brendan drives, Mark goes for a walk. 8am and Brendan pulls off into a motorway services, he calls ahead to Mark as he will be 15 minutes late, Ben's alarm continues to go off, he sleeps, Grant sleeps, Carl sleeps. 9am and Inglesport Cafe opens, Mark goes in for Breakfast and is followed by Toby who is stranded in Ingleton. Meanwhile Brendan drives, Ben sleeps, Grant sleeps, Carl sleeps. 9.30am and Brendan joins Mark and Toby for breakfast meanwhile Ben, Grant and Carl prepare to go shopping. 10.30am and the leisurely breakfast is over in Ingleton, meanwhile 200 miles away Ben, Grant and Carl are shopping for gear needed for the caving weekend. Ben has ordered an SRT kit from Starless River that should have been delivered to the Bradford Caving Club ready for our arrival, as it will be needed for caving today Mark and Brendan head off to Brackenbottom to find it. Arriving at Brackenbottom we find a Bradford member their and a search of the cottage is started for the kit. We cannot find it. We try to ring Ben, but we have no signal, we are helped by the Bradford member who has some reception and a message is passed to Ben to get in touch with Tony to find out where the SRT kit is. Eventually we are contacted to say the kit will be delivered later in the day. It is now nearly noon. Do we go caving? Do we go for a walk? We decide on the latter and start to head off to Kingsdale. As we approach Ingleton we get a message that the SRT kit is ready to be delivered. Ater all the faffing we arrange to meet the courier and pick up the SRT kit in Bernies where it could have been bought in the first place...
1pm and we arrive at Bernies to find Peter Collings-Wells and Jo White and indulge in a full blown SWCC tea drinking session with them.
Meanwhile Ben, Grant and Carl drive.
2pm arrives and then the door of Bernies is darkened by the arrival of Ben, Grant and Carl. It must be time to go caving....

Alum Pot
Alum Pot viewed from the Dolly Tubs

Alum Pot
Alum Pot viewed from the Dolly Tubs

The Cheese Press - Lower Long Churn
Carl attempts to pass the Cheese Press in Long Churn

The Cheese Press - Lower Long Churn
Carl attempts to pass the Cheese Press in Long Churn

3pm and we are changed and head up the track to Alum Pot. Ben, Grant and Carl take a bag of rope to drop a big pitch into the cave. Mark and Brendan take the other two bags of rope and head up to Long Churn to rig in via the Dolly Tubs. With both hands holding tackle bags Mark followed by Brendan end up neck deep in the Plank Pools, we drop the Dolly Tubs pitch and arrive at the balcony overlooking Alum Pot wet and rather cold. Ben, Grant and Carl are dropping down the pitch at the far side of a very misty looking Alum Pot. Mark rigs down to the Greasy Slab and across to the Bridge where we meet the guys. Mark rigs from the Bridge, while the others drop down to the bottom from the rope they have rigged. Mark meets them at the bottom and rigs the final pitch to take them to the sump. We all exit via the Dolly Tubs diverting to let the slimmer members go through the Cheese Press.

9pm and we are out of the cave, changed and heading to the Bradford Caving Club.

Present: Brendan Marris, Mark Burkey, Grant Wilkes, Carl Knott and Ben Marklew

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