Saturday, 4 January 2014

Bagshawe Caverns - Christmas Trip

Bagshawe Caverns was a cave that had not been visited by any members of the club and had earlier in the year been requested for booking by 'the boys'. So when it came to planning a post Christmas trip, this cave seemed to fit the bill as being quite local and big enough to have a couple of groups exploring it. Jessica booked the cave, plus a guide to allow one group to visit the gated sections.
The arrangements were to be at the Shoulder of Mutton ready to go to the cave at 11am, or meet for breakfast at 9am, a very leisurely start, unless of course if you were travelling with Andy, in which case setting alarm clocks for 4am was required...
Most had breakfast and then headed to the Shoulder of Mutton, Andy headed straight to the cave. Just after 11am Jon Pemberton arrived and we all headed to the cave entrance. Andy, Fred and Becca were already changed and so we were all in the hut over the entrance signing in. We split into two groups once down the massive flight of steps, one group with Jon to go to the gated areas and the other to explore the rest of the cave. The group with Jon first headed down to the Hippodrome and to the gate at the start of the Full Moon series. Half an hour was spent twiddling the key in the lock, washing with water and then a tin of WD40 was found and that too tried. Eventually we gave up and so after visit to the downstream sump we arrived back at the Hippodrome to meet the other group. They laughed at our misfortune and we sent them to experience the Glory Hole. Our next visit was to the gate to the New Series, here we followed low crawls over calcite flows until we reached Pool Chamber. The duck through the pool was sumped and so we then headed to the muddy ducks. There was a small airspace, but with nothing exciting beyond we elected not to go through. We now headed to the Dungeon pitch to access the lower series. The first group was coming back up the pitch when we got there, all very wet and cold, the passage just after the pitch was sumped and they were not able to get through. Soaked and cold the first group headed back to the surface for early bath and a visit to Hitch & Hike. The second group went down and tried to find a legendary pitch bypass crawl. Keith was sent in first followed by Brendan, and then there was not room for Mark to follow. Keith persevered along a flat out crawl until he dared go no further and so slowly and painfully backed out. We now headed out, with a brief stop to explore Agony Crawl, that Becca had chosen as her group's route into the cave!

Dungeon Pitch - Bagshawe Caverns
Keith Edwards - Dungeon Pitch - Bagshawe Caverns

Bagshawe Caverns
Carl Knott Bagshawe Caverns

Bagshawe Caverns
Mark Burkey - Bagshawe Caverns

Bagshawe Caverns
Keith Edwards - Bagshawe Caverns

Post trip we headed back to the Shoulder of Mutton for large portions of steak & ale pie, lasagne and home made chips. A great end to a fine year of caving, or perhaps in mind of the date a great start to 2014.

Present: Jessica Burkey, Mark Burkey, Keith Edwards, Carl Knott, Ben Marklew, Grant Wilkes, Andy Grimes, Becca Kirkpatrick, Amy Sawyer and Brendan Marris
Guide from Eldon PC Jon Pemberton

1 comment:

  1. A Black Country title for the trip? - 'Bagshawe be gooin back there agen'.