Saturday 18 April 2015

Mistral Cave & How to polish a turd!

Of late we have spent quite a bit of time in South Wales and a reasonable amount in the Mendips, so for a change Brendan suggested the Dales.  Jess has mentioned a few times that she has wanted to return to Mistral Cave, so this was planned for our Saturday trip.
Jess and I travelled up to Ingleton on the Friday night and so had a good nights sleep before meeting up with Brendan who had arisen at 5am to arrive at Inglesport for our 9am breakfast.
After plenty of faff we made a couple of purchases before heading off.
“What are you up to today?” The guys at Inglesport enquired.
“Mistral”, we replied
“Oh”, was the only reply.
Undeterred we headed off to Bull Pot Farm where we met up with a couple of other groups getting ready including a former DCC member Graham who enquired what we were up to.
“Mistral”, we chirped happily.
“Oh”, Graham responded with a smirk.
Before heading off up the track we made use of Red Rose’s facilities and whilst we waited one of the members enquired where we were off with all our camera gear.
“Mistral”, again we answered.
“Oh”, the guy responded doubtfully. “well there’s the stream way and an arch, but I can’t think of anything else you might want to photo, unless you can do something with mud, it’d be like polishing a turd”, he smirked.
Brendan and I had planned to take photographs on the way in because of the copious amounts of mud we would meet in Hall Of The Mountain King. Jess was quickly very bored of us placing flash guns and wanting to photo within 5 minutes of the entrance and wanted to hurry to the mud to play.

First we wanted to head to Gour Hall as it sounded like there may be something more than mud to see there and we were very pleasantly surprised by the pretty formations en route and the Gour Hall itself. Jess relented and allowed a few photographs on our way back to Hall Of The Mountain King.

Once there we squelched and slid our way past a couple of rather rude life size sculptures, before reaching a small hole at the bottom of the chamber which we would slide through ensuring not an inch of our caving suits would be spared the clay like mud. On the other side we met the cascades which removed a fair amount of the gloop we had just acquired. 

Jess popped for a quick look upstream and called us to look at some impressive straws before we continued up the cascades and on to the Cigalere stream way. We arrived at the canal and after a rather refreshing dip made our way to an impressive waterfall chamber with rope hanging down. After yet more photographs we made our way out, 

Brendan lost both boots to the mud as he exited and wound up having to fight his way through in only his wet socks. 
I almost came a cropper as I began to uncontrolled slide down the hall of ten, but Brendan just about managed to keep hold of a muddied arm and save me. 

We finally emerged too late to get food and headed off to the YSS for a bunk for Brendan. A really fun trip and some impressive turds were polished ;)

The Hobbit

Entering Gour Hall

Gour Hall
Final Chamber

Present Brendan Marris, Jess Burkey & Mark Burkey

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