The wind and rain buffeted us as we walked the track to the entrance, almost blowing Jess and Chloe off the path at one point!
Glad to be out of the elements we were soon warmed up as we made our way though the entrance series with Jess leading the way through to Barons Chamber.
We continued on with me taking full advantage of the easy passage to play with some different angles photographing Main Passage before dumping the camera gear and heading past the Music Room, Cliffs of Dover and in to the Ace of Spades Stream and Aven Series.
The area is a real 3D maze and the avens had an impressive volume of water cascading from them. At one point Jess led us around a sharp dog leg and in to a very muddy phreatic tube. The tube had an awkward spike of calcite protruding from the ceiling followed be an equally awkward squeeze to emerge head first 8ft above the floor. Past the spike Jess called back for me to grab a welly to stop her from slipping too fast.
I looked through the oppressive bit of passage not looking forward to following her.
Jess was the only one of us who had been in this area of the cave before and eventually coaxed me through with the knowledge that it linked back with the rest of the maze.
Chloe and Mark didn't find the awkward manoeuvre any easier, but managed to join us in the small chamber.
With everyone grouped we pushed through another impressively aqueous aven to find a small chamber blocked with boulders. I had a good hunt around but couldn't find a way on......At this point Jess admitted she hadn't been in this part before and just hadn't wanted to try and climb up to the squeeze by herself!
This proved to be as interesting as she feared and Jess, Chloe and Mark required assistance to get back in the tube and through. This left me flapping like a fish out of water trying to get in a position to get back. Fortunately ,once in the muddy tube, it was heading down dip and the squeeze proved easier in reverse.
We continued investigating every passage until I found a flat out crawl to a particularly loose and uninviting dig. As I backed up a sizeable chunk of rock displaced pinning me. Too heavy to lift I managed to roll it off and was very happy to get back in to more stable passage with nothing more than bruising.
Chloe was looking pretty tired and my adventures with the loose choke made us decide to quit whilst we were ahead.
The exit proved happily uneventful and we were soon hurriedly changing in the damp night air before saying our good byes and heading home.
|Gypsum crystals in the floor of Main Passage|
|Jess leading the children (Playing with perspective shots)|
Present: Mark Burgess, Jess Burkey, Chloe Burney & Mark Burkey