Olds from 2018

Links to other Years:

Ogof Hesp Alyn Trip Report. October 2018

A brief note on the trip from Jenny.

Seven of us were underground. We made it to sump 1. Standout feature of the trip - MUD! Lots of it from the bottom of the pitches to the sump. An interesting, but physically demanding cave. Someone has been coerced persuaded to write a fuller report for the next edition of the newsletter.


Some pictures and video from Des here.

Calf Holes and Birkwith Cave. Trip Report. October 2018

A trip report from Jenny

The meets list said Ibbeth Peril, however the weather was not looking kind for this trip. Mark K had been up the previous day and taken some video of the amount of water going over the waterfall beside the entrance to Ibbeth Peril 1. We reviewed this over breakfast at Inglesport, but decided to travel over to Dentdale and take a look anyway. Viewing the volume of water ourselves decided it and we resolved to go to Calf Holes instead. Driving from Dentdale to Ribblesdale we met a convoy of Minis travelling in the other direction. There were many walkers out that day doing the Three Peaks.

We all descended Calf Holes, through to its exit at Browgill Cave. Some of us made the reverse trip and others walked back over the surface. After that, most of us then went on to Birkwith Cave, climbing the cascades to the upstream sump. Both caves were rather sporting with the amount of water around.

Post caving drinks were at the Golden Lion in Horton.

White Scar Cave. September 2018

A trip report from Des Kelly

Always a pleasure going on the White Scar trip as you get to see the stunning show cave as well.

12 club members had the pleasure today before hopping the barrier and plunging into the rather cold canal swims. Once completed, we then picked our way through the boulder choke and it was a straight forward trip up the streamway lined with many fine formations along the way. Another good trip with good company as usual.

Here are the better pics.


Deaths Head Pot to Notts II. August 2018

A trip report by Jenny

Six of us underground on Sunday. Roy did Deaths Head Pot and prussicked out. The rest of us carried on with the aim of finding the connection to Notts 2. The climb down the dig in the base of the Deaths Head main chamber had a rope in place, as did the short pitch down in to the Master Cave from the Deaths Head inlet, making the through trip practical, assuming we could find the way!

Going up the Master Cave, we negotiated the deep water of the canal, before it shallowed out and we passed various inlets before reaching Groundsheet Junction with Lost John's. Passing this we carried on to Lyle's Cavern and climbed the fixed ropes.

From there a very well decorated passage eventually reached the top of the dug passage through an extensive boulder choke through to Notts 2. The start of this was a slither down tight calcited tubes to reach the base of the choke, then a partially shored dig along the base, eventually coming out in Sir Digby Spode's inlet in Notts 2. We did a 20' pull down abseil in to the main Notts 2 streamway. A quick tramp down the streamway and we reached the inlet leading to the climb up and eventually the dug and shored entrance shaft. After walking the half mile or so back to the cars, Ade went back to Deaths Head and descended to derig and retrieve the ropes.

Apr├ęs-cave drinks were at the Marton Arms, recently refurbished, under new management and busy. A hard, but immensely satisfying trip with a route that has just about everything. A classic open shaft descent to start with, deep water, streamways, pretties (including helictites), mud and tight crawls, hanging death excavated digs, more streamways.


Marilyn Pot. 21st July 2018

A trip report from Des.

A great trip into the Gaping Gill system yesterday with 7 members reaching as far as the Blowhole. This was a new entrance for me and also a few others and the route was the most interesting and varied I've done. The blowhole looked an interesting proposition with most attempting it and a few going through but with time not on our side we left for another day. After around 6 ish hours underground it was time for the long walk down and to retire to the pub for re-hydration.

Good trip and great company as usual Here are the best of the pics.


Titan Streamway. July 2018

Jenny's trip report.

A successful trip along Titan Streamway on Sunday. Eight of us in total underground. Roy came to the Event Horizon with us and prussiked out. The scale of the Titan shaft only becomes apparent when there are plenty of cavers spread up and down the 80m upper pitch and across the fixed tension traverse to the streamway, lighting it up. The Titan Streamway needed some combined tactics and handlines to get us all up the cascades. A beautiful clean washed passage, but with very little water flowing. This degenerated in to a low crawl, in and out of water, before breaking out in to a large chamber. A hand line climb leads to a scaffold shored dig through boulders. This breaks out in to a bigger chamber, with a fixed 10 to 15m rope up to a high inlet passage. At the top of this is a beautifully decorated passage, Frozen in Time, which we went along very carefully. A video of the initial breakthrough in to this section is on Youtube. A longer trip than expected, between six and seven hours. Two ropes were rigged on the long pitch to help speed things up.

Nenthead Weekend 23rd & 24th June 2018

A trip report by Jenny

Six people went for a weekend to explore the old lead mines around Nenthead in Cumbria. Saturday was a trip in to Smallcleugh Mine. The aim was to reconnoitre in force the route through to the ladders down to the connection with Caplecleugh mine for the Sunday. In addition we took in a lot of the other best features of this mine, both by design and because we were lost. Eventually Neil found the appropriate ladders and descended the first set to confirm it. We met some local mine explorers at the entrance going in, who gave us some route finding advice and very kindly, photocopies of a much better survey than we had.

The Haggs Bank camp site where we stayed, is well laid out, with level tent pitches and good ground for pegs. A bit of a midge problem this time of year, but no fault of theirs! Saturday evening was a fruitless attempt to find somewhere to eat. Numerous pubs between Nenthead to Alston were not able to help us and in the end we sat outside the chippy in Alston being watched by gulls and eaten by midges. Very good fish and lots of chips. Stopped off for a drink on the way back.

Sunday started with a cooked breakfast in the Miners Arms in Nenthead. This had been arranged the evening before. The Caplecleugh entrance is by the car park in Nenthead. We were heading upwards to Smallcleugh. Unusual for a through trip to start at the bottom and go to the top.

There is a lot of drainage water in Caplecleugh. This has the usual Nenthead dry stone walling and arched roof. Where this was missing, or fallen, then the debris on the floor forms dams that allow pools to form behind them. These got deeper and deeper till they were neck deep on most of us. Grace had a buoyancy jacket as she was swimming for long distances. In one section the shale roof was in a precarious state. Falls were obviously happening at regular intervals and only a crawling space was left between the "roof" and the debris below. We were very unsure about doing this, but decided to pass, very careful not to touch the roof. Beyond this was more deep water.

We stopped for a bite to eat and a discussion at a junction and decided that we would give it another half hour to find the connecting ladders up to Smallcleugh, or we would turn back. Turning back was not something anyone was happy about, having to go back through the collapse. Within two minutes Neil had found the base of the ladders. These were a mix of old wooden ones, heavily calcited and modern aluminium replacements. There was a modern rope alongside, but since this was belayed on an old bit of tram track and compressed air pipe at the top it was more psychological than effective if it had been required.

Once we were in Smallcleugh we made a quick exit. All the bits of bulging drystone wall and flaking shale in Smallcleugh that had so concerned us on Saturday now seemed fine after seeing Caplecleugh! The general opinion was that none of us wanted to go in to that part of Caplecleugh ever again. It may not be passable for much longer anyway. After walking back to the cars it was back to the camp site and pack up for home.

Thanks to everyone for a great weekend, especially Neil for route finding and Steve PA for his big tent, two burner stove, electricity and cool box!

Manchester Hole, Goyden Pot Trip Report. June 2018

Jenny's report.

Nine members underground in this fascinating system. We met a group from CravenPC at the car park, but hardly saw them underground. Followed the guide route description at the insistence of Neil to see most of the major passages, with us underground for over four hours. Delays down to route finding as some, including the Manchester to Goydon connection is obscure. Pretty much every passage we were in obviously floods to the roof at regular intervals. Large parts of trees are distributed around the cave, sometimes rammed in to cracks in the roof many metres overhead. Proper caving with the only rope around of the knotted handline variety. The Teacup Cafe in Pateley Bridge do very good and excellent value breakfasts. Stopped off for a drink at a nearby pub before heading homewards.


Some photos from Des Kelly.

Croesor Rhosydd Slate Mines Trip May 2018

Saturday 12th May the club ran a successful trip doing the traverse between Croesor and Rhosydd slate mines in North Wales. We walked over to the Croesor entrance, then did the traverse, including abseils, zip lines, tyrolean traverses and a boat trip to cross the various flooded chambers. Ten members underground were met by Heather at the Rhosydd Adit 9 end. Successful route finding underground was not matched by our route finding skills on the surface!

Eldon Hole. April 2018

A trip report from Rob Nevitt.

As per usual a good outing into Eldon Hole with 8 club members attending, consisting of Des, Clare, Mark K, John G, Steve PA, Dan, Neil and myself. Two routes were rigged, South Gully and East Wall with Neil rigging the wrong route to start with. All in a days fun. All members bottomed the cave, exploring the dig. I had a look at Millers Chamber and Damocles Rift. It's a bit daunting when you can`t see what the rope feeds through when you see use the pulley line. I was a lot happier after seeing the eye bolt! It was well worth the visit.It was good to see John Gillet proving age is just a number and still enjoying his caving. He`s an inspiration to us all. Hope I`m still caving when I am Johns age. Some of us had refreshments at the Wanted Inn afterwards to chill down after the days events. Cheers Rob

Peak Cavern Trip. 17th March 2018

Two trips were run in to the Peak-Speedwell system. One to the White River Series, the other to the Peak Streamway and surrounding passages with two novice cavers. Here are short trip reports from each.

A very enjoyable and demanding trip into Peak today to do the White River series via Block Hall & Ventilator. Neil decided he had to visit Heaven for possibly one last time while I thought I'd died and gone to Heaven 3 times already by then. 4 club club members completed the trip only to emerge into very snowy conditions and the possibility of being snowed in at TSG. 3 made ithome very slowly while one has had to bed down for the night at the TSG.

Des Kelly

Some pictures from Des.

Dan and Ryan said they had a great time.I included a visit to Ink Sump then offered them a dip into the inviting Lake Sump which they attacked with gusto. Having visited far sump I diverted into the mud crawl(rope climb on left) which connects to squaws junction inlet which they really enjoyed. Looks like they can't wait for the next trip.

Steve PA

Mistral Pot. February 2018

Link Pot trip was deferred to Mistral Pot after some entry issues in what was a very tight entrance. A group of 5 explored as many of the passages as we could given the new restricted timeframe but seems like we couldn't find the right way on. Here are some pictures of the trip


Oxlow Caverns. January 2018

Des prepared this trip report.

A great turnout by 10 club members on what was a cold snowy winters day. All 10 members reaching the bottom with 3 going into West Chamber whilst 3 venturing further to the end of Pilgrims Way. As usual a good workout followed by a good pint at the local.


Some pictures.

Birks Fell Cave

Birks Fell Cave. 2019.