13th May 2012 - Nigel Dibben - sk12418218
This was a trip to cheer up Tom after a 'family' day on Saturday. We went in one car to the farm and changed in sunshine but a bitterly cold wind for May. Tom tried to get out of the trip by forgetting his helmet and light but was forced to come anyway with a handheld torch and balaclava.
Our trip in was uneventful with plenty of rope and no problems. We were soon in Pilgrim's Way heading for Mecca Aven - trying to keep out of the puddles (see later). After Mecca Aven, we walked down a passage that Allan reckons is the best in Derbyshire and Nigel was convinced he had never been in before (see later). The pitch at North Chamber was soon rigged and we were on our way to the end. The inlet was flowing well and we looked at the cascade but decided not to climb it. Downstream looked very wet and Allan declined it but Nigel pushed through and we got down to the end of the cave at the dams and sump. Nigel was still convinced he had never been here before but in fact he had 40 years before! 30 years before, even Liz had made it to North Chamber with Colin and Len! We had some butties and turned back, thoroughly soaked now so Pilgrim's Way was quicker on the way out.
We left the rest of West Chammber for another day and carried on out of the cave exiting after a bit over five hours. Good trip - ideal for three or four cavers but would be slow and cold for any more than that.
Below 1: Tom at the entrance - note ideal kit Below 2: Allan at the second pitch Below 3: Descending into North Chamber Below 4: In the stream passage between Mecca Aven and North Chamber