4th October 2014 - Anton Petho
Saturday 4th October
The trip lined up for this day was Moss Chamber in Peak Cavern. This was a trip I had always fancied doing partly due to the well-known history of the chamber itself but also I had heard that the trip to the chamber itself was a superb trip.
The day started with Charlotte, Terry, Olly and I all catching a lift with Damian to get some brekky at Pervil Stores in Castleton before meeting Andy, Richard, Allan and Colin at the TSG hut in Castleton where we all got kitted up and headed into the depths of Peak Cavern.
Leaving the lights of the show cave we descended the Devils stair case via the slide and walked along the concrete walkways of the former extension to the show cave in the Five Arches passage. At the end of the old show cave the real caving commenced with the first obstacle being the three ducks, the last being known as the mucky ducks, which was a rather refreshing but cold wake up call for 9:30 in the morning.
After walking down Ecstasy Passage for a little while we reached the small climb on the right hand wall, upto the entrance of Pickering’s Passage. After crawling on our hands and knees for a good way the passage closed down to the first squeeze which was closely followed by a second squeeze. After these squeezes the passage opened out again, but quickly was the next challenge that Allan described as the climbs of death, these climbs started with a walk up a very muddy, slippery slope which then leads too two awkward climbs due to the lack of foot and hand holes.
After these climbs we reached a small aven where a quick glance of the survey lent from the TSG showed that we were approaching the main squeeze, the Eyehole. The squeeze is not so much tight more the fact that getting into it is awkward as you have to climb up, then lie on your side and it is difficult to find any good place to kick off to get into it, despite this everyone made it through, help greatly by Olly having gone through and guiding us all through, and after negotiating two more climbs we arrived at the static pool just before Moss Chamber.
After passing through the static pool at the entrance too Moss Chamber we spent some time having a look at the superb formations and then had a peer down the shaft that Neil Moss became trapped in, which was a very sobering experience. From here Richard, Andy, Terry, Olly and I all manage to get through the even tighter squeeze to get through too Anniversary Aven were after a quick mooch around we rejoined the others and all started the journey out.
Once we had all changed in the TSG we headed upto The Wanted for well-earned pint before people headed home.
Sunday 5th October
The plan for this day had been to go down Rowter Hole but due to only Andy and I staying the night and Andy having done Rowter twice already this year, we decided to go for something neither of us had done before and so we choose to go and have a mooch at Water Icicle. The entrance is via a 32metre mine shaft in the corner of a field. The shaft itself has some rather nice pic marks pretty much all the way down the shaft. The shaft bottoms in The Three Ways Aven, so called because there are three ways on. Each way has been extensively dug at by the Orpheus Caving Club and most of these digs are ongoing. We spent a while having a mooch down each of the passage and looking at the digs, the main event in Water Icicle is a section that has very impressive formation so much so that it is now gated off and a trip with a key holder is required who we didn’t have with us, so it means we have unfinished business and a return trip is required. After a bit more mooching we made our way back up the entrance pitch and then got change and headed home.
Thanks to all who showed up and may it a thoroughly enjoyable weekend.