28th-30th May 2016 - Anton Petho
Gaping Gill - Saturday 28th May 2016
After all settling into the Dump (Bradford Hut) and having an excellent chilli courtesy of Big Steve and Susie on the Friday night we woke on the Saturday to a strangely organised breakfast. Even more strange was we were heading over to Clapham by 10:30! After meeting Pete O’Neil in the Clapham Bunk Barn we packed are bags and got ready for the trudge up the hill to Gaping Gill. After checking in at the winch we headed over to Stream Pot and after making it through the squeeze and down the first pitch we headed down the crab walk esk section. We soon arrived at the top of the first of three big pitches. These are three classic Yorkshire pitches all ~30metres high in beautifully washed round pots one after another with some pendulum deviations for added excitement. We regrouped at the end of Stream Passage and made are way to the main chamber via Sand Cavern. After stopping for a group photo in the main chamber we headed out via bar pot and thankfully there wasn’t any major traffic on the big pitch. And after I briefly forgot that females’ upper anatomy is different to males and was promptly reminded of that fact while helping Charlotte off the top of the first pitch we all headed back downhill to the New Inn for a rather expensive pint and bowl of chips before heading back to the Dump.
Simpson Pot – Sunday 29th May 2016
The plan for the day was to head up Kingsdale and have a play in a few caves. Due to a few people still feeling a little tired from the previous days trip we decided to split into two groups. One group planned to go and have a play in Yordas and rig the pitch at the end of Valley Entrance so that the Simpson Pot pull through trip could avoid a dodgy free climb. The trip into Simpson Pot consisted of me, Tom, Andy, Terry and Nigel who had come up for the day (he later checked his log book and discovered last time he did Simpson was in 1979!). Simpson is a cracking trip with glorious Yorkshire pitches one after another and a duck (this one didn’t go quack!) after four pitches down. Possibly due to the slight hysteria of getting into the cold water to get through the duck the next series of pitches was followed by anecdotes from Monty Python. After a further three pitches we avoided Aven and Slit Pot as the latter is a tad snug, so we climbed the insitu rope to get above Aven pot and descend down Swinsto Great Aven, which is an awesome pitch which starts off as a narrow rift that opens out in a massive aven ~30metres high. After me and Nigel had pulled the last rope through we headed down into Kingsdale Master Cave. After I failed to notice a dry bypass route through the second wet crawl we reached the Kingsdale Master Cave. After heading down stream we arrived at the sump and pitch up to the roof tunnel and out of Valley Entrance into a glorious Yorkshire Summers Day. We then met the others heading back from Yordas and went to the Marton Arms for a well earned pint, followed later by a visit to a chippy in Settle before we retired to the bunkhouse with a game of Cave Name hangman before bed.
Hut Pot – Monday 30th May 2016
After two days of cracking caving we decided we would have a more chilled day and go and look at an old MUSC dig that Big Steve was interested in pushing again. The dig was last dug well over 20years ago and the timbers covering the shaft were looking a little worse for wear. After Big Steve had descended the pot last week on a ladder rigged to a bit of old water pipe he felt it wise to put some proper bolts in. He delegated me and James to put the bolts in as we had never done it before and it proved a thoroughly good learning experience for us both, after both descending the pot and putting two further bolts in, one for a ladder for the second pitch and the other for a haulage anchor for hauling buckets up from the dig, and James had tried out his capping gear for digging we prusicked back out. After de-rigging we headed back to the cars and set off home.
This weekend had an excellent turnout and thanks to all those who came along and made it a memorable weekend.