Saturday, 5 September 2015

Red Rose Social Weekend and Yorkshire Caving

Red Rose Caving Club were holding a social weekend and BBQ over the first weekend in September. SWCC were invited as they have a reciprocal arrangement with the two clubs. On hearing of the
event we enquired if we could join them and were extended a warm welcome.
Unfortunately straight after the Bank Holiday, it was only Mark and Brendan who could attend, but we planned to make it a recce weekend for future trips.
We arrived on Friday night via a nice Italian Restaurant in Kirby Lonsdale before continuing on to Red Rose to find Beer had been laid on for the weekend so we joined a few of the members for a nightcap.....well it would be rude not to!
Two teams from Red Rose were doing various trips in to Notts2, but Brendan and I were hoping to spend some time over the weekend getting to grips with navigation in the Ease Gill Cave System starting with a trip in to Lancaster Hole. Red Rose were kind enough to supply some rope and we were soon making our way across Casterton Fell to the entrance.
After dropping the impressive 30m pitch we had been advised to take a look in Slug World so headed off here to find some impressive formations and unusual helictites. We then continued up the climb at Bridge Chamber to Colonade Hall where we took a couple of photos before continuing down an 8m fixed rope down to Montague East and on to Stake Pot. Here we were unsure if the next rope section required SRT kit (Which we had left at the base of the entrance pitch) and so returned to Fall Pot where the sound of the stream way enticed us to climb down the choke at the bottom of the pot. We were soon making our way up the impressive Lancaster Main Drain where rich peaty water flowed through deep pots and brown scalloped walls reflected our headlights beautifully. We turned around at what we believe to be a choke approaching Oxbow Corner and look forward to linking this section on a return visit.
Blue sky welcomed us back on to the surface and we were soon enjoying the BBQ laid on by the club and washing a burger or two down with a couple of beers.

Mark at The Colonades

For our second days caving we headed off to County Pot. I had joined Brendan on a previous trip in to Wretched Rabbit and up Stop Pot so was eager to 'join the dots' and link this entrance to Eureka Junction.
Although we had taken a line just in case, we found the pitches rigged and quickly made our way down them and the various climbs. We were soon in a chamber where Brendan challenged me to find the way on. Unfortunately for him I'd heard about the awkward Poetic Justice climb and soon found myself thrutching up the smooth calcite. Puffing and panting I awaited Brendan to join me, which after one attempt facing the wrong way he did. Whilst Brendan caught his breath I took a quick snap in the crawls before we continued on.
We were quickly in familiar passage and popping out at the foot of the boulder slope at Stop Pot. On our previous visit we had headed up the fixed ladder and on to Monster Cavern, so this time we headed in the opposite direction and we soon confronted by decorated passage in Gypsum Cavern. We continued on to The Palace where we spent a good time taking photo's before retracing our steps to Holbeck Junction. I stayed high and popped to take a quick look at Straw Chamber before rejoining Brendan. We headed up the boulders at Stop Pot looking for an alternative route Brendan recalled from his Uni days and soon found the low crawl that would exit at Four Ways Chamber. From here we followed the winding passage to the rope climbs to exit out of Wretched Rabbit.
As we walked back in the sunshine to Red Rose we planned our next navigational trips in to the system.

Brendan recovers after Poetic Justice
Brendan in Gyupsum Cavern

Mark in The Palace

Present Mark Burkey & Brendan Marris

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