I was kicked out from the house. Luckily, so far, only for the weekend.
‘’Shall I climb some snowy peaks in Swiss Alps? Or to go climbing near Barcelona? Hang on, there is a storm coming to UK, that sounds more exciting!’’
I landed at 10PM and Beardy and Julia picked me up from the airport and after a swift stop in dodgy Warrington we arrived just after minding to the Bullpot farm, straight into festivities of the York Uni caving club. After a quick drink we decided to go to sleep despite all the music since the next day should be rather a long one.
Upon Stuart’s arrival, Julia greeted us with a gigantic full(er) English breakfast. At 9:30 Swiss sharp, 7 of us is standing outside the farm. The original plan was to do Pippikin to Top Sink but since nobody could be bothered to pre-rig Top Sink, we opted for Boundary pot, which is nearby and doesn’t require any pre-rigging. After a quick walk to the entrance, I was encouraged to go first. This appeared rather a bad idea when we encountered the first ‘squeeze’. Rich and Sandy go ahead and guide me through. Business becomes more serious when we arrive to the second squeeze. I don’t fit, Beardy doesn’t fit. It was rather frustrating to see Avelina to go smoothly through. To support my mind, I took off one t-shirt which eventually got me through the squeeze. Since there was a queue of another herd of Craven cavers behind us, Julia and Beardy decided to head out and to meet us at the junction with Mistral. The next obstacle was the (in)famous Stemple rift. When I arrived there, Rich, the thinnest man in the team, was stuck inside trying to get out. After a few minutes of silent shuffling, he managed to get out. ‘’If he struggled, how the hell do I have chance to get through?’’ My common sense tells me to go back. However, through the squeezes again? Luckily, Rich second try was much smoother and to my surprise, I went through without any difficulties. Next stop: a narrow meander! After initial happiness that all the awkward bits are over, I got quickly stuck in a nameless meander, which required some awful reversing. After taking off my SRT gear, the progress gets a bit smoother.
At 1PM, we finally meet again with Julia and Beardy and we all head towards the Steak Pot. Most of us were cheered up by ever-splendid streamway while Sandy and Avelina opted for the slippery and dry high-level route. Apart from certain individuals admiring the Yorkshire geology, our progress towards Nagasaki caverns is rather steady. It took us a few moments to identify the correct hole leading to the scaffolded shaft indicated the vicinity of the Boundary pot. Nevertheless, after freeclimbing one of the pitches, Beardy reckons that the water levels are too high. Given the fact, that the storm is supposed to hit the Dales at about this time and that Boundary pot is lethal in wet weather, we quickly reversed our steps back to Nagasaki caverns. The nearest safe option is Wretched rabbit. Some of us were new to the Spiral staircase which is rather elegant option to get out. We emerged to a drizzle and a blasting wind at 20:30ish.
Muddy, knackered, dehydrated but happy Time for some curry and well-deserved beer.
Well, that is a ‘fail’ number 4 for me to complete the bloody Easegill traverse. Believe it or not, I will have to come back!
Party: Stu Weston, Ales Hrabec, Rich Rae, Julia and Beardy, Sandy and Avelina (mostly RRCPC)
Time: Door-to-door 11hrs
The following user(s) said Thank You: stuartw, alexw, iball
The layers were shed in Pipikin Pot, that's the tight stuff. Then of course some one else gets to drag around a rope and all the Prince's
spare discarded kit while having the miss fortune of being behind him in the rift that he reversed out of, meaning also having to reverse out first despite having already removed my own SRT kit in anticipation of more snugness. All this with Ciara imminent. I'm getting past it, still not recovered and it's nearly the weekend again. Thanks to Beardy and Julia for looking after us.
Next time you get kicked out, I will come over to some snowy mountains instead!