Underground

Yesterday was one of those classic days out that will be remembered for some time: the occasion; the venue; the challenges; the company. A day underground with a group of folk who all knew somebody else in the group but had never met collectively before had been planned for several weeks, the first event of a new initiative for In2venture.  

The weather men changed their minds at the last minute, after promising that Saturday would be see a continuation of several days of dry weather the forecast changed with less than 24 hours to go and heavy overnight rainfall was to produce slightly more lively underground conditions than first anticipated. We met at Inglesport with skies already clearing and after assorted refreshment made our way up to Alum Pot Lane – five guys who had all caved before but never done all of the planned trip, plus Alan, Kevin, Clare & myself.

We entered Upper Long Churn via Dr Bannisters, with enough water to make things interesting and then followed the well trod route past middle entrance; Double Shuffle; Plank Pool; down the slot; St Paul’s and to the head of the Dolly Tubs Pitch. At this point we divided with Alan, Clare and Kevin taking the direct route whilst I took the “gang of five” down via the window & traverse. The first abseil was enjoyed by all and the traverse provided an “airy perspective” as the light of Alum Pot could be glimpsed. A second abseil saw everyone with feet back on the ground and one of the classic Yorkshire Dales views:

A few minutes for some photographs & it was time for a short prusik and then out with the ladders to get our ascent under way.Two ladder climbs later: comfort zones stretched and much energy expended it was an impressive effort by everyone to get back back to the pitch head. Our exit was through Diccan passage into a cool late afternoon with impressive views across to Pen-y-Ghent.

For those who weren’t wet enough already the day ended with a  damp crawl & a cold walk off the moor. It poured down while we got changed – an excuse for a second visit of the day to Inglesport for some.

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