Saturday, 3 September 2011

Caving Stuff

Well, the Craven Pothole Club's Gaping Gill winch meet has come and gone for another year.  It always feels like the end of summer when I get back down to Clapham on Bank Holiday Monday.  A few interesting changes down in the Main Chamber this year.  The mud banks at the west end have eroded significantly from when I was last there, two years ago and a small depression has formed in the floor at the east end, a couple of metres from East Pot.  It appeared at the start of the meet and was deeper by the end.  I wonder what that will look like by next year.

I did 5 guiding sessions in Main Chamber over the two weekends.  When I got back to Sheffield after the first weekend I could hardly talk.  It had been very noisy down there on the Sunday after the previous night's heavy rain.  Perhaps I need a voice coach before next year.  We had one person who didn't like it and wanted to go straight back out.  She said to me, "I bet you get a lot of people like me" and I didn't have the heart to say, "Well no, you're the first in the 20 years since I started guiding down here.

Straws in Stream Passage

My friend Hilary came up for the first weekend and I took her out to Stream Chamber.  I tried to go there with the Pieman two years ago but had forgotten the way round Mud Pot.  It turned out to be round the lip of the intimidating big, dark hole we stopped at.  Anyway, we went about as far as you can along Stream Passage and I also had a quick look up North West Extension but I was there years ago and I recalled that it gets 'orribly muddy, so I turned back after a short distance.  We also went out to SE Pot and to the bottom of the 110' pitch in Bar Pot.  The climb up from SE Aven into Bar seems to get more polished and scarier every year (or maybe I've just lost my bottle).

At the bottom of the 110' in Bar Pot

I found this video of a cave rescue from 1964 on the web earlier in the week.  Given it's probably one of the first caving films made for TV, the quality fo the photography is stunningly good.