02 September 2013

Tourist underneath the Yorkshire Moors

I thought we'd be crawling on our bellies through mud again, hitting things and lugging buckets of slop. well the first was true, but the rest wasn't! When I arrived at the meeting place I found the usual suspects, and two new chaps. And the plan turned out to be to go down Excalibur Pot, the adjacent cave we are trying to connect Jenga Pot to. The new chaps hadn't seen it yet, and neither had I. So tonight was for tourism! I had absolutely no idea what to expect.

Richard who was supposed to lead this realised his light didn't work and went back to the car to get another one, so Chalky went down first. I followed down the entrance shaft, and crawled into a small hole to the side. Beyond me was Chalky, trying to rig the next drop. He had no idea how that was usually done, so after lots of faffing Richard came down to do it himself. It was rigged with an electron ladder and a safety line. I didn't know the pitch, so I went for the safety line. I didn't have belt or cowstails with me, so if it was an unpleasant pitch I would have nothing to fall back on.

I got down without problems, and soon both Richards had done the same, and we could go on. Chalky and Sparky (they love their nicknames here) knew the way too! This was a pretty cave. We crawled, stooped and clambered through some narrow passages and muddy chambers, and came to a small streamway. It ended at a drop down. And that ended in a big, active streamway! This was a much more spectacular cave than I had imagined. We went downstream until it got too tight, and then we did the same thing upstream. It was beautiful! I just had forgotten my camera. And my light was dying.  So no pictures from me, but fortunately Richard took one of us below some strange things dangling from the ceiling. I came out cleaner than ever before on a trip with these chaps. And I'll be extra motivated next week when we resume the digging in Jenga Pot, because I now know what it is we're connecting it to! If we're successful, we'll have created a truly spectacular venue!

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