Thursday 1 January 2009

23rd December 2008 Through to Ireby II

As previously reported the epic dig from Whirlpool chamber in Ireby has now gone so it was now time for the TNC to see what lay beyond. After a visit to the sump we retraced our steps and headed up into the aptly named Skylight passage.

far side of Ireby II sump

Fortunately in the week or so since the breakthrough, substantial further widening had taken place and Dick was soon climbing down the ladder into Ireby II.
Making our way along the canal brought us into the magnificently proportioned Duke Street II which joins the small number of sequels such as the Empire Strikes Back and The Godfather Part II which are actually better than the original. Arriving at the sump we finally got to see the other end of the blue pipe that took water from behind the dam in Duke Street and allowed it to drain back through the sump, a truly ingenious solution. Passing incredibly stratified mud banks we then followed the streamway up through the continuation of Duke St. Had our flash guns recieved a little more tender loving care we would probably have been able to capture the fantastic proportions of the tunnel, but my neglect left Tom very little light to work with.

Duke Street II

At the end of the large passage way there are two obvious ways on. To the right led to a low crawl who's aqueous nature soon put me off and to the left the way on to Escalator rift. After a short recce we retraced our steps to the canal and the short climb up to the Skylight passage. Then back up the ropes to the entrance.

Ireby Fell Cavern Entrance

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