Saturday 21 November 2009

19th November 2009 - WR to start of Manchester Bypass

With the rain having fallen for the last few days and more on its way, caving options were becoming a little limited. Phil though had the great idea of trying to recreate some of the pictures from the 1950s which can be found in the "History of Easegill". As well as providing a dry evening's caving, it would also give us the opportunity to try out some new lights: Tom's "Aven-blaster" and my new headtorch.

Aven Blaster in Action

Not only was the rain limiting our caving options but unfortunately the associated flooding was limiting our caving team too - hope all's well in Kendal Dick. John had also found a much cheaper way of avoiding caving. No need to travel to South America, all you need is a note saying you've got a sore knee!

The water at Devil's Bridge was incredible, none of the usual rocks being visible and whole trees being washed along in the current.

Having changed in the shelter of Bull Pot Farm we made our way across the moor and down into Easegill. As soon as we entered the rift of Wretched Rabbit it was time to try out the new lights, Tom's aven blaster lighting up previously unseen chockstones in the very top of the rift.
It was not a day for visiting Spiral Stairway passage so we continued down the meandering passage.

Wretched Rabbit

Fortunately Tom and Phil know this system well and I was called back from what would have been a very wet rendezvous with Eureka junction and we headed up into Fourways chamber. From here it is just a short squirm to Stop pot (even shorter than it used to be courtesy of a new bit of digging).

Once in the chamber it was time to try and recreate the first of the photos. Tom moved around the most obvious view points before ending up perched on a high ledge affording a stance from which to take the picture.

This is as close as we could get - not far of the original picture - click image to see large version

One photo down, we then needed to find "Carrot chamber, close to the start of the Manchester Bypass". Despite finding many beautiful stal formations, they were never quite the right ones and we had to return to Stop pot without our second image.

Some days the climbs out of Wretched Rabbit feel ok, but on others they feel nearly impossible. It is though, always a relief to be back at the top of them, smelling the fresh air coming from the entrance.

It is also always a pleasure to sit back in the comfy sofas of the Barbon Inn with a nice pint and a packet of Cheese and Onion - caving's not that bad John!

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