Saturday 5 December 2009

4th December 2009 - Committee Meeting

You would like to think that the fourth week into the season would resemble the photo below with a full team urging to go caving.

Well, the reality was that this Friday at 4.30pm resembled a PE changing room on a wet December day with students handing in notes from their mummy's explaining why they could not participate in physical activity.

Dear Sir,
please excuse Thomas from caving today as he needs some sunshine on his vitamin D deficient body and has had to go to Spain.

Dear Sir,
please excuse John today from having to do any physical activity as he has to meet some people in Wigan and can't possibly get back.

Dear teechr
alustr wont beabul to go out tdy cos e as to look aftr alfi wot is ill. (we believed this one. ed)

Dear outdoor people
While I was rather looking forward to a trip underground with you fine chaps tonight, I find that I have a rather urgent work commitment that takes me away from the dark and wet. Sharon

Oh, you lot
I live in France/Spain and haven't been all season, don't pick on us!!!

So, Phil and I were reduced to getting into our caving gear on Leck Fell and debating which route down Lost John's we would tackle. Ropes packed in some sort of order from memory (as we didn't have a guide and Ali had planned a trip down Selgill Holes) we set off to the gate only to find ... we were at the wrong gate!

After dumping the rope bags we set of to Committee Pot (the dug entrance into Notts II ) and scrambled down the fantastic manmade entrance to Notts II.

This is what it would have looked like if Sharon had been able to come down the entrance series in Notts II

The entrance pitch breaks into Mincemeat Aven and there are two ropes hanging down in there. The first rope ended at a ledge above the wall of the aven while the second led up into the gritstone boulder strewn lower part of the aven. The aven soared above and brought in a small stream, no wonder it was where the diggers thought they might break in from the surface. Unfortunatly it didn't go any further in the early exploration, ending in jammed boulders after 50m.

Beyond the aven the passage enters the main stream way at Inlet 13. The mainstream from the upstream sump from Notts Pot flows for 1300m to sump 2, initially flowing in a fine drained phreatic tube of low gradient for 700m. A nick point marks the start of a narrow canyon which conveys the stream for the remaining distance to the dark, cobbly lower sump.

We set off downstream in a fine meandering streamway. On the left we discovered a finely crafted rope ladder in front of an active flowstone cascade, which invited the caver upwards to a small passage which turned out to be (Inlet 14) leading to 20 meters of low passage and probably a dig.

The next inlet was above some calcited blocks bridging the passage and is called Gour Inlet (Inlet 15). Entry was gained by climbing the flowstone cascade below the blocks. A stooping height passage lead over fragile rimstone pools fed by drips from the roof. The passage ended suddenly at the edge of a drop of 1.5m into a small chamber. A muddy eyehole was followed to a drop into a small sump pool that made a lovely glooping sound as the ripples touched the roof of the sump.

Back in the main streamway we headed to the final chamber of NottsII. After climbing down the waterfall we arrived at Kleine Scheidegg (which sported a powerful spout of water) there was evidence of recent flooding with froth 5m up the walls.

A romping stride back up the streamway took us quickly back to inlet 13 and we decided to explore upstream to the nick point, passing the majestic speleothem of Vlad the Impaler

Back on the surface the rain was just starting as we headed off for the Snooty Fox. It is amazing how much faster we travelled underground with only the two of us, we were in the pub by 8pm!


Extract from letter home to parents.

' son/daughter has been provided with a range of opportunities to be physically active. They should understand how physical activity can help them to be more healthy, and how physical activity can improve and be a part of their every day life. Please ensure that they are available for the lesson next week...'

1 comment:

Tom Phillips said...

Dear mr Gerrish

Thank you for your report, but you must understand that Thomas' vitamin deficiency is very severe and I found the tone of your communication rather upsetting. Thomas has been a very enthusiastic participant in recent weeks and was actually very upset not to have been able to join in.