Sunday 30 January 2011

28th January 2011 - Wilf Taylors Passage.

With the visit of a French member of TNC with very specific caving requirements the planned trip this week was a round trip down Lancaster Hole taking in Montague's West, Wilf Taylor's Passage the main drain and Fall Pot.

Another frosty night saw us walking across the moor to the entrance with an unusually large team.  Phil, Sharon and David were along as well as the usual suspects, but Ali was off in Scotland celebrating Lee's birthday.  The entrance pitch already had a rope down it so once our rope was rigged we made double quick time entering the cave.  The water level was low due to the freezing temperatures outside and the fact that it hasn't really rained for two weeks.

Kath's way was quickly dispatched followed by Bill Taylor's passage where the shower bath was absent due to low water levels.  At  Fall Pot the mud slope was ascended to the start of Montague's West passage.

A leisurely traverse of this passage took place with frequent stops for photographs.  When the T junction where the water from Bull Pot of the Witches was met the silence was deafening as there was no water at all flowing out from the upstream sump. Evidence was everywhere in the roof and walls of the huge volume of flood water  that had flowed through the passage two weeks earlier but today the flow had ceased and silence rained.

Following the stream bed downstream led us into the superb water washed tube of Wilf Taylor's passage.  Some photos later we moved on and soon arrived at the roped downclimb of double decker pot, which has been re-equipped with nice new ropes to aid the climb down.

Wilf Taylors Passage.  'I will not reveal the secret under any circumstance.'

Once at the bottom of this the passage soon arrives at the master cave of Easegill Caverns and the downstream sump, which was quiet but the froth of recent floods was high on the walls.

A stroll up the streamway past Fall Pot led to the beautiful cascades where more photos were taken and then the climb out began.

Easegill Downstream Sump

Lancaster Hole Main Streamway

 Back at the entrance to Lancaster Hole the two ropes were still in place so we were double quick exiting the cave and Sharon was relieved that there was no water falling down the pitch as the last time she had climbed the pitch there had been a lot of water falling down it and she thought she was drowning!

The surface temperature was once again well below freezing so the first people out returned to the cars while the last ones out de-rigged the pitch.

A swift drive down off the fell saw us all in the Snooty Fox where John joined us.  We haven't seen him since before Christmas as he has been in South America so we were entertained to his stories of summer and sunshine.

The post script of this trip was, however, an awful dawning awareness that one of our members might be changing his club allegiance.  Where as once it was 'all for one and one for all' no secrets and share everything, it transpired that this one longstanding and at one time trustworthy member of the TNC yearns to enter another clubs competitions and shares a secret with them that he refuses to divulge to those that he once called 'friends'.    This is not Ali who the TNC may yet sell (for a transfer fee yet to be negotiated) to another club who wish to have him for his youthful enthusiasm for all things dark, technical, tight and wet, but an original member.  This may be the start of the end for TNC as internal politics rip us apart.  Keep watching this space.

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