Tuesday 5 April 2011

1st April 2011 - Sunset Hole

With the end of the season rapidly approaching, Sunset seemed an aptly named cave to visit. Driving up the Lune Valley, large ponds of water in the flood plane gave testament to how wet it had been recently, but we hoped it had stopped raining long enough for a trip down this very active system. In all our memories it's just a wander down fine meandering passageway with a couple of little, free climbs before arriving at the main pitch. How different a place can be with a bit more water running down it. Both "free climbs" were rigged, the second especially, well clear of the water.

Having dropped down the main pitch, a rope ladder hung enticingly from the opposite side of the chamber, offering a way on into parts of the system I'd never visited. While the cave leading to the main pitch had been walking down a streamway, in this side of the caving we were crawling through what appeared to be washed out shale beds, almost from the off. A second in situ rope dropped us down into another bedding at the end of which lay a "final" chamber. On the return to the rope, Tom took a slightly different path and discovered the not so inviting corkscrew squeeze that leads further into the system. Fortunately none of us felt like even giving it a try, as we later discovered that it leads straight on to the top of another pitch. At the top of the squeeze lay a good number of chocolate bar wrappers. Evidence of someone spending a little longer in the squeeze than anticipated?

Emerging into daylight we made our way to a packed Craven Heifer. John's alibi for not going caving with us next week - he's going caving.

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