Tuesday 26 July 2011

25th July 2011 - The Cupcake

It has to be something pretty special to get the TNC underground in the closed season, especially if it's the day that coincides with the English summer. An invitation from Dave Ramsay to be given a guided tour of the Cupcake and take some pictures of a new Panasonic drill in action was just enough incitement though.

Once down the finely crafted entrance pitches, the eponymous cupcake soon comes into view. Moving on into Pool chamber further collections of formations adorn small grottos too. But this isn't what the Cupcake is about and once down the Mud pitch we headed quickly for Sludge Crawl.

If you are unfortunate enough to be the first person through the crawl, then you will be disappointed that the liquid mud is covered by a centimetre or two of crystal clear water. Better to wait 'til one or two people have been through and mixed the water and mud into a homogeneous soup reminiscent of sadly odourless, slurry.

Cupcake doesn't just do horizontal liquid mud either, some of the pitches are made entirely of mud, that by some miracle of the fundamental constants of nature, allow its viscosity to be such that it can form almost vertical walls.

Close to the connection point with Notts II, the mud even goes as far as to take on a beauty of its own, forming a city of towering skyscrapers, each capped by a small, protective stone. Sadly, I need more practice with my new camera and their architectural grandeur eluded my memory card.

Dave then got into position with his drill and hopefully, despite not having a "DIY tools" setting on my camera, we hopefully managed to get a usable shot.

Huge thanks go to the diggers for creating the access to this particularly muddy part of Yorkshire and to Dave especially for also showing us around.

Tom realises why John doesn't answer Alistairs calls any more

Alistair "enjoying" himself

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