Saturday 14 April 2012

14th April 2012 - Simpson pot

With Lee over from Germany and having just completed a walk across the Lakeland skyline, a caving trip in keeping with his hiking adventure was required. A through trip in Simpson with a guarantee of a soaking in its (currently) very cold water would fit the bill perfectly.

"Yellow suit, wellies, what else?"

Though the sun was shining the chilly wind ensured a brisk change and for Lee, a quick reacquaintance with putting on SRT gear. Not normally caving on a weekend the hoards changing next to the road came as a bit of a shock. Fortunately of the groups there, two were going into Valley entrance and the other into Swinsto. Kitted up, it was then of up the hill to find the entrance to Simpson.

Another classic Simpson pitch

Having negotiated the entrance crawl, the pitches soon began and as usual Dick was in his element, efficiently rigging them while Lee and myself bumbled along behind. Strangely the way on departs from the water's route but it's departure would not be long lived.

"I'm sure that's got deeper"

While the duck is only short, the dark peaty water doesn't look overly inviting and the temperature of the water we'd already gone through didn't make it's negotiation any more appealing either. Going through first in order to take pictures of the others resurfacing, I found the driest bit of ground to put my camera cases on, before gingerly getting out a camera and flash. It was only when Dick came through last that he noticed that my careful stacking had produced a rather fine dam, reducing the airspace for him and Lee by a good 6 inches.

Camera box "dam"

The slot pitch could not be better described, but with a pre-rigged deviation over the top of it, we opted for the easier option.

Going up and down the slot pitch

At the junction with Swinsto we met the couple just finishing their through trip and we set off down the final pitch. Unfortunately a slip for Lee left him in the full force of the water, the torrent bouncing of his chest into his face while he tried to descend the last few feet. I imagined the roaring of the water, but Lee said the only thing he'd been able to hear was Dick wetting himself laughing.

All the time in the water was now beginning to take it's toll and the final crawl through to the main streamway certainly didn't help matters. Ever the professional, once we were through, Dick happily returned to lay in the water to allow a photo or two to be taken.

Joining the main streamway

A warming stomp down the main streamway then soon brought us to the pitch up into Valley entrance.

The pitch up into Valley entrance

Despite being in easier cave it was once again back into the water, before popping out of the plastic pipe into warming sunlight.

It's great that the Marton Arms is back as it provided a handy stop for a post cave pint and Lee's worries about his dress (pyjamas - long story) were soon allayed by the person stood at the bar dressed as Bananaman.

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