Saturday 18 May 2013

17th May 2013 - Beware the ghostly witch

Legend has it that an unwary traveller passing Ibbeth Peril may be dragged into a cave under the waterfall by a ghostly witch.  Given the amount of flood debris blocking the entrance though, I don't think this has happened in a while.

Spot the cave entrance

Once Dick had cleared the entrance a short crawl led through to an unexpectedly large chamber.  Though we had a survey, we realised almost immediately that things have changed in Ibbeth Peril since the 1960s and we set off exploring what looked like a fairly active dig.  A muddy tube soon led via a puddle and a corner to the dig face, so reverse gear was engaged and we set off, continuing our exploration of the main chamber.
Next up was a very pretty grotto, which had it been in Easegill or one of the more popular Dales caves would surely have been surrounded by tape.

We then made our way down through the boulders that make up the floor of the main chamber until a streamway was met which we explored until it sumped.  A detour on the return led to what looked like another dig site which led to open cave but I had too much in my pockets (this is my excuse anyway) to squeeze through.  Climbing up a bit further, Dick found yet another muddy tunnel, but this one was quite enjoyable, curving round in a big loop to join the main chamber once again.  Here another inlet led to yet another dig and a classic at that.  Sinking into a few inches of aqueous mud, I carried on until the water began to get a bit close to the roof for comfort and, not for the first time this evening, found myself wriggling backwards out of a muddy tube.
A more comfortable sized passage then led down to a proper Yorkshire streamway which in turn led to a pair of ominous static sumps, fly trap in nature, surrounded by steep mud sides.
Once again back in the main chamber, the final obvious way on took us up a great little waterfall into a fantastically sculpted streamway.  Once again though, not far along this, we found ourselves at a sump.

Returning to day light we went in search of the entrance to Ibbeth II, found under what seemed like a giant Beaver dam of debris.  Not familiar with the pubs in these here parts we found ourselves in The Sun, the only reason being it had a car park.  It's worth knowing they serve a very good pint.

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