Friday 18 November 2016

17th November 2016 - Welcome to my world

With heavy rain falling, plans for the evening needed changing and driving up the Lune valley, the flooding reaffirmed we'd made the right decision. As we climbed up to Bull Pot Farm, the rain changed, first to sleat, then to snow. It was going to be a chilly one!

I set off rigging down the entrance tube and was quickly followed to the well watered base of the pitch by Tony, international guest star David and finally Dick.

Rigging the Lancaster Hole entrance pitch

Tony leaving the ledge and heading down the main pitch

Dick arriving at the bottom of the main pitch
Normally the words, "Welcome to my world." hold fairly negative connotations.  If however your name is Slug, I'd be a pretty chuffed person uttering them. Slug's World is a grand little place!  There are some lovely little features including some pretty big helectites.

Quick break at the end of Slug's World

Helectites in Slug's World

Another view of the helectites
From Slug World we retraced our steps back past the pitch before following the well trodden route to Bridge Hall and the obligatory trip up to see the Colonnades. Mention has to be made of the fantastic work done here and elsewhere in the Dales, by the likes of Ray Duffy, painstakingly cleaning formations and trying to return them to their former glory. It's massively appreciated.

Back down in Bridge Hall, we slithered into Kath's way, stomped along Bill Taylor's passage and stepped gingerly across into Montagu Cavern. Whether it's a trick of the memory, or the action of water after last year's floods, it seems that some of the holes in the floor in these parts are bigger than they ever used to be!

We followed the climbs down into the vastness of Fall Pot, before climbing back up into the high level series and Montagu East, finally making the traverse of the areas that allows passage across Stake Pot.  We had decided that our turn around point would be the Painter's Pallete, but again our collective memories seemed to be playing tricks on us as we remembered it being much closer to Bob's Boss than it actually is.  Just short as it turns out,  we began our return journey.

The foot of the pitch was fairly damp and unfortunately I was wearing my leaky suit which just seemed to collect and funnel water to places that generally prefere being warm and dry.

Time to head back up the pitch
Tony's speedy ascent and de rig allowed a collective trudge back across the slowly becoming snow covered moor and the shelter of the van.  For those that grade changes, this must have rated quite highly, the sleaty snow stinging briefly bared flesh.
Closing the lid

At first I was concerned about trying to reach the Barbon Inn, the van's wheels spinning on the freshly fallen snow as we climbed up from Bull Pot Farm. As we descended the valley though it soon turned to rain and we arrived just before the bar man shut up shop. A grand pint and a warm fire were a fitting end to the evening.

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