Friday 7 December 2018

6th December 2018 - Jingling all the way

As we're now properly into advent and it's raining, a cave without a stream and a festive name felt in order and so off to Jingling we set.

The fog was thick as we eeked our way along the Kingsdale road, trying to pick out the relevant gate and parking spot.  Fortunately, even though it looked pretty miserable through the windscreen, the change wasn't too bad and we were soon heading up the hill to the Turbury road.

I don't know how many times we've headed up this way, but we always seem to arrive at a wall not fully sure which way to turn to get to a gate.  On this occasion we chose correctly and after a few metres arrived at the gate allowing access to the road.  What could have been quite a long search for the pot was made infinitely easier by Dick's GPS and the familiar entrance soon emerged from out of the clag.

The last time I'd done this pot was with Tony and we'd had to engage skills from our distant past as we unceremoniously lunged for tree branches, selecting the thickest to wrap slings around in order to rig the first pitch.  It turns out though that this is the same pot I'd also previously done with Dick and his niece and nephew, which begins with a lovely descent down a short gully, before a fine traverse along a ledge overlooking the main pot.  As two and two were slowly put together in my brain, Dick set off down the lovely gully.

Despite this being a "dry" pot under normal conditions, the last bolt on the traverse seemed to be under a leak of some sort and I didn't envy Dick even though he was rigging swiftly. A short descent from the traverse dropped us into the lateral cleft, where we swapped rigging duties.  This really is a superb little pot, with some terrific positions, the homely cleft ejecting us once more into the dank open shaft.  Oh for a deviation, the "leak" from the end of the traverse seemingly having increased in volume by this point.

The final pitch dropped us into the bottom of the rift and while each end of it soon closed down, a dig at the foot of the rope offered a way on.  The tail of the rope offered a useful hand line down the dug shaft, but I wasn't tempted by the horizontal continuation and I squirmed my way back up to the bottom of the pitch.

Even given the traverse's leak, which managed to deposit a drip right down by neck, we emerged onto the moor mostly dry and warm.  I could definitely get used to this type of caving!  We're also getting quite used to finishing the evening in the Marton Arms and it's great to see that they've even a few caving prints on the walls too.

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