Monday 10 October 2011

Caving half day session in the Yorkshire Dales National Park with Kendal Mountaineering Services. September 27th 2011.

September 2011 did not get off to a good start here in The Lake District. From the end of August until the last week of September it really felt like Autumn had set in with a vengance, it was cold and wet - until the last week, that is!

Ruth O'Brien booked a half day beginner's caving session in The Yorkshire Dales National Park with Iain from Kendal Mountaineering Services. The first photograph shows the pair on the limestone pavement at Long Churns with Penyghent in the background on what was a beautiful hot sunny day - hardly a day to be caving underground!

The pair had travelled up from the south coast for a week long holiday in The Lake District National Park,had done some hillwalking amongst other things but wanted to try something new & exciting and a beginners caving session can be just that!

Iain took the pair to the Long Churns cave system near Ribblehead in the Yorkshire Dales National Park and in photo two Steve pops out of the well known "Cheese Press" a bedding plane crawl through the tightest part of the Longs Churns beginners cave session.

As there were a number of large groups in Long Churns Lane when we arrived, Iain chose to take the pair in to the cave system via the Diccan entrance and quickly down to the Cheese Press and Cathedral Cavern. Here, at the pools known as the Dolly Tubs, Iain got the pair to switch out their lights and we could make out daylight entering from the massive Alum Pot.

Making our way upstream via middle Churns, Plank & Double Shuffle Pools we popped out at the Surface at Middle Entrance having climbed the entrance waterfall before heading up Baptistry Crawl with its fine formations & "Font" before reappearing in the main streamway upstream from Middle Entrance.

Photo Three shows Ruth and Steve in Diccan Entrance - having just undertaken the first crawl through from Alum Pot Beck to a point where they can once again stand up.

On arriving at the upper end of Babtistry Crawl, we quickly linked back to Middle Entrance before heading upstream on our beginners caving session towards Doctor Bannister's Washbasin and our final roped climb up the waterfall there and back out of the cave to daylight.

Long Churns is a fantastic Level One introductory caving trip and the venue sees lots of people going underground to be introduced to caving for the first time.

There are tight passages such as the Cheese Press, big ones such as the main streamway, wet passages, dry ones and climbs such as the one here (photo four) from Cathedral Chamber back into the Cheese Press Chamber. Caving is a great activity for people of all ages, a chance to have a real adventure and challenge yourself. Prices with Kendal Mountaineering Services for a beginners caving session start at £45 per person for a half day session and you get all of the equipment you see Ruth & Steve wearing as part of your fee.

Caving is a great activity to do during the autumn weekends where you can have fun underground sheltered from any inclement weather and no matter how wet it may have been Iain knows plenty of caving venues that are still suitable even when water levels are up.

The rest of the photographs from Ruth & Steves introductory caving session in the Yorkshire Dales National park can be viewed here.

To arrange your Autumn caving session underground with Kendal Mountaineering Services contact us. We look forward to working with you.

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