Tuesday 13 August 2013

Introductory half day Caving Sessions in the Yorkshire Dales National Park Thursday 1st August 2013.

After what had been an exceptionally busy week for Kendal Mountaineering Services, Iain had a few days off before returning to the fray with a group or young people from several  families staying near Settle in the Yorkshire Dales who wanted to try out an Introductory Caving Session in the Yorkshire Dales National Park.

For an Introductory Caving Session we usually head to Long Churns near Ribblehead, but in all cases arrange to meet anyone wishing to go caving at the well known premises of Inglesport in Ingleton with it's great shop and renowned cafe.

Photo one shows the team (left to right Nick, Alex, Dave, Clare & Steve) in Middle Entrance at Long Churns.

Owing to the exceptionally wet weather the day before which had persisted throughout the night, Iain had a concern about the water level in Long Churns.

However, he found himself with a strong young group of people who had caved before and whilst water levels in "The Churns" were sporting, they were within acceptable limits and, as it was not raining, not likely to rise further.

Photo two shows Dave as he squeezes through the bedding plane crawl that is "The Cheese Press" much talked about by visitors to Long Churns and often known about by people who have never done it. Today, everyone on our group managed this - the most challenging part of their introductory caving session in the Yorkshire Dales National Park.

Following our time in Lower Long Churns and The Cheese Press, Iain took the group back out to daylight via Diccan Entrance (photo three) where one can see how much water there was in Alum Pot Beck.

Several of our party attempted the very wet bedding plane crawl (where the water issues from behind Nick & Dave) which was safe but challenging particularly as you have to exit up through a waterfall at the far end to get out. You can see more photos from this exciting wet caving trip here.
Having returned overland to Middle Entrance once again, we walked back downstream to where Cross Passage (also known as Babtistry Crawl) enters Lower Long Churns and crawled the several hundred metres through this stalagtite and flowstone decorated fossil passage back to the main Stream way where we turned down stream to visit Middle Entrance a third & final time.

We then about turned and headed upstream past Cross Passage and on into the upper reaches of Upper Long Churns finally arriving at Doctor Bannisters Washbasin (photo four).

Here, Alum Pot Beck crashes into the cave system from the surface landing in a very large & deep pool (the washbasin). Getting up the waterslide involves firstly stepping astride the jet descending in to the pool before climbing up (or in Nicks Case in photo four sideways shuffling up it - anything will do!) to the top of the waterslide. Once again, everyone made it without incident, well done!

Our final shot from this party's Introductory Caving Session in the Yorkshire Dales National Park sees everyone drying out in the sunlight on the limestone pavement not far from the upstream entrance to Long Churns.

The party had enjoyed a wet, challenging & exciting session with Iain underground on their introductory caving session and all agreed that despite having been caving before in France that this had been different; and more exciting - particularly due to the water level.

If you would like to try out a caving session in the Yorkshire Dales National Park with one of our qualified cave leaders then contact us here. Prices start at £45 per person for a half day (four hour) session or £70 for a full eight hour day of caving. You will be provided with all of the equipment you see these people wearing as part of your fee. Give caving a go, it's fun and you won't be disappointed!

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