Tuesday 10 September 2013

Half day Caving Sessions in the Yorkshire Dales National Park. Sunday 1st September 2013.

After working with Bob & Paul Bettinson on Derwent Water, Iain was back in action the following day - this time caving in the Yorkshire Dales National Park with Chris Farrar & his partner Yvonne. Photo one sees the pair near to the tree ringed shaft of Alum Pot - part of the Long Churns System

Chris had enquired about one of our half day Caving Sessions in The Yorkshire Dales National Park some time previously, Yvonne wasn't sure that caving would be her thing but was game to give it a try!

Iain took the pair on his standard Long Churns Tour - we went underground at Middle Entrance and downstream onwards to Lower Long Churns - en route for The Cheese Press and Dolly Tubs where one can enter Alum Pot from Underground.

Photo two shows the pair having already avoided a thorough soaking at Double Shuffle Pool contemplating getting past the next obstacle - Plank Pool - without getting too wet! Apparently, there used to be a wooden plank spanning this pool and it is from that which it gets it's name. Iain has to confess that he has never seen the plank and whilst he was able to traverse the pool without getting wet himself - both of the other two got a wee bit damp!

Following this it was on to The Cheese Press - a challenging low flat out bedding plane crawl. Chris managed to get through, Yvonne found it just a bit to challenging but reversed out back in to Cheese Press Chamber at an impressive speed!

After a quick visit to the top of the Dolly Tubs 15 metre pitch into Alum Pot and "lights off" to see the daylight entering, we returned to Lower Long Churns and made our way back out to daylight via Diccan Entrance. This involves breaking off right from the main lower passageway in to a smaller side passage which ultimately lowers to a short flat out crawl (photo three) just before one ends up back at the main streamway heading for the the Diccan Pot shaft in to Alum Pot. At this point daylight is visible upstream and after a short crawl we were back out in the fresh air.
Our usual route on a Long Churns Half Day Caving Session is to either do the wet upstream crawl from Diccan Entrance back in to Middle Long Churns or re-enter Middle Entrance and retrace our steps as far as Cross Passage (also known as Babtistry Crawl) and follow this to rejoin the main streamway in Upper Long Churns. However, the pair were happy to miss this out and so we headed upstream from Middle Entrance and ultimately on to Doctor Bannisters Washbasin where Alum Pot Beck enters the system - crashing down a waterslide into a large pool -The Washbasin.

Today, the water level in Long churns was very low, so rather than employ the usual assisted hoist on the waterfall, Iain just gave Yvonne (photo four) and Chris a leg up - it was that easy!

Our final photo in this half day caving post sees Iain (in the white helmet) and Chris stood atop the Limestone Pavement near to the upstream entrance in to Upper Long Churns with Penyghent in the background.

The bare limestone came about as a result of glacial action at the end of the last ice age 15'000 years ago when, basically, the glacier scraped everything off this rock. The surface now consists of little channels worn into the rock called Grykes and the ridges inbetween are called Clints. The Grykes caused by rainwater dissolving the limestone - a form of "chemical weathering".

Chris & Yvonne paid £45 each for their Caving Session in The Yorkshire Dales National Park with Iain and they were provided with caving oversuits, wellingtons and caving belts with the helmets & lights having been hired from nearby Inglesport - undoubtedly the best rendezvous in the Yorkshire Dales National Park for cavers and any outdoor sports enthusiast. To book your Half Day Caving Session in the Yorkshire Dales National Park, contact us here. We look forward to working with you.

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