Wednesday 12 February 2014

Caving sessions in the Yorkshire Dales National Park. Wednesday 29th January 2014.

Winter in The Lake District can be a cold, wet time of year and so far the winter of 2013-14 has been just that! However, you can still get out and have an adventure with Kendal Mountaineering Services and either wrap up warmly - or go underground!

That was exactly the though of Beccy Phillips and Aldene Woodward when they booked an Introductory Caving Day in the Yorkshire Dales National Park with Iain.

Photo one shows the pair as we made our way underground from Diccan entrance in Long Churns - one of the areas best introductory caving venues.

The pair enjoy spending time in the outdoors - hillwalking & mountain biking amongst other things and on this visit to The Lake District, had decided to try caving. The weather was ok, cool but not too windy or wet and water levels were moderate in Long Churns.

As an army group arrived around about the same time as us, Iain took the pair straight in via the shortest route to The Cheese Press (photo two) where Al can be seen here giving this famous tight squeeze a go. Good effort!

After trying The Cheese Press for size, we visited the top of The Dolly Tubs Pitch where daylight was clearly visible entering from Alum Pot before heading upstream visiting Middle Entrance and then Cross Passage (Baptistry Crawl).

After revisiting Middle Entrance from its upstream entrance, we then continued on through Upper Long Churns to exit via the waterslide at Doctor Bannisters Washbasin.

There was as much water as we wanted in Long Churns today, any more would have certainly made the fall at Doctor Bannisters a bit tricky but as it was, this "up for it" pair took everything in their stride! Beccy can be seen doing exactly that in photo three as she "bridges" across a notorious deep pool in Upper Long Churns.
The pair were quite keen to try something harder in the afternoon so Iain offered them the option of a level 2 Caving Session in the Calf Holes/Browgill system. If you are wondering what the difference is a Level One Caving Session has vertical drops of no more than 2m involved whereas a level 2 Session has vertical pitches of up to 18m (60 feet) involved. The entrance pitch to Calf Holes is 11m (33 feet).

A level 2 Caving Session is therefore a more serious proposition and requires more equipment and skill to keep people safe, but Calf Holes is a relatively straightforward pitch and easy to manage. So, Iain was happy to lower the pair down so that we could then investigate downstream in Browgill Cave.

There was as much water in Browgill Cave today as Iain wanted to see and indeed the volume and noise of the water made it seem a more challenging environment than Long Churns. After lowering the pair down the Calf Holes Pitch, we made our way downstream, squeezed through Hainsworths Passage and "The Slot" and descended to marvel at the absolutely thundering waterfall below. Shortly afterwards, we emerged at the downstream exit (photo four) where the pair, were happy to call it a day.

This exciting, adventurous & challenging Caving Day in The Yorkshire Dales National park cost Beccy & Aldene £75 each. For that they got a full day out with a qualified & experienced Cave Leader and were provided with all of the equipment you can see them wearing. To book your caving session with us contact Iain here. Caving is one thing you can do underground when above ground - the weather might not be fit to do much. Our caving trips usually start with our meeting at Inglesport in Ingleton - the areas best outdoor sports shop with it's legendary cafe.

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