Wednesday 30 April 2014

Stag Events in Yorkshire. Caving in The Yorkshire Dales National Park. 26th April 2014.

At Kendal Mountaineering Services, we work with a team of hand picked associate instructors. These individuals have been selected for their experience, qualifications and people skills. On occasion, Iain finds his services being called upon by one of our associate businesses and this was the case last Saturday when Iain was asked by Live For Today Adventures to deliver a half day Caving Session in The Yorkshire Dales National Park.

David Anderson had booked a half day Caving and a half day Quad Biking with Live For Today. We arranged to meet the Group at Inglesport in Ingleton before heading off to Long Churns near Ribblehead. Photo one sees the lads dressed up & ready to go - guess which one is the Stag!

For a change - rather than heading straight off to do The Cheese Press (many a novice cavers often best recollected experience) we headed to the top entrance/exit to the Long Churns cave system - and descended the waterfall to Doctor Bannister's Washbasin.

In photo two, the stag can be seen descending this waterfall - hand over hand on a doubled rope (the water level in Long Churns was low so this was safe to do). Here, the waterfall is not vertical but descends  as a water slide dropping off a small lip into the pool below. Iain's advice to anyone descending the fall was to try to keep their feet out of the water to avoid a drenching at the bottom and Martin, our assistant Cave Leader for the session was on hand to grab people to stop them from falling into the pool. To enter Long Churns this way was an exciting start to the lads caving session with us.
Once down the waterfall at Doctor Bannister's Washbasin, Martin headed off downstream in the cave system of Upper Long Churns whilst Iain de-rigged the rope and then caught the party up. He did so at a point where Martin, a very experienced Cave Leader was showing the lads a point where flood debris (flotsam) had collected on an occasion when a party had been trapped underground - this point was almost 2 metres above the floor of the cave showing that water had risen to that level!

If this puts you off the idea of going caving then don't be - just make sure that you go underground with one of our experienced & knowledgeable Cave leaders who won't take you somewhere you may be at risk if conditions are wet!

Shortly after this point the Stag Party split into two - with Martin taking some of the lads out to Middle Entrance & on whilst Iain took the keener group through the more strenuous Cross Passage (Baptistery Crawl) we then regrouped for the next interesting section - Double Shuffle Pool in Lower Long Churns which David (in photo three) is about to descend.

Shortly after negotiating the tricky down climb at Double Shuffle Pool, one crosses Plank Pool (so called because apparently there was once a plank spanning it!) before arriving at the route to Diccan Entrance - the lowest of the walk in & out entrances to the Long Churns Cave System.

Some of our group were happy to call time on the caving at this point whilst some wanted to go and experience The Cheese Press (photo four).

After this we headed back to surface to join the rest of the lads and pack up as they needed to get on the road to Otley for their afternoon Quad Biking session.

All of David Anderson's Stag Party thoroughly enjoyed their half day Introductory Caving Session in The Yorkshire Dales with Iain & Martin and we hope they enjoyed the rest of their afternoon with the Live for Today Adventures Team. Each member of the group paid just £35 for their half day session with us which included the provision of Caving Over-suits, Wellington Boots, Caving Belts and helmets with lights. Caving is often a popular session with Stag & Hen Parties looking for an event with a difference. Contact us to arrange your Stag or Hen Event here. We look forward to working with you.

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