Wednesday 2 July 2014

Caving in The Yorkshire Dales. Long Churns. Tuesday July 1st 2014.

Yesterday, Iain was working for Great Tower Scout Camp providing a caving experience for a group of pupils from Elmore Hall School in County Durham.

We do, of course, provide our own Caving Courses in The Yorkshire Dales National Park - so if you are interested in having a real adventure underground then contact us directly.

This group had requested to be taken to Long Churns on the Yorkshire Dales National Park. Photo one sees them sat at Diccan Entrance as we commenced our caving adventure.

Long Churns is a great place for an Introductory Caving Trip in The Yorkshire Dales National Park and most children staying at a residential Outdoor Centre in The Lake District or the Yorkshire Dales will visit these caves for their first caving experience.

Many will remember the famous Cheese Press as here in photo two; although not all sections of Long Churns are as tight as this. The cave system contains passages of all sizes - wet ones, dry ones, big ones and small ones. A fear of small spaces (claustrophobia) often gets mentioned as being would be cavers biggest concerns - but it doesn't have to be a concern here in Long Churns - there are ways around all of the small spaces!

Photo Three sees Paul, Lucy and Mike attempting to avoid the wetness of Plank Pool in Lower Long Churns - without much luck though! At least they are still smiling so one can assume they are enjoying themselves - they were!

The rest of the group - all pupils at this School for children with special educational needs had not been caving before, but they were all thoroughly enjoying their caving session which involved a lot of exploration as well as the challenge of tight & wet crawls and some deep pools to avoid.

As already mentioned, we started off by entering Lower Long Churns via Diccan Entrance to get to The Cheese Press and then made our way via Plank & Double Shuffle Pools back to the main streamway - exiting via the downstream exit back to Diccan Entrance.
We then re-entered the cave system at Middle Entrance - returning downstream to the mouth of Cross Passage (also known as Baptistry Crawl) which Iain allowed the group to explore themselves to the upstream connection with Upper Long Churns Cave.

After a quick visit back to Middle Entrance, the group led on, upstream to Doctor Bannisters Washbasin where there is a deep pool some 10 metres across. Here, the water from Alum Pot Beck enters down a waterslide.

Mike can be seen is photo four as he clambers up the waterslide - a questionable tactic were there to any amount of water coming down this pitch, but as it was, with the lack of rain recently, there was only a trickle of water (well - in comparison to the normal flow level!) flowing down, so on this occasion, it was quite safe without a rope.

Only a matter of 20 metres or so above Doctor Bannister's Washbasin, one arrives again in daylight at the upstream entrance to the Long Churns Cave system.

We had only been underground on this Introductory Caving Session in The Yorkshire Dales National Park for some 2 & a half hours, but for the lads, that was enough.

The plan now - to pack up and head back to Inglesport to return the hired lamps & helmets and enjoy tea and cake in their legendary cafe; and did it taste good!

Our half day Introductory Caving sessions in The Yorkshire Dales National Park start at £45 per person and includes the provision of Caving oversuits, belts, wellingtons, helmets & caving lamps as well as qualified instruction. Our sessions typically last four hours so if you want to have as much fun and enjoy as great an adventure as these people did - then give us a call soon!

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