Monday 4 August 2014

Caving Sessions in The Yorkshire Dales National Park. August 3rd 2014.

Yesterday, Iain was out again -this time Caving in the Yorkshire Dales National Park with Sarah Huntley & her husband Richard.

Sarah enjoys the outdoor life - being brought up by parents who love doing stuff in the outdoors and indeed, Sarah's Mum - Doreen, booked her daughter an activity day with us by way of buying one of our Gift Vouchers as a Christmas Present - what a lovely idea!

It took until yesterday for Sarah to redeem her gift voucher due to an unexpected setback some months earlier, but the pair met Iain at Inglesport yesterday morning as the starting point for the day of caving and abseiling that had been previously arranged.

Photo one sees Richard & Sarah as we started our Introductory Caving Session at Long Churns at around 10am.
We did our usual Introductory Caving Session with this pair - starting at Middle Entrance and making our way down into Lower Long Churns to ultimately arrive at the famous (or infamous!) Cheese Press where both successfully squeezed through - easily as it happens! We then made our way to the head of the Dolly Tubs Pitch so that, with lights out, we could see the daylight entering from Alum Pot.

On the way back out, we exited via Diccan Entrance - taking a quick detour to the pitch head of Diccan Pot via the streamway (which is where photo two was taken) before re-appearing in daylight at Diccan Entrance.

As the pair were truly enthusiastic about caving and already pretty wet, we did the upstream crawl from Diccan entrance to Middle Long Churns and then headed into Cross Passage, ultimately emerging in Upper Long Churns - a wide, roomy passageway.

After returning to daylight at Middle Entrance and then climbing the entrance waterfall, we continued along Upper Long Churns, eventually arriving at the large pool of Doctor Bannister's Washbasin.

Here, we climbed the waterfall to emerge into somewhat inclement weather at the upstream entrance into the Long Churns Cave system. The time was about mid-day!

Normally, photo three - taken on the nearby Limestone pavement would also see a view across Ribblesdale to Penyghent - one of the Yorkshire 3 peaks. Today, that view was shrouded in rain.

For the afternoon option, Iain give the pair three choices - either Abseiling in the wet or an Indoor Climbing Session at Inglesport Wall. Or, provided it didn't get too wet; an introduction to Level 2 Caving at Browgill Cave.

He wasn't really that surprised when they chose the Level 2 Caving option - so what is level 2 caving?

Well, all of our Introductory Caving Sessions in The Yorkshire DalesNational Park are Level 1 Sessions - ie they are walk in/walk out caving trips with vertical pitches of no more than 2 metres involved.

A level 2 Caving Trip is an altogether more serious option only open to people who have already attended a level one trip with us and have exhibited confidence at that level. A Level 2 Caving Trip involves descending or climbing pitches of up to 18 metres or 60 feet. The pitch Iain is lowering Sarah down in photo four is no more than 11 metres.

The weather hadn't gotten any wetter after lunch, so Iain took the pair across valley to do the Calf Holes/Browgill Cave Trip.

This involves an 11 metre lower in to the cave from the surface next to a waterfall and then what is otherwise a Level 1 journey downstream and a tight squeeze through Hainsworth's Passage & The Slot to rejoin the stream and eventually emerge at daylight at Browgill Cave Entrance.

We could have called it a day there, but there was still plenty of time, so we turned around and made our way back to the Calf Holes pitch foot via a slightly different squeeze - The Letterbox (photo five) and then finally, Iain laddered the pair back up the Calf Holes pitch.

This was a truly adventurous day for Sarah & Richard as well as being challenging & strenuous. Our caving sessions are not all like that - we tailor them to your requirements and it was clear that this pair were up to a bit more of a challenge. They had a great day and Iain enjoyed providing it for them.

Sarah & Richard's Caving Day in the Yorkshire Dales National Park cost them £150 or £75 each and all of the equipment you see the pair wearing was included in the price. Our half day Introductory Caving Sessions in the Yorkshire Dales National Park start at just £45 per person with all technical equipment provided and our next blog post will be about just such a session we are running tomorrow.

Caving is fun and everyone should try it at least once! Contact us here to book your session here.

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