Friday 8 August 2014

Half day Caving Session in the Yorkshire Dales National Park. Tuesday 5th August 2014

Last Tuesday, Iain ran a half day Caving Session in the Yorkshire Dales for Bob, Jenny & Alex Lee. The family were holidaying in the area and staying in Ingleton and they decided to call in to Inglesport to see if a recommendation for a caving instructor could be found to provide their son, Alex, with his first caving experience.

Inglesport recommended that the family contact us; and as it happened, we had a few spare days this week in which to arrange the caving session for them.

Iain met the family at Inglesport. Initially, it was decied that the venue would be Long Churns, but on arrival at Long Churns Lane Iain observed six minibuses parked meaning that there would be a lot of people underground. He did not think this would be condusive to a great caving experience for the family.

So instead, we went to Browgill Cave across the valley. Photo one sees Bob, Jenny & Alex as we were about to go underground at Browgill Cave.

Browgill Cave starts off as a walk in with the emerging stream to a low crawl before one suddenly finds ones-self in a high rift passage with the ceiling some 10 metres above.

We continued by following this rift which narrows in to the point where you can only progress by moving sideways along it as you head towards the distant rumble of the underground waterfall.

Before you get to the waterfall, there is a climb up left to another crawl which leads back to the stream and on to the infamous squeezes of The Letterbox or The Slot - both of which lead into Hainsworth's Passage in photo two.

Photo three was taken after all three of the family had emerged from Hainsworth's Passage into the larger cave which gradually increases with hieght and leads back to the main streamway again.

Bob and Jenny have been into Browgill before and know many of the cave systems to be found in the Yorkshire Dales. Back in the early 90's they were both part of a university Caving Club and had many adventures underground introducing freshers to the delights of caving. Now living on the south coast of England they are no longer involved with caving - but wanted son Alex to experience some proper caving - and so far, he was thoroughly enjoying himself!

Beyond Hainsworth's passage, the upper streamway leads on for some 400 metres. Starting as a low crawl that clearly floods when Browgill Beck is in spate, one eventually meets the stream as it sinks into the floor.

Continuing upstream a small rift is passed from which the stream emerges but the way on left leads back to the stream. Eventually daylight; and a waterfall can be seen in the distance. This is the point at which Browgill Beck enters the cave via the 11 metre drop that is Calf Holes - the scene of our Level 2 Caving Trip from last Sunday.

At this point, we turned around and headed back downstream. On arriving at Hainsworth's passage, we crawled back through and emerged at the stream - this time via the alternative route of The Slot.

We descended with the stream which quickly drops into a canyon and then shoots out into space in a large chamber at the end of the lower rift passage. The waterfall is about 8 metres high and cannot be descended so we climbed back upstream, then over and back down into the rift we had followed earlier before heading back out into daylight.

Photo five sees Jenny, Bob & Alex having dealt with the "sting in the tail" - the walk back uphill from the cave mouth to the dirt track that led back to the vehicle. Iain thought this photo worth taking - typical Yorkshire Dales scenery, beautiful, we are sure you'll agree!

Bob, Jenny & Alex's Introductory Caving Session in the Yorkshire Dales National Park cost just £45 per person. The price includes provision of all the equipment you see the family wearing and in this case, a lift from & back to Ingleton.

If you like the sound of a great caving session underground with an experienced and enthusiastic Cave Leader then contact us to book your session here. We look forward to working with you.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

What a fabulous time we had! We have just returned from our holiday in Ingleton to find, to our delight, an amazing write-up of our trip with Iain of KMS. We cannot thank Iain enough for his time last Tuesday. As pointed out, we were once keen and very active cavers whilst at Uni, but life got in the way and almost 20 years later we were able to come back to Ingleton and visit Browgill with Iain - an extremely friendly and professional leader whose knowledge of the local cave systems helped us relive some of the trips we had all those years ago. Iain was brilliant with our son, Alex, 10, who was keen to go on his first proper adventure underground, having visited White Scar Show Cave a few days earlier. We had a thoroughly enjoyable few hours underground and would absolutely recommend a trip with Iain of KMS for his enthusiasm and passion for the great outdoors!