Wednesday 3 September 2014

Introductory Caving Courses in Yorkshire Dales National Park. Wednesday 27th August 2014.

After our great day of Guided Climbing in The Lake District, Iain met Nick & Freya in the Yorkshire Dales National Park for an Introductory Caving Session in Long Churns.

The weather was as good as the previous day - as can be seen from this photo taken in Long Churns Lane. Hardly a cloud in the sky!

We met at Inglesport in Ingleton for breakfast before we started our caving session. Popping into this great outdoor shop with it's fantastic cafe has been a tradition of ours for many years - just as it is with many other caving groups heading to enjoy all that this beautiful area has to offer adventure-wise, underground.

Photo two sees Freya & Nick in the main streamway in Middle Long Churns.

We had entered the system at Middle entrance and explored a few fossil passageways along the way before arriving here.

It was good to find Long Churns Lane devoid of minibuses and other user groups when we arrived today. Long Churns Cave System is a fantastic introduction to caving in the Yorkshire Dales National Park, However, it is also very popular with Outdoor Centres from all over The Lake District and Yorkshire and when there are five or more 17 seat minibuses in Long Churns Lane, it is a place best avoided.

However, in that scenario, we know many other great caves to take you for your first caving experience. Have a read of The Blog from July and you will see what we mean!

Photo three sees Freya as she slid, easily, through The Cheese Press. This challenging squeeze through a bedding plane between two layers of limestone, is Long Churns most often remembered section - by children & adults alike.

The crawl is only about 4 metres long but involves moving through with your helmet on its side, wriggling through on your forearms & toes.

After doing this - anything else in Long Churns is easy. Well done Freya!
After visiting Lower Long Churns and The Cheese Press, all three of us made our way to the top of the Dolly Tubs Pitch into Alum Pot - the great 80 metre shaft hidden in the small wood passed en route to Long Churns. With our lights switched off, we could faintly see daylight coming in from the shaft beyond.

We continued around Long Churns, visiting the top of Diccan Pot in the process and then briefly appeared above surface at Diccan Entrance before taking the wet crawl back upstream into Middle Long Churns. We then did a tour of Cross Passage before returning to Middle Entrance - climbing the entrance waterfall before heading upstream to climb the waterslide at Doctor Bannisters's Washbasin at the end of Upper Long Churns.

In photo four, Nick is seen climbing the waterslide where Alum Pot Beck enters Upper Long Churns and the large pool of the Washbasin.

Our final photograph is taken on the Limestone pavement near the entrance to Upper Long Churns.

This bare limestone was scraped clear of any surface cover by the great glacial icefield that retreated northwards at the end of the last ice age - over 15'000 years ago. The surface of the rock is now a maze of channels created as acidic rainwater erodes the rock and looks really impressive.

All that remained to do now was to return to the vehicles, get changed; and head back to Inglesport for some cake and a brew; or in Nick & Freya's case - some lunch.

Nick paid just £45 per person for this half day Introductory Caving Session in the Yorkshire Dales National Park and all of the equipment you see the pair wearing was provided as part of the fee.

As we move into Autumn, Caving is a great activity to try out - sheltered underground no matter what the weather might be doing above and having a really adventurous experience as you explore passageways - not knowing what is around the next corner! But of course you will always be accompanied by one of our experienced Caver Leaders who will look after your safety.

Caving should be tried by everyone at least once! Contact us here to book your trip, we look forward to working with you.

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