Notts 2 + Election Hole
Friday, 27 February 2004
Tathams Wife was the planned trip for the Saturday, I wasn’t completely devastated to be informed on the drive up that a group from York University were heading down the already congested cave, meaning we’d best find something else to do. Plans were adjusted over second breakfast at the inglesport, we broke off from the main lot and made our way up to Leck Fell for a bimble down Notts 2.
I opted for a wetsuit with the intention of going for a nice swim in the upstream sump. Luke seemed less enthusiastic upon discovering he’d forgotten his undersuit. I suspect this was an excuse to get out of going caving but luckily Carl had a spare one. I very quickly regretted my choice of attire as we entered the flood bypass (something I hadn’t done before and so was therefore worth doing), this led to me getting very hot and bothered. After wandering down the various inlets and crawls that deviate from the main streamway we got to the deep pools in the main passage where I was quickly out of my depth and treading water much to everyone’s amusement. Upon reaching the dive line we had a poke around some of the far passages that extend just above the sump, which I’d never seen before. Exhausting most of these passages we headed back towards the downstream sump, I turned around before reaching it as I notice everyone had given up following me in the rather dismal crawl. We exited with daylight to spare and headed to Bullpot Farm for DIY pizzas courtesy of Carl. Very efficient and fun trip.
The following day Carl and myself headed to Fountains Fell to survey Election Hole (which had mostly been referred to as ‘bumhole’ up until this point). After a minor cock-up involving wellies we set about finding the cave. The entrance is a slimy, unremarkable hole hidden away under a sneakily placed boulder in a large shakehole not far from Gingling Hole. Carl, being the man in the know, assured me this was actually the cave and to tread lightly so as not to disturb the shoring holding up the entrance. A few metres in, past a short climb down, we started surveying the crawling height passage that extends north (I think). Progress was slow, only surveying probably less than 20 metres but such is to be expected in crawly tubes without a disto. We located the 5m pitch marked on the previous survey but failed to find any bolts to descend it, only one dubious looking natural, set back a metre or so form the pitchhead, that didn’t really inspire confidence. Fed up with surveying we had a nosey around the rest of the cave, which doesn’t take very long unless you want to get very soggy and miserable. The alternate passage that extends from the chamber we began surveying from leads to a short free climb down and then a low wet crawl. Feeling unequipped for that we headed out just in time to catch the sunset and some fantastic views. Excellent weekend of caving.