Cherry Tree Hole (Far North)
Sunday, 6 August 2006
Worried that not enough caving had been done on the Saturday to justify the greasy breakfast and the chips, we met up at White Scar early in the morning to see whether we could get a trip past the show cave. Unfortunately, this wasn’t possible, and so we retreated to Ingle-thief to have some more food and tea, and decide on an alternative.
As we both had wetsuits, we decided on Cherry Tree with the aim of going through the duck and getting into the well decorated Far North extensions.
Reached the entrance around midday after only very, very minimal searching of the moor (unlike my last visit when we searched the moor for well over an hour but couldn’t find it). Getting changed proved to be very unpleasant due to the plague of flies that descended on our sweaty bodies as soon as we got there. Much cursing of these evil, pointless little creatures ensued along with much insane galloping around the fell to get away from them, very un-successfully I might add! The cooler temperatures found at the bottom of the entrance climb provided much-needed relief though.
The entrance pitch was quickly rigged (ladder being about 3 or 4 metres short), and we were soon on our way to the main junction, which we eventually reached after getting a little lost!
The fine Far Stream Passage was then followed, and soon later the duck was reached. With helmets off, and heads-on-side, this could be done on one’s front and isn’t very long. I expect in normal conditions, this could be very unpleasant.
A short crawl leads to a climb up into Aurora Hall, with some nice straws. A crawl through boulders leads back into the small streamway which is followed to Blackstone chamber, which has many superb straws, and is well worth going through the duck for, especially when you’re in a wetsuit and are toasty warm!!
A larger stooping height passage is quickly gained after Blackstone chamber, but soon degenerates into a short hands and knees/flat-out crawl, and then a wet hands-and-knees crawl up Morass Inlet quickly ends at the upstream sump.
Pleased to have reached the end, we set off back out, having a quick look at the Terminus (another short section of passage leading off from Blackstone chamber) on the way.
Steady progress soon saw us back at the main junction, where we had a look downstream before heading out. Soon back on the surface where the flies had been waiting patiently for us!!!!