Lancaster Hole
Saturday, 7 October 2006

Another Old Gits caving trip, this time with the objective of going in Lancaster Hole and coming out of Wretched Rabbit. We arrived at Bull Pot farm to find lots of NPC types expecting to go on Bert’s birthday trip but who hadn’t been told that it had been cancelled due to the high water levels. Recognizing some ULSA types that he knew, Mark joined us and after saying a quick hello to Dinny who was busy doing DIY at the farm we set off to Lancaster Hole.

Even though the big NPC trip had been cancelled it was still very busy and we had to wait for a party to descend ahead of us; meanwhile whilst we were descending another group arrived behind us. The multiplicity of ropes and ladders was to make things interesting later.

None of us had been to Lancs for a very long time and even though there was lots of consulting of copies of the guide book and survey we still managed to end up visiting The Craters before arriving at Fall Pot.

Even though it had stopped raining overnight lots of water was splashing through the boulder choke down to the main streamway. The streamway itself was extremely wet, being between mid thigh and chest deep with fast flowing water. Even though the forecast was dry and water levels were dropping (we could see foam on the roof and walls 20-30 feet up in places) we only managed to make it a short distance upstream before thinking better of it.

After a quick visit downstream to the sump to see even more impressive signs of the recent high water levels we decided against trying our hand at navigating the High Level route and instead headed back to make an early exit via Lancaster Hole. Here the fact that ever party except us (we were ghosting on the NPC gear) had rigged the pitch meant that we had a bad case of MRT (Multiple Rope Technique). Towards the top of the pitch we had to negotiate a plait of ropes at the rebelay followed by a spaghetti junction of rope and ladder which made the last section above the rebelay take as long as the long section below.

Then it was back to Ingleton for tea followed by a selection of the 22 real ales on offer at the Marton Arms to plan the next trip.