Sunday, 1 July 2007
Mike had been on about visiting it for some time and with it not likely to flood it was worth a visit.
We aimed to rescale an aven and look at an old CPC dig. Chris and Tom so they could say that they went under ground this weekend, whilst Simon sat massaging a sore couch in Chris car. Mike rigged as the black clouds rolled in and we filed in one by one. Then it must have been just as Tom being at the back came in that the heavens opened. Mike quickly reached the bottom and set about climbing down the dig with the water, a tiny dribble of water ran down the wall here. Tom and I wriggled through to the bottom of the aven and then got the scaling gear passed in. Whilst I placed the first bolt mike started out the dig and Tom and Chris set off out. Mike joined me to life line and I got dressed in SRT kit etc.
As I had placed the second bolt and was about to spanner it in, the noises of a fettling about aven climber were drowned out by the unmistakable arrival of a flood pulse. Unsure about which parts of the cave may become active and being bolted to a wall an overwhelming feeling of panic over came me, as I wanted not to be attached to this wall. Mike lowered me off and we went to examine the stream.
Where a benign trickle had been flowing, a brown maelstrom made the passage down to the lower dig completely impassable (thus that part of the cave floods). So it was at this point that Mike and I were both relieved that we hadnt decided to start there. The CPC rope that was the handline Mike had used was still in place and needed retrieving before the washing it was having turned into a shredding. We managed this expecting to lose and tackle bag as it filled with water, but we were lucky and retrieved the lot. Then after some consideration and numerous reassurances from Mike that the known cave didnt flood. We returned to the aven scaling with a plan, if Mike had water appear around his wellies wed reconsider and explore our way out via a different route!!
The latter plan didnt have to be used as the dig had no problem in taking all the water. Our aven remained dry if somewhat nosier and ended at being scaled up a mud slope to a point where Mike and I struggled to get our heads out the rift after forcing them in to see what happened beyond.
Yes, glad I didn’t hang around in the dig! Its not easy digging when a raging torrent is washing the rocks you’ve removed back in, as well as yourself.
Noticed this comment on the CDG website from Mr Cordingley “DALES: there’s been a major storm on the west side of Ingleborough this afternoon (Sunday 1st); the GG system is in full flood.”
Monday, 02 July 2007
I can only hope the couch has now recovered.
Thursday, 05 July 2007