Grey Wife Hole
Saturday, 15 September 2007

As both Sam Allshorn and myself had plans in the evening, we decided on a trip down the short but fine Grey Wife Hole on Newby Moss. This trip was to also represent my latest dabbling in the dark art of underground photo-faffing.

After a fine, albeit sickly breakfast in Inglesport (its been a while), we headed over to Newby Cote and proceeded up the fell to the entrance, with black clouds looming threateningly. One can’t help thinking of the potential of this area, with the major caves comprising just Grey Wife Hole and Newby Moss Pot – there must be lots more!

From the entrance, a climb down through a stabilised boulder choke leads down to a low crawl improving to a pleasant narrow streamway ending at the first pitch. This was pretty dry today and drops into the sump, Paradox Pond. Here we had a stop for some photo-faffing before proceeding over the filthy, uninspiring looking sump pool (last bits tricky to stay dry) to the other side, where a different streamway was then followed upstream.

Eventually we arrived at a chamber and the start of Jim’s Traverse, with an old rope hanging down from above. I belayed Sam Allshorn across the traverse, which was pretty straightforward although exposed, and then followed removing the gear.

Another 5-10mins of mostly crawling led to a small chamber with some very nice formations including 2m long straws in the roof. A 30min or so stop here to take some photos allowed us to cool off ready for the 3m long duck, which today, had plenty of airspace, but was rather chilly!!

Once through this, we explored the boulder choke to be found on this side (where we might have entered some new passage….not sure yet) before returning through the duck and heading out. Didn’t take long to reach the surface which was reached around 5.30pm.

Excellent trip. Photos to follow at some point.

Comments

How could spaghetti on toast with cheese and three sausages not be sickly!

Having spoken with those involved a surveying trip is required to survey the new passage.

Beyond the waterfall a further ~1m climb leads to a tiny chamber with a choke, a crawl to the right is narrow but not tight, approximately 2m long. Then a further turn around chamber is encountered,
with boulders on the right (break through point).

A large black space could be seen beyond these and so after attempting to move a large block to get in, which was quickly abandoned as it was too big. Mike and i managed to squeeze past (not very tight mostly intimidating as it’s surrounded by loose shitty rock) it into a tall chamber ~4x5m irregular floored chamber where at the far side a 1m climb down lead to a wriggle in the streamway and a further large passage again having large muddy blocks jammed in the roof.

This passage ascended passing inlets on both sides to lead under a massive poised block. This passage choked here but it could be seen to continue above.

The first inlet on the true left had a sharp flake knocked off and a further 1m of passage was accessed to a total choke of black slimey rocks with earth worms!!

Then the inlet on the right was examined and appeared to close down, but whilst getting this view a squeeze between two blocks was required. The larger of the two turned out to be a massive turn
stile, as it piveted and made the squeeze larger, much to my initial alarm and rapid relief.

Most of this new passage is rather loose, but was a very easy find.

Sam Allshorn

Thursday, 20 September 2007

Images
Sam Allshorn at top of First Pitch
Posted by: Mike Bottomley
Size: 36kb
Width: 388 pixels
Height: 576 pixels
Posted: 24 September 2007
Paradox Pond
Posted by: Mike Bottomley
Size: 45kb
Width: 411 pixels
Height: 575 pixels
Posted: 24 September 2007
2m straws in roof of chamber
Posted by: Mike Bottomley
Size: 49kb
Width: 571 pixels
Height: 399 pixels
Posted: 24 September 2007
Formations
Posted by: Mike Bottomley
Size: 42kb
Width: 382 pixels
Height: 573 pixels
Posted: 24 September 2007
Strange formations
Posted by: Mike Bottomley
Size: 44kb
Width: 587 pixels
Height: 418 pixels
Posted: 24 September 2007