Middle Scar Cave
Sunday, 2 August 2009

As i quite fancied a short dive somewhere and water levels were still a bit high (plus shite viz), I decided on a trip to Middle Scar Cave at Ribblehead. This had been recently visited by Ian and Simon from the white rose cpc and so inspired by their write-up i found myself at ribblehead around 4.30pm after procrastinating at the craven cottage for a bit.
http://www.white-rose.org.uk/modules.php?name=Reviews&rop=showcontent&id=135

Another perk of this trip is its close proximity to the road (about a couple of minutes walk at most). The entrance is a small hole dropping into a canal and the sump. After kitting up with single-set, i clambered down and inserted myself feet first along the low canal and into the sump. A short 6 or 7m dive quickly led to a deep out of depth canal in a gloomy passage. It was soon possible to tip-toe along the floor, and after a short section with a thick silty floor i came to a ledge in ankle deep water where i could de-kit.

Wandering upstream, a fine meandering walking-sized streamway (up to maybe 11 or 12m high) with lots of froth (streamway had recently been 2m deep) was followed to a 4m climb up a waterfall. Remembering the trip report from the white-rose site, i carefully clambered up the more solid rock to a sloping ledge to the top. Theres a tatty handline on this at the moment. More pleasant stream passage then led to a small chamber where you briefly leave the water before rejoining the streamway in a crawl. Soon enough, a junction is met. Left led to Rising Mirth passage after stepping through a few calcite windows. The passage was very similar to the passage in Black Reef cave, with lots of chert projections and flakes.

Pleasant progress with a bit of crawling soon led to the bottom of Parba Pot. I enjoyed immersing myself in the pool here for a few minutes to try and cool down – being far, far too hot in my 10mm of neoprene, before heading back downstream.

Back at the junction, i headed left up to sump 2 through a low wet crawl (with plenty of airspace) to a hands and knees section to the sump. Once again, i took my time coming back along the wet section to cool down and avoid heat exhaustion.

Quick progress downstream soon had me back at my kit, and after kitting up I dived back out to daylight. The water in the sump was very peat stained and had a blood-coloured tint to it, hence viz was pretty crap…..but there was only one bit where you had to duck under the wall, so wasn’t a problem.

Back on the surface, the weather had cleared to give a very pleasant sunny evening!

Cracking stuff! 🙂