Saturday, 27 August 2011
The morning saw us in the Salford reception before 9. Our van for the day turned out to be a Citroen Dispatch with the handbrake on the wrong side and severely lacking power. It needed full throttle to move off without stalling – maybe the turbo had blown.
After setting off I realised I had forgotten my caving gear – oops!
In Ingleton we were directed to Bernies by Kristian. We were out of Ingleton before we realised we had forgotten to hire a helmet for Sophie!
Eventually we reached Clapham and squeezed the van onto a patch of grass in the car park, which was full. We got changed and Kristian chatted up the local WI before we headed up Ingleborough.
There were many tourists as the Craven were having their annual Winch meet. One rambler told me he had crawled some way into the entrance of Bar. I told him he got very close to the head of a 15 m pitch!
We left our details at the big white tent then went underground. There were already two ropes and I added a third. At the bottom of the first pitch we met several Craven members and there were more at the top of the second pitch. After they had passed we descended and I performed my usual trick of landing on my arse.
We were delayed a bit further along as I spent some time complaining about the lack of P-hanger in the middle of the traverse above South East Pot. It was right behind me!
Kristian led the way down SE passage and not long afterwards we were in the main chamber (Hall of the Winds). This was Sophie’s first time and she seemed suitably impressed!
After a while we headed into Mud Hall. This place is massive and its darkness contrasted with the cheeriness of the floodlit main chamber. We headed to the bottom using various mud caked traverse lines and chains. Two new sculptures were erected in the vicinity of the existing one then we left.
The journey back out was fast and we were soon in daylight. We washed the ropes and SRT gear in Clapham Beck next to Ingleborough Cave and in the darkness left two slings behind.
The walk from there back to Clapham was fairly damp. After changing in the van we visited the New Inn where Sophie made a pint of Golden Pippin disappear in less than five seconds!
Many thanks to John Cordingley for retrieving our slings and endeavouring to find their owners.