Dale Barn Cave
Saturday, 12 November 2011
Stuck for something to do I decided to do a trip into the further reaches of Dale Barn via Illusion – a trip i’d quite fancied doing for a while. Steady progress down through illusion and along the brunel rift traverse soon saw me at the muddy slope down to the 46m sump through to Dale Barn 2.
I was looking forward to this bit as the sump pool has always looked crystal clear and inviting whenever i’ve been here in the past and today was no different. After kitting up a very enjoyable dive in a large passage soon led into a short canal and a suitable spot for de-kitting before strolling off downstream in a pleasant stream passage. After around 300m, a slot to the left led into more streamway and under a small waterfall to the downstream sump.
Back at the slot was the start of Anathema Crawl, which in the book is described as an arduous 317m crawl. This wasn’t too bad although does go on for a bit and is mostly crawling over large cobbles. There are some nice formations along the way and part way along, Ogden’s Inlet enters as a small waterfall and eventually a large walking passage is reached. Following this to the left led back into crawling to a chamber and sump 1 (Dale Barn end), which also looked beautifully clear and inviting.
After a quick nosey around all that remained was to head back once more into Anathema Crawl and back to my dive kit for the return through the 46m sump. Once safely through, kit was packed up and a steady exit made reaching the surface after a very interesting 5hrs underground. Nice to do something new, although you know you’re running out of trips to do when Anathema Crawl is done as a tourist trip! 🙂