Birks Fell Cave
Saturday, 30 May 2015
For once, the forecast was good for the day we had the permit for. There was a reasonable level of interest for this trip so we split into two groups.
Our derigging group met at the Chapel at 9:30 and proceeded to Wharfedale. The dale was glorious in the sunshine. Unfortunately this weather attracted those members of the cycling community who enjoy riding in rows of five, extending our journey time.
We made it to Kettlewell and walked to Zarinas. Butties were eaten and a callout was left with Maz. A short journey took us to Buckden where the car park was full. Fortunately we got the car into a gap next to the trees. Further good fortune meant that the ticket machine was broken.
We had a pleasant walk to the cave and were soon underground. The low streamway soon improved in height, eventually taking us to the Bradford Crawl. This time the crawl had been excavated by the group ahead of us so was quickly passed. More crawling and streamway eventually took us to the first pitch.
The next section of streamway as far as Shooting Box Aven is one of my favourite and did not disappoint. Further streamway and some boulders were passed before we met the rigging team on their way out. They informed us that the second pitch was too wet to descend safely. We continued to Moon Milk Cave where we enjoyed the slither under The Block, then had a quick look at the second pitch
before turning around.
Back in the Second Wet Bedding Cave, some team members decided they have discovered a dry bypass crawl. Nathan and I sat waiting for them to return before getting back in to the water.
A pleasant journey back out took us to the entrance and its view of Wharfedale. We headed back to Leeds and thence to Nazams where excellent curry was had. Some of us retired to the Chemic afterwards.
Thanks to everyone involved for a pleasant trip and evening!