With plans in the evening for the girls to see Bobby, and Nathan to see his sister. A quick and efficient trip was planned down large pot. Having packed the night before and leaving Leeds at 9, we knew we would be in for a good day! Unfortunately life had other plans for us. When we got out to the dales we turned down Mason gill Lane per Rachel’s instructions, but Nathan and I remembered making this mistake last time and informed her that the road was not serviceable up ahead. We turned around and carried on to Irby fell Lane. After a few minutes Rachel got out her map and deduced that we were morons. Back we went to Mason gill Lane. Finally arrived at our destination we changed quickly. Some of us more than others. (As it turns out the fastest person gets to pack the tackle sacks, I’m glad it’s never me) Rachel packed our tackle sacks based on the rope lengths in NFTFH and we headed off to the entrance.
Once there Alice decided to practice rigging. She was thrown off by the fact the we had the cncc rigging guild and decided that the first pitch was the smallest pitch. The smallest rope was at the bottom of the bag and after mild protest from myself and Rachel she and Nathan pulled the bottom rope out and rigged the first pitch. The rope just about got to the bottom so no harm done, we had the longer one to spare. On to the second pitch. Alice and Nathan were debating which rope came next and while complaining that the ropes were packed wrong. I tired to tell them that there was no way Rachel had messed up but all we received was a lecture on double checking before packing. Down the second pitch Alice went. Up the second pitch Alice went. Turns out if you take the third rope for the first pitch then the second rope remains the second rope. Unfortunately Alice had rigged on the first rope which had not reached the bottom. Rachel had to leave the cave for the moment to run water over her ears at this point. I was starting to get cold so to distract myself I began signing out of tune Christmas carols. It made me feel better about missing the Christmas cracker this year.
After re-rigging it was Nathan’s turn down the second pitch and despite the description stating it was a feet first crawl to the pitch he decided to go head first. He soon found out that was not an option. He then had to reverse the crawl which he claimed “it was the first time I ever thought I might have to get rescued from a cave” luckily he powered through. (Worth mentioning while de-rigging the pitch i managed to turn myself around in the crawl… I guess we don’t all have the pleasure of being a tiny woman) Once down we finally managed to have an efficient trip. With us all being of a smaller build the caving was fun, interesting and relatively quick. There were a few tight bits to think about but it opened up frequently enough to remain enjoyable and there were a few pretties along the way. We stopped at the impressive colossus pitch because we had reached our Turnbul time. Took a few pictures and headed out. It took us about 3 hours to go in and about 1.5 to go out. We reached the surface just in time for double daylight and managed to get back in time for our evening engagements. Success! Two lessons were learnt that day. 1. Always trust Rachel Turnbul and 2. If you are going to use two different descriptions make sure you don’t get confused.
Trip was in the winter but faff prevented me from posting sooner (written on the day)