Home Rant Hensler’s Bradford Winch Meet

Hensler’s Bradford Winch Meet


After a bit of a hiatus from caving for various reasons Alice, Ann and I decided it was time to end that. Due to the convince of avoiding chapel and carrying tackle sacks we chose to crash the winch meet. It was decided in the car that we would do Hensler’s out Flood. We had ruled out Disappointment due to the duck. (We only read that there was a duck in Hensler’s once we were up the hill. Luckily we were told it had dried up due to the hot weather) We met Luke and Rachel in the car park and headed up the hill. We crashed SUSS camp to get dressed where we were told Natalie had gotten stuck in Hensler’s for 2 hours the day before. FUN! With that in mind we headed off only to find that despite walking her kit up the hill Rachel had no intention of joining us.

Arriving at the entrance we found another party of 4 almost finished kitting up. It was decided that we would go first so we raced down hoping to put some distance between us. It was not the kind of trip that passing would be convenient. We moved swiftly as we could in the awkward passage and we’re making good time.

Alice racing through the wide open passage

I was going first, so naturally route finding became an issue. After the first thruchy bit the rift narrowed again but a slightly larger hole in the lower rift caught my attention. Luke said stay high but the large gap was appealing so I carried on down it and it opened up a bit more. I carried on for about 8m and the passage closed in. I had the tackle sack out in front of me and started working my way into the passage. Slow progress. It became harder to keep the tackle sack in front of me and eventually I realised I wasn’t going to be able to continue. After 2 min of effort and lack of movement I began complaining to Luke. He eventually decided to crawl over Alice and Ane to come take a look. He ignored the hole in the floor and basically ran through the rift above me. He laughed at me and said I only had 1.5m to go until it opened up again. He was able to take the tackle sack from me. I thought about trying to carry on the last bit but decided that the passage above sounded much more appealing. At this point I decided to move my descender off my D ring and reverse the passage which was a bit of a challenge but surprisingly easier than the way in. I maintain that without a tackle sack or srt kit I could have made it through. Next time! I think my adventure stressed Ane and Alice out and they decided it was time to take there srt kits off. With all this faff the first of the group behind us caught up but we managed to keep a steady distance ahead of the rest of his group.A lovely 38m pitch followed and Ane got a nice photo of me depending with our new friend’s light above us.

Excellent pitch!

At the bottom we decided to head to the main chamber. We stopped at a junction, read the description, way on is right, carried on with me in the lead. I noticed there we no signs anyone else had been down this passage. Mentioned it. Arrived at some water. Stopped. Said fuck that. Alice said she had been there before and offered to go first. Alice stopped to have a chat in the chest deep crawling passage. Carried on and asked why not one was following her. I said my plan was to run through it so I was waiting for her to get further. We waited a bit more. Ane said should we go now. Me, you can go if you like. So she did. Luke, I don’t remember reading this. Gets out description. Reads italics. Oh! WRONG WAY! COME BACK! This was amphibian passage 15min of very wet crawling that rarely gets done. Alice and Ane returned surprisingly not mad. We headed on to the main chamber as fast as we could to stay warm and when we got there it was about 5 degrees warmer than the rest of the cave. Once in the main chamber Alice said she was glad it was her and not me that got wet as I would be very unhappy. I found this funny because if it had been me I would have left the cave at the first rope we passed. I was cold enough already.


We met some of SUSS who were queueing for the winch. Luke was determined to ğt them out. Ane took a few more photos in the lit up chamber before we headed out.

Taking photos in the cold draughty window. I was in the chamber much warmer

We decided we had enough and would exit via Bar pot. Luke left us to go up Small Mammal. He did manage to beat SUSS out of the cave but not back to camp. When he arrived at camp they had been out for 4 min. We exited uneventfully. When we returned and recounted my mini adventure we were laughed at. Apparently Natalie had gotten stuck in the same part of the cave and they warned us. Must not have been paying attention. We ended the day at booths bin where we acquired a child’s school lunch selection of crisps, fanta, kinder chocolate and bakewell tarts. Lazy parents! All round excellent day out! Thank you Ane for the pictures and thank you Alice for driving.


  1. *Luke exited out of using a combination South East Aven and Bar Pot. A fine alternative and could be used to provide a slightly more technical route down Bar Pot. 70m was used by the BPC but a 30m and 40m would suffice can’t find a rigging topo.