After a wet day of caving Easegill I’d very much enjoyed my shower at the farm and had just begun to feel warm and comfortable after dinner. Stood in front of the fire I poured my drink and was chatting with some of the Leeds climbers that were on our joint weekend for the end of term.
No one was sure what the weather would be like for the weekend but the forecast was looking up meaning there was the potential for climbing on Sunday. George and James had only just arrived but mentioned to A Smith and I that they would be interested in going caving. Alice looked at me with a glint in her eye before saying “well shall we go caving now then?”. The climbers look surprised and then everyone leapt into action.
Ten minutes later we had found wellies, helmets and lights for three willing climbers (Ian was another keen bean) and had recruited kayak-er of the day, Hannah Collings to come along too. It was still light at 8.30pm as we ran out of the hut in our waterproof coats and any clothes we didn’t mind getting wet (Alice said we didn’t need proper oversuits – we were only going down Bull Pot of the witches). A Smith led on as none of the rest of us had been before.
Over the style and round the top, we carefully went down to the non-SRT entrance. We slipped through the hole and crawled to the top of the climb, each going down one by one, the climbers were back in their element. With daylight above we could see up the waterfall fairly well and it wasn’t long till I heard a few “this is really cool” comments. After checking out the top of the next pitch we retreated in the other direction, Alice leading on. We trundled on down Robert’s passage past Robert’s inlet admiring the calcite and generally chatting about caving.
George mentioned he didn’t love small spaces but didn’t seem to have any issues getting down the small hole towards Gour Chambers. There was a bit of help required from whoever was in front of me as I couldn’t find any footholds but we all made it down with only minimal soaking of clothes (not wearing an oversuit is weird). It was only 2 minutes later that I then saw the flowstone climb that we had to scramble back up. It was suitably wet. Darn.
Ian only got slightly stuck in the awkward squeezey bit part way up but he didn’t complain and soon we were all admiring the beautiful flow stone pools. Gour Chamber is pretty impressive, I’d recommend the trip as a short bimble – particularly if you don’t normally see many pretties. I stuck my head up towards the climb at the top but we turned around at the this point and got a couple of photos for George and James’ first trip. The slot down the flowstone was much easier on the way down and the climb back up much shorter. As James came up this part someone helpfully said “use the foothold in the roof” – apparently this was mind blowing to a climber.
We all got out in one piece and seem to have recruited some climbers to come caving again in the future. Mission success.