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Present: Phil, Cathryn, Louise, Katrina

After Friday evening in the pub and most of Saturday morning cooking breakfast (no doubt all this is recounted elsewhere, so I’ll spare you the details) those of us “not doing Ireby” (that’s all we knew..) made our way to Bull Pot Farm at, some (Louise in pink) more sedately than others (Adam). It was busy up there, but having decided to split into two trips, Al et al went Aygill-wards, while me, Phil, Cathryn and Louise headed for County entrance, intending to go through and come out of Wretched Rabbit.

Realising it was two o’clock as we wrote our cave on the blackboard, we bounded across the fell (well, sort of, as best you can in wellies) to the cave. A metal hatch and several cavers marked the spot, and we waited for a couple more to emerge before we climbed down the entrance shaft. Me being the only newcomer to County in our party, we stormed along to the pitch (can’t remember what it’s called) and climbed down one of the ladders left there – our only problem being deciding which one of the three to use. Oh, and having to carry the one we had thoughtfully brought with us…

And so we continued, scarcely even getting our feet wet and enjoying ourselves quite a lot. By this time, I was beginning to wonder whether this caving stuff might turn out to be quite easy after all….. I needn’t have worried, however, because as we got to whats-its-name-chamber (I really should read the guide book for the names), I said: “Now where do we go?”

Now this name I do remember, it was “Poetic Justice”. And it was a bastard. And Phil called it several other things I won’t repeat here. But at least he and Louise managed to get to the top. I didn’t, and Cathryn, who had patiently played stepladder to me and Louise, didn’t seem too bothered about not having a go…. I now know what a small furry animal must feel like if it gets trapped in a milk bottle.

So we turned round, me feeling rather stupid, not to mention exhausted. However, I have been assured that far better cavers than me (that’s most of them, then) have been defeated by this slippery chimney-like thing. Which made me feel less stupid, and the exhaustion wore off as we made our way back.

I made up for my incompetence by entertaining everybody with a classic beached whale impression at Spout Hole – Cathryn’s ascent was far more elegant, and Phil and Louise opted for the traverse. In no time at all, we were back at the ladder, with no hold-ups on the way that a good shove wouldn’t solve……

Sorry this has concentrated on my efforts (unsuccessful or otherwise), but as they were the only diversions from a thoroughly nice cave, this would have been a ‘school trip to the park’ kind of report if I hadn’t…. It was dark when we emerged, albeit less advanced in time than we had planned, so we started the race for the pub, getting muddier and falling over more on the way back over the hill than we had in the cave.

The pink panda was still there at Bull Pot Farm, but there being no sign of the Aygill cavers, we headed back to Ingleton, chilli and the Marton Arms.

Katrina Heywood