Present: Al, Gwyn, Julia, Neil, Craig, Trevor, Richard
Well, quite surprised that we actually went caving at all, it certainly didn’t look look it for a while. 7 people in one car? Hmm, so Trevor drove back to Chester-le-Street to get Craig’s even posher car. Breakfast in Richmond, then we arranged to meet outside a newsagents and go in convoy, rather than trusting dodgy map-reading and navigational skills. Waited for 20 minutes or so, drove round Richmond, they had obviously GONE. So we drove to Cherry Tree Hole, expecting to meet them along the way, but no. Got as far as Kettlewell, pretty certain that they’d not find the cave, having only looked at the map briefly. Get to Darnbrook House and there they were. My flabber was gasted!
Wandered around for quite a while, and Al started to doubt the existence of this cave before it was found. So I sat and rigged a handline, whilst 5 out of 7 of the folk there shinned merrily down ohne handline. Bastards. Then went caving. Rigged the pitch off the only bolt + backed up to naturals. Off into the yummy figure-of-8 (apparently) passage – a random traverse with not alot of room. Then we carried straight on which is wrong – you have to go left straight after the traverse into Crossover Passage.
Crawled through this too the streamway which wasn’t big enough for Al’s liking, but it did get bigger. Al played with his slave-unit and it sometimes worked. Went upstream which is impressive, not too wet either. Got to the cascade which defeated me in the summer, but found the second best way of getting up a cascade (after sitting on someone’s shoulders) – get someone in a wetsuit to sit at the top and dam the water with his arse, whilst you thrash to the top! Magic! Caved on for a bit, I squeezed through a narrow rift whilst everyone else traversed above. Anyway, on the way back Richard had a few problems getting off the (fucking scary looking) climb up to the traverse. So Trevor went back up to give him a hand. Unfortunately his handhold decided it didn’t want to be attached to the wall anymore, so it fell and hit Craig on the foot, whilst Trevor fell 7 or 8 foot onto the bouldery floor! He was fine apart from being pretty shaken, as we all were.
Er. So we went out. Al + Gwyn had fun together. We all got lost. Didn’t go to pub. Al + Neil had to drive and they were really upset.
Postscript. I did assume the Marton would close at 11pm, not midnight, they haven’t even stopped serving yet.