Present: Al, Jenny
We went caving (again). When planning the trip Anthony suggested this cave as there are campsites in it. Unfortunately he didn’t realise we needed a cave that Father Christmas and his reindeer could fit in.
We got to the entrance crawl and it looked grim, we got just inside the entrance crawl and it was grim. Then it got wet, then it got small then it got small and wet then it got worse. Where it not for the new bypass leaving upwards after the 2nd or 3rd junction box it would have been very unpleasant dragging tacklebags of camping gear thru. especially those alleged s bend bits, and especially when we would have go to box 4, then five, then realised there were 8, not 4 as we had first thought. We got to The Big Chamber Nowhere Near The Entrance, after a lot of crawling and many naughty words, signed in, left our gear and went to find the Antlers incase they where still attatched to reindeer. Saw the ‘White Company’, and passed other very white formations and got to the antlers, which where exciting. Turned back to TBCNNTE, collected our gear and set off for the Hard Rock Cafe. Much crawling, wriggling and stomping later we arrived in Preliminary Passage. We found the big fixed ladder and rope and Al began climbing, with belay obviously. Near to the top he noticed that the ladder was difficult to use against the rock and then realised he was only 1/2 way up a very big ladder. After much disscussion he climbed back down, moved a few stones and started to sort out a camp as we were tired and didn’t fancy climbing further as there was water where we were. After a lovely meal of egg noodles delicately flavoured with minestrone soup we used the exciting red fleece sleeping bag. Despite being wet from the entrance crawl and very cold we slept okay, waking occasionally for more soup. Had chocolate flavoured noodles for breakfast (delicately flavoured with minetrone too uurgh). Unfortunately we forgot to have the christmas pudding we took. On the way out we found ourselves at the white company again, rather confunsingly, and tunred back to fnd the big chamber and signed out. Al broke his neck again on the way back to the Old Main Passage. Before the entrance crawls we stopped to boil the water we’d collected and use up everything we could (except a malt loaf, mars bars and xmas pudding) to make the crawls easier. Noodle, chocolate and soup flavoured cave water is not nice. Worried on the way out that the entrance might be frozen or snowed up and we’d have to dig ourselves out as the draft was very cold. Got very stuck again – Jenny was brave and heroic and rescued me. Exited into sunny xmas day, snow in places and ran home fast.