Present: Ian W, Pete H, Hannah B
Ian had long been wanting to do a mid-week cave, and this was the first. It was also his first trip as ‘leader’ and the first trip to EaseGill for all of the group! Suitably kitted out and armed to the teeth with descriptions (though sadly not the survey, which was later found languishing in the far depths of the gear cupboard) the three set off for Bull Pot Farm in Pete’s motor. With a nice cup of tea at Ingle/-ton/-sport/-thief (delete as appropriate) breaking the journey, we had a good time of it and we were changed and off at around 5 o’clock; not bad considering we set off from Mary’s at 1.40.
Al’s directions led us straight to the cave entrance and, minor difficulties with the laddered tight pitch aside, we were all underground with little time wasted. Once at the bottom of the 15m pitch, we explored the impressively large Hylton Hall and headed for the Pybus Bypass, a roomy crawl from the head of an upward wriggle. From here various junctions and crawls led us past the false floored passage (nice to see, but not examined in detail) and to further junctions. Heading towards Dusty Junction Ian savoured the Wet Wallows on his own whilst checking the way on, the others soon followed once this was verified. The Muddy Wallows were a disappointment; supposedly ‘abominable’, actually ‘not in the slightest but abominable’, and quite tame. Still, it was wet at least. From Dusty Junction, the draughting became more distinct and the way on more clear (we decided to find the Mistral exit before making any decisions as to continuing into mud and water-filled chambers/passages that are supposed to exist further in). Various passages and the large Hobbit saw us to the exit crawl, peppered with drill holes from blasting. A short climb up gained us the outdoors again, 2.5 hours after going underground. Satisfaction of completing, time (or lack of) left before call out, and tiredness of some members prompted us to call it a day, and we walked back up the streamway to the yellow tacklesack and red Bernies bag awaiting us at the stile and pitch head respectively.
Another stomp across the moor, chatting and chirruping away merrily, saw us back at Bull Pot Farm without incident. Ian and Pete had a stream wash, much to Hannah’s amusement, and a rather mild change followed. “Everything went so well on this trip, I can’t believe nothing nasty happened” thought Ian as we changed. Well it was about to… We got ten yards from the farm gate and the exhaust pipe, silencers and all, fell clean off! “No problem, I’ll have that fixed in 10 mins.” – Pete. Fix it he did, and fifty minutes later we set off again – this time we got less far still because the lamps failed!! Underdash fiddling followed. Anyway, once this was fixed we really were off! (As far as Ingleton, where we had to stop to see the carbs/inlet manifold because it was running far too rich (to the point of drowning)). We stopped in a car park to attend to the fault and the lights gave way again and so we set off… only to stop again the other side of Ingleton. And so on, and so on…
“It’s still draughting.” – Ian
“Oh! Have you seen that….” – Hannah
“Yes, what is it?” – Pete
“It’s Ian’s knob!” – Hannah
“Do you think this is a dogging spot?” – Hannah
(“What’s one of those?” – Ian)