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Present: Ian W, Pete H, Al C, James C

For James’ last trip as a Durham abiding DUSA member, we had to find a suitable trip with opportunities for Daring-do and herioc acts of sump diving into caverns measureless to man. Sadly Pikedaw was the first interesting sounding trip in the guidebook.

Following a late start because of late night ‘celebrations’ the group departed on schedule for Malham, fully equipped with a selection of Hawkwind, Peter Wyngarde and Ivor Biggun music. Arrived at Malham in high spirits and parked at the top of the walled section of the road up past the cove. Followed a well-marked path uphill, slowly, in the beautiful February heat, to arrive at a large concrete slab equipped with rusted metal lid. Rigged the pitch and descended. Our initial route was rather convoluted through tight, low passages leading to collapses and a sump. Found ourselves returning to the pitch an alternative way, and after a few photos headed off in the opposite direction though larger spacious caverns. Eventually arriving at a small climb down into small wood propped passages with numerous ways on. Because of a lack of time and uncertainty over the stability of the passages we turned back and headed off out. Following a rapid ascent, combined with a few quick photos, we returned to the surface to find Mr Carlisle in a state of chill due to his earlier swim through the duck, and the now chilly dark February evening decorated liberally with a scattering of bright, sparkling stars resembling a dark sheet spilled over with shimmering glitter.

A rapid change with Ian proudly prancing across the frosted road surface, liberally displaying his wares; a rapid transit to call our call-out within seconds of disaster.

A jolly return to Durham via pub and chip shop to the delightful trills of Ivor.