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Present: Ian W, Pete H

As celebration of Ian’s finishing his exams, Ian and Pete (who has no exams) decided to slip in a sneaky trip before Pete went home. Thus by necessity it was to be a midweek overnight trip. Bar Pot was decided upon at the last minute, Ralph selflessly assumed the mantle of responsibility that is trip callout and the trip was a goer. We arrived in Clapham at around 8/30 having had a silkily smooth journey from Durham and were underground by 10/0. We followed the very informatively described route suggested on the braemoor website, going via New Hensler’s, into Hensler’s Master Cave and back a little to the connection to Hensler’s High Aven. Thenceforth through Mud Hensler’s and its tasty sludge ducks which were a highlight of the trip, and no mistaking (Chris M prior to trip: “Don’t do Mud Hensler’s – it’s shit.”). We marvelled at the more artistic mud sculptures in Mud Hall before making the journey through to the Main Chamber. I’d like to point out here that Petzl Tikka XPs are fantabulous, lighting up the impressive falls as far as the eye could see. And impressive they were. Two hours underground by now. At Pete’s suggestion we embarked on a remarkably muddy return trip from the Main Chamber to the reaches of Sand Caverns. Once there, we sat in the dark and discussed nature, time and man before going back to the falls to wash. Three and a bit hours underground. An uneventful stooping session got us back to the Bar Pot Big Pitch and we were back outside before 3.0, by which time it had become light enough for a pleasing walk back without lamplight. Rang Ralph and told him what a great trip it had been, then changed and drove back to Mary’s into the rising sun which was a poetic end to a sparklingly-executed phaff-free trip for the two of us. If only all caving trips were like this…

Ian W