Day two of the blog rendezvous we elected to go caving. Our first choice, Swinsto Hole, was ruled out due to rain, so we opted for a trip from County Pot to Wretched Rabbit in Easgill, despite the fact that nobody had been there but Rachel and I (once), and we weren’t sure we remembered all of it. A short trip to Bernie’s to buy a guide, and the newsagent to make copies of the crucial sections and we were off to Bullpot Farm.
After a pleasant walk across the moor and up the Beck, punctuated by a quick jog back to retrieve the Stop that had dropped out of the top of my SRT bag, we managed to find the cave entrance and off we went.
County Pot went pretty well. Pete rigged the first pitch and we were all quickly down that. There was a bit of excitement at Spout Hall due to the amount of water coming down the spout, (and Tish’s claim the stream was waist deep) but that went fine as well, and we were soon at Poetic Justice, which I was pleased that I recognised from last time.
It took some time to get everyone up the chimney at Poetic Justice, which seemed much slipperier than I remembered it, and then we descended the second pitch into Pierce’s Passage, after a small amount of trouble pulling our rope down. Pierce’s passage came and went, but the last few metres to Eureka Junction was somewhat scary, with a thick layer of fresh foam coating the walls and ceiling–a reminder of how much water had been through the system not long before.
Nobody felt like hanging around in the streamway, so we quickly went back up to the junction with Wretched Rabbit and headed up the narrow canyon.
I had thought that I remembered the main features of Wretched Rabbit, but it turned out I’d completely forgotten the bypass in the high level oxbow, so we had a somewhat confused time in that section before eventually finding our way out to the cascades. This was followed by more drama as we took the wrong rope climb from the big rift (Rachel thinks we did this last time as well) and ended up wandering around in the high level series–we could smell the fresh air from the entrance, but couldn’t find it! A particular apology to Anna for making her struggle up the rope only to have to come back down it again.
After trying a few false leads, we returned to the Big Rift and climbed the series of small pitches to the entrance. A happy sight for me as I was beginning to doubt my memory of the cave.
A quick drop into County Pot to retrieve our rope, and then back across the moor saw us enjoying well-earned drinks in the Marton Arms before parting company after an excellent weekend.
I’d forgotten how physical a trip this is. Ian and Anna in particular did very well, considering how little caving they’ve done. My arms ache today from hauling myself up the pitches at the end, and up the chimney at Poetic Justice.