Yorkshire Caving Trip

by Jane Bradbury


Saturday dawned bright, too bright for me and for Gordon Scott to brave the underground world. So, after breakfast in Ingleton, we set out with Gayle Brunskill to walk back to Helwith Bridge over Ingleborough via Ribblehead and the Ribble Way below Penyghent. We had a fantastic day – wide misty views, warm sunshine and good company. We even managed to arrive back at the hut only shortly after dark!

Meanwhile, Mike Clark, Steve Kirk, Rob Jones and Neil Burgess drove over to Bull Pot Farm on Casterton Fell. Here, the underground team got even smaller when Neil’s back seized up and he decided to drive back to Helwith Bridge. The underground team finally said goodbye to the sunlight at about 1 pm, dropping into Lancaster Hole and then making their way via Fall Pot and Stake Pot into the stream way. Progress was not quick, partly because several other teams were also on the route but also because none of the team really knew the way through this part of Easegill! The team finally emerged at about 8.30 pm, vowing to be more efficient next time.

Sunday was also a lovely day but in my new role as caving secretary I thought I really should go underground so I proposed a trip down Sunset Hole near Chapel-le-Dale. Unfortunately by the time we had had breakfast and driven up to Chapel-le-Dale, all the parking places were full. Time for plan B – there was no plan B! Top tip for future trips –always have a plan B.

Thinking quickly in an effort to look like an efficient caving secretary, I said: “OK, let’s go and play in the caves at Ribblehead.” This turned out to be an inspired decision and our small team (Mike, me, Neil and Gordon) spent a couple of hours happily popping in and out of Thistle Cave and Runscar Cave. Not only did we have fun underground, we also got to bask in the sun while doing some train spotting. The final cave of the day had to be Batty Wife, especially for me!

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