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With term, and all the new cavers, fast approaching, we managed to squeeze in a quick little experienced trip to Yorkshire to get some non-novice caving trips in.
Heavy rain across the UK on Friday dictated the last-minute change in plan and abandoned of our Magnetometer + Masongill spectacular designs, settling for some rather more weather-proof classics... As it turned out, it was actually really quite dry below ground - the flood pulse must have been long gone.
Ah, Bullpot - fast becoming my favourite place to introduce cavers to the delights of rigging. Entrance next to the little tree behind the scar quickly located, Nico was tasked with all the rigging. Entrance via the usual deviated dangle (not the new y-hang bolts), 2nd pitch as per usual, followed by the 'slot' 3rd pitch. Traverse quickly made to the fine 4th pitch, dropped via a y-hang with two deviations. The lower of these, off the easier to swing rawl bolt was awfully loose (does no one pay attention when rigging anymore?), so spannered it up.
A brief little look at the lovely confluence and bit of stream above the final pitch (never seen the point to descend it...), and a speedy exit, leaving the cave rigged.
We met the Jingling crew literally at the gate between the fields, and quickly followed their ropes down the lateral route — very nice! Nico took the derigging mantle, with Al being his second / bag carrier. Exit to dusk, gentle walk down to the waiting minibus and a partially changed Jingling party (justifying their speed at the clearly superior skills of their rigger / derigeour).
All I know is that they set off shortly after 1pm, and returned, just before their callout, to the road of Kingsdale at ten to midnight. Mad staring eyes, tales of epic tackle bag dragging by those who foolishly haven't been caving since last term, and the beauty and horror of standing at the bottom of Elizabeth pitch contemplating the return journey...
Returned to the NPC to find cavers snoozing in front of the fire, and a truly epic chilli created under Shed as head chef, and truly debauched quantities of treacle tart with lashings of double cream thanks to Jan.
Believe they had a fairly successful trip, but were feeling rather sore after being cheated from the prize of Large Pot by the weather.
Awoke to torrential rain. This quickly drowned any motivation to go caving, and so we settled into a day of fettling, tea-shop caving, and gear overhaul.
Packing to go home we had a packed lunch composed mainly of treacle tart — but what to put the left over double cream in? Surely the plastic pot would explode in the minibus rather distastefully. Jan had the solution — an empty beer bottle with the cap pressed back on, perfect for chugging from while gently drifting home back down the M6.