Chris A, Luke, Jen, Tom, Shane, John T + 2xBPC
With most of the south under water it was decided that the safest place to go would be underground in the north. Grand plans had been hatched for a weekend trip with LUPC consisting of Bull pot and Boxhead pot, with a stay at Brackenbottom to keep us warm and comfy. By the Thursday before the trip approximately 3.5m members had dropped out meaning only 4 people were to leave Liverpool and meet two others in Brackenbottom. We arrived around 9pm and began the drinking and eating of Jens homemade brownies. We were joined by two members of BPC who arranged to join us on our cave tomorrow. Chris and Sinead arrived a little later and by 2am we were done, heading to bed for a day of hardcore caving or something.
We awoke at a time which was something before 10, but not too much before, that would be silly. We prepare breakfast as Sinead left to do something sensible such as not caving with a friend. After many hash browns, pork related products and tea we were ready to go. Of course we weren’t really ready to go and so after rope packing, picking our actual cave (Jingling), cleaning the hut, and deciding a trip to Ingleton to look at shiny things was required, we were ready to go!
I’m fairly sure it was before midday when we got to Kingsdale and after some mild nudity and Chris trying to knock me out with a tackle sack we were changed and ready to head in the general direction of something resembling a cave. We trudged up the hill somewhat surprised with the total lack of rain and after wombling past Rowten (Where we taught Ed of the knot pass) we spotted a tree in the distance. A bit more wombling and we arrived at Jingling. As I had read online one of the trees was indeed snapped, although it wasn’t the one we needed to rig off and it looked fairly secure still. We were mostly going to use the ‘cleft’ route anyways.
Luke started lead the way rigging the cleft route whilst Chris rigged the main shaft for a speedy get away if we so wished. After a short descent the cleft route took us via a ...interesting traverse into a hole in the opposite part of the main shaft. It was at this point Luke realised he’d mixed up the rope bags and we had to swap the rope down the main shaft for the bag which was currently attached to myself. A bit of jiggery pokery later and we were moving again, lining up for the fun traverse. The route took us into the lateral cleft and with some squeezey descents and obscure deviations we were soon upon a large ledge three quarters of the way down the main shaft. Luke was already down by the time I had passed on instructions on how to deal with the somewhat large deviation. I followed down to the nice solid floor only to remember this was not in fact the bottom. The rope lead off to the side and then down the final small pitch, our rope ending about 50cm off the floor, perfect rigging! Theres not much at the very bottom to be honest and so after looking at the dig I made my escape to the main chamber to crack out the lunch.
Lunch was a hearty feast consisting of (fake) twix, (fake) snickers, Angle cake, Lemon cake, and of course, water. It was a fine snack to have in the twighlight of the main shaft and we were somewhat pleased with ourselves for being in an actual dry cave, even though it was a little short. Once lunch was over it was time to head for the pub. Chris, John and myself would take the main shaft rope, whilst BPC (who were already on the way out), Jen, Shane and Luke would take and de-rig the cleft route.
Things are much faster going out the main pitch, and in a time far shorter than most Meatloaf songs I was able to escape and then go back into the cleft entrance out of the wind and rain. Chris and John followed on particularly enjoying all things cave related. The others were pretty close behind and after much de-riging and filling of bags it was time to head for the cars. I particularly enjoyed getting changed in the sideways rain and so was somewhat sad when I finally got to cower in the car out of it all.
We all met up again at the pub in Ingleton for a nice cup of tea and burger of some kind.
Good trip with some interesting rigging, will keep in mind in future for SRT rigging training trips.