BBPC: TomTom, C-Dawg, Simon.
Special Guests: Dawn, Lucy, Rhys.
The day started much like any other caving trip – waiting for Tom and Chris to arrive in some sort of broken car. Soon enough the peaceful streets of Clapham were disrupted by the sound of plastic scraping along the floor underneath a poor quality Skoda Fabia (Seat Leon).
After minor faffage attempting to pack some concrete rope into some tackle bags we set off up the hill. TomTom and C-Dawg lead the way, with Lucy and her 17 thermal layers following behind. A small concrete shed making strange noises was passed next to the river where we decided there was a man with very large red hands beating a small child. It was considered best not to intervene in such matters.
Once we reached the entrance, Tom went to rig the first pitch whilst Chris and I went through some of the basics of SRT with the others. Having become experts we all set off down the pitches with minimal cause for alarm, the main issue being that the rope was so stiff that some of the lighter people in our party were struggling to make their descenders work properly.
We regrouped at the bottom of the second pitch and set off down the tunnels in search of main chamber. Lots of crawling, stooping and bruised knees followed, where eventually we arrived at the main chamber. Despite the vastness of some of the chambers in PSM this summer it was still an impressive sight, especially with the sunlight and waterfall falling through it.
Tom took some pictures (hopefully I will figure out how to attach them) whilst the rest of us wondered around the chamber for a while taking in the sights. I saw a bat near the sand caverns. We said farewell to the last daylight of 2014 through the opening of the waterfall and started our retreat back to the pitches.
Going back up through the cave didn’t pose many difficulties apart from an incident where I ended up suspended by the straps of the tackle bag I was carrying (fortunately nobody else was in sight to laugh, unfortunately this did make it tricky getting free), and some self proclaimed undignified wriggling through the squeezy bit at the top of the final pitch from one member of the party.
For once it wasn’t snowing when we got out (a first for Bar Pot for me). Rhys decided he hadn’t had enough exercise quite yet so decided to take a detour over a hill on the way back, despite this we were back at the cars by 6ish. A short drive to Langcliffe followed for the new years festivities. The remainder of the evening was spent decapitating bottles of Prosecco with an axe (just had a thought, do you think it would be possible with the Axe of Doom?) and discussing the theory of relativity, all the usual stuff people do at new years really.
Thanks again to Tomtom and C-Dawg for providing expertise and equipment.