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Flood Entrance - 10/09/2011

Saturday September 10th 2011

Members present: Kevin Francis,  Lieke Oosterkamp,  Marion Holloway

Report by Kevin Francis

We chose Flood because water levels were up and the forecasts weren’t brilliant for the weekend. Despite this the weather was fine for the drive out to the Dales and the walk up the hill - despite seeming to last forever – was fine until we reached the show-cave when it started spitting. This stopped soon enough but by the time I was kitting up at the entrance the rain was back again and threatening to get worse. Still, this was the Flood escape route, right? The trip was great and varied and we made great pace to get to South East Pot. Then the fun started…

Lieke couldn’t find the any deviations beside from one at the top of the shaft. She got to the bottom and Maz followed allowing me to descend slowly looking for a hanger, some tat or anything solid enough to deviate off. I couldn’t see anything apart from chockstones in a rift at the far end, but I couldn’t swing enough to reach. I got lower and lower and eventually found something to go off. After a little faff getting the deviation in I started descending again but the cave seemed to change. Despite the deviation I was now getting wet, and the water was harder. I tried to shrug off the idea and thought I was imagining in. When I got to the bottom the others confirmed my fears. What had originally felt like a thin drizzle was turning into a proper waterfall. As the others had been standing in the cold for a while we made a dash to the Main Chamber, which was in impressive spate, and back to warm up. On our return the water hadn’t improved, or got worse, so we had no choice but to prusik through it. This was a pain in the backside as opposed to a major undertaking, but it was nevertheless quite worrying and really changed the mood of the trip. On the way out everything was much wetter – the handline climb was re-rigged as a pitch as the water had made it very awkward. We emerged to a dry moonlit evening and couldn’t help but notice the additional puddles and streams on the walk back down.