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Peak Cavern Moss Chamber

Saturday November 23rd 2013

Members present: Adam Walmsley,  Evan Cooper,  Kevin Francis,  Mark Sims,  Matthew Chubb,  Robert Mothersole,  Sarah Jefferys,  Toby Buxton,  Vicky Bailey

Report by Adam Walmsley

Having determined that none of the group were in a fit state to drive, a Peak Cavern bimble was the obvious choice for this CHECC trip. Full of sausage, the merry band made their way toward the gaping chasm through the bustling streets of Castleton village.

The initial passages of Peak were perfectly proportioned for the group of 12. They wombled along the spacious streamway, inventing novel and innovative speleopastimes as they went. The mucky ducks weren't to everyone's taste, and high pitched squeaks were to be heard as various body parts received a dunking in the icy waters.

The Upper Gallery was traversed with a great deal of silliness and the intrepid bunch were soon at the entrance to Pickering's Passage. At this point, their numbers became somewhat cumbersome as the passage narrowed to a hands and knees crawl. They wriggled along the tube, each caver becoming very familiar with the bottom of the person in front. Their esteemed navigator, Kevin, positioned himself in fine style at the rear of the party. At length, they arrived at the muddy slopes, the finest examples of such in all of the kingdom. These were ascended with much jollity and amusement. Balls were flying all over the place.

Presently they came upon the dreaded eyehole. The one known as Walmslers had been assured by Kevin 'Snake-hips' Francis that it was perfectly feasible to fit through the lower of the two openings. This turned out to be a falsehood and he was left to be unceremoniously extricated backwards through the slot by Boby Tinbarr Fuxton.

More caving followed.

With grim determination they battled through the spaces within the rock, struggling ever deeper into the bowels of the earth. Sometimes they even had to lie flat out in order to fit through the gaps.

In due course the bold adventurers arrived at their destination: Moss Chamber. Here, they rested a while in their grandiose surroundings. Some admired the spectacular flowstone cascade. Some paused and reflected on the history of the place. Others simply pondered the apparent lack of moss. Eventually, one by one, they filtered out, back from whence they came, and darkness descended on the chamber once more.

On returning down the muddy slopes, after consulting with the ever helpful Kevin, Walmslers thought it wise to try a supposable short cut and skip a few places in the queue. This took the form of a vertical tube which initially was narrow enough to brace across, but subsequently was not. A free fall ensued and he landed in a heap next to an unsuspecting Exeter bod.

Back in the Upper Gallery, Rackman and Bobbin departed for their Durmitor extravaganza. The remaining cohort, though sceptical, were persuaded to venture down the impressive Main Streamway to the Buxton Water Sump (named after Toby's dear father). Here they happened across Jeff Wade and his posse of reprobate photomonkeys.

Suitably awed by the magnificence of the sump, the subterranean explorers embarked on the long and arduous journey back to the surface. Motivated by the imminent prospect of resuming their alcohol consumption, progress was swift, and they paused only to view the intriguing Surprise View Sump. Under a starlit sky, our brave heroes made their glorious return to the Rotary Centre in time for tea, medals and topless disco in the finest tradition of CHECC.