Recent reports

Lost John's Cave

Saturday January 16th 2016

Members present: Adam Walmsley,  Adam Hughes,  Alistair Rollinson,  Jia xuan Leong,  Joseph Smith,  Joshua Young,  Kevin Hohl,  Mark Sims,  Rachel Findlay,  Will Scott

Report by Will Scott

The day started very efficiently leaving the store at 0730 and easily finding the alternative route to Skipton avoiding the closed A59. Reaching a cold Ingleton at around 1000 we met Mark and all tucked into a decent breakfast. Some people bought gear in standard fashion and then we set off to Leck Fell……...let the fun and games begin.

Leaving Mark’s car in Ingleton he clambered into mine and Rachel followed me. Unsurprisingly she didn’t know the way to Leck Fell. As we travelled up the lane the amount of ice on the road increased. At a small incline the road was almostly completely covered in ice apart from a small strip of sound tarmac on the right next. The Tiguan being a 4x4 made it effortlessly up this tretorous piece of road and I happily carried on in my own little world. However I soon realised Rachel was no longer behind me. Stopping the car Mark and I walked back down the road to find a Torvill and Dean reenactment going on. Readers let me remind you Rachel’s car, although being large with fair ground clearance does not possess 4 wheel drive.
After some faffing around in true YUCPC style Rachel decided she wouldn’t make it up and I was to drop Mark, Ali, Joe and Josh off at the lay by and go back down to collect Rachel’s team. Another team, heading down Notts Pot said the road was worse further up so I was a little apprehensive but thankfully the Tiguan ploughed up, and back down without a hitch.

Upon reaching the car park at the bottom of the lane a Walmslers was spotted and we realised not everyone would fit in my car. Walmslers decided to give the lane a shot and sure enough in unrivaled ability to complete any task set in front of him Walmslers conquered the lane. It should now be pointed out that Rachel received much banter for being unable to reach the layby.

Being a complete Doyle I had failed to pack the two ropes that connect the Monastery and Dome routes. So after some more banter and a game guess the tackle sack rope lengths the bags were reorganised and we set off on our jolly way.

The streamway in the entrance was considerably more tame compared to my last visit when Toby was unable to enter the cave for fear of being washed away. It was decided that Walmslers, Joe, Josh, Ali and myself would smash it down Centipede and meet the others at the bottom. Team Findlay and Sims had a delayed start due to losing Kevin and JX somewhere in the entrance streamway.

Some slight faff with the ropes being in the wrong order hindered progress somewhat at the Candle and Shistol pitch. However this was soon rectified and we continued to what has to be the most exhilarating piece of rigging I have ever done. Battle Axe traverse. This brilliant traverse lead onto the fantastic Valhalla pitch, around 40 metres of free hanging abseil.

Dropping neatly down the Final pitch we got into the master cave. Following upstream we followed a winding stream passage for a good while until the wintery cold water got too close to the Crown Jewels and being an all male squad we retreated.

Meeting Mr Hughes back at the junction where we joined the master cave, we made our way into Lyle Cavern. Climbing up a handline onto a calcite ledge gave a good view of the cavern and Sims took the opportunity to take some photos.

Walmslers and myself toyed with the idea of going out of Notts two. Coming to our senses and realising that snow would now be covering the surface, leaving people waiting for their clothes didn’t seem like a sensible option.

Swapping routes we made our way out. Having rigged to the bottom Lumens offered to de-rig so Josh and myself made an efficient exit. Emerging to find a snow covered Leck Fell and snow covered cars. A speedy change was completed and we sat in the car and warmed up.

About half an hour later Walsmlers, Lumens and Joe arrived and they too made a rapid change. Buddling into my car Walsmlers shared round some biscuits he’d found in his car……...classic Walmslers.

Sooner than we thought the others arrived and before we knew it we were pushing Walsmlers’ car off the layby and onto the road. At this point the snow filled games restarted. Walmslers was ahead of me down the track and having a much heavier car I was soon quite close to him. Gentle breaking did slow the car but skidding was still the overriding momenta. To avoid careering into the back of Walmslers I mounted the verge and soon what looked like a large rock loomed ahead of me. The car was flung into the air and I was pretty sure I'd done some serious damage but everyone was fine and that was my principal concern.

At this point I did admittedly have a sense of humour failure. I was so relieved to reach the bottom car park to find my car was all fine. It was a very slow journey home but we arrived safely in York having made the standard stop off in Skippy.