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Sell Gill Holes - An easter daydream?

Monday April 5th 2021

Members present: Jean-luc Heath,  Sam Dennison

Report by Jean-luc Heath

With my degree over and YUSU once again banning fun, I obtained a job at an "outdoor adventure company" which will remain nameless, in the hope that it would somewhat improve my ever-growing sense of boredom. However, about 3 hours into yeeting kids down a zipline on a sunny Easter Sunday, I soon found my mind wandering to what I would do with my single day off the next day, and so began a most fantastic daydream which is described below...

I dreamt of waking up the next morning with a sudden and unstoppable urge to visit Sell Gill, the most glorious of potholes. Following said urge, I begin scouring my house for caving gear and soon assemble all of the necessary gubbins and pack the rope into a single bag. This is the first clue that this must be a fantasy, no such thing could ever occur in reality! As I was finishing my packing an athletic American man appeared in my kitchen and introduced himself as Bam Sennison and asked if I would mind spelunking with him. I can only assume that this character represents what my mind thinks Sam would look like as an American caver - mysterious, and a further indication that this may have been a dream. New companion in tow, I set off to the dales and found myself stuck in some Harrogate traffic, something so potent and pervasive it even permeates my dreams. This is soon out the way and we park in glorious sunshine at the layby just after new houses. Despite the alluring sun, the wind was biting. This encouraged a rapid change and yomp up the hill to the inviting holes of Sell Gill. So as to further confirm my slumberous state, both routes were unoccupied despite it being a sunny bank holiday Monday.

The dry route was descended first with minimal faff other than a strange occurrence when I tried to rig a Y-hang with a double fig-8-on-the-bight, which kept transforming into an easter bunny whenever tied. It was therefore soon replaced by a fig-8 and an alpine - classic. With this faff over the bottom was soon reached, and I was rapidly joined by Bam Sennison. Whilst roaming the ample chamber we came across a lady of the cave perched upon a rock, she introduced herself as Dusty Pockets and handed us each a rather crusty Mars bar. When we looked back after munching down these trogloditic treats, Dusty Pockets had vanished - how very strange. We decided it was time to head back up so we could re-descend the wet route. Bam helpfully offered to derigg, so an uneventful prussic out occurred. This meant we were once again in the gloriously sunny yet horribly cold weather, therefore encouraging a rapid escape back underground via the wet route. Much fun was had, with the slightly odd rigging of the goblin route providing its usual entertainments. We were soon once again in the ample main chamber, so raced down towards the ducks, which had been replaced, by, you guessed it, a large passage filled with angry geese. Luckily Bam had brought a box of American cereal which was used to expertly distract the geese from our passing through, and descending of the final pitch. Here we found Tony Seddon in an Easter bunny costume closely guarding a clutch of Petzl branded eggs. Not wanting to anger the brooding Seddon we headed out rapidly but found the geese had become both incredibly hench and very hyper, due to all the steroids and sugar in the American cereal. Bam came to the rescue once more, producing a whole set of gym weights from his tacklesack, which the geese all soon took turns using in a surprisingly polite manner. This cleared the way for our exit, which was largely uneventful and soon saw us in the sunshine once more.

The trundle down to the car was made totally bizarre by the sudden appearance of snow. We found this strange, and it made the change a little bit unpleasant. We also remembered to cancel our callout, which for some reason had been set with Liv's dog. Once home I stashed all the gear, made some scran, and hopped into bed. No sooner had I shut my eyes, than my alarm was blaring. It was Tuesday morning! What had happened to my day off?? And for that matter, the rest of my day on? Did I somehow forget an entire afternoon of child yeeting? Was this dream actually some kind of reality? I'm not sure I will ever know for certain. But what is certain, is that I'll be going ape if I don't get myself into a cave (again?) soon!