Recent reports

Aquamole Pot

Sunday November 12th 2023

Members present: Alfie Exall,  Elliot Macinnes,  Ethan Griffiths

Report by Ethan Griffiths

“One of the more miserable caving experiences I’ve had” – Alfie.

The car journey gave me enough time to moan, and for Elliot and I to decide that we didn’t care about seeing the Aquamole sump. Kingsdale was cold. By the time we reached Aquamole we were also pretty cold so, after spotting another groups rope, we came to a pretty final conclusion that we couldn’t be arsed to wait around at the bottom pitch.
I messed around with some rope, Elliot and Alfie’s loud but warranted complaints spurring me on. Eventually we were all in the Entrance series, and I was starting to regret the previous evenings bottle of wine.
A number of rebelays later, we started hearing more than the usual number of voices. The group below were kindly waiting for us to reach the bottom of the entrance series before ascending. I took a peek at the topo, switched tackle sacks and attempted to rig the rest of the rebelays. I quickly realised that we did not have enough rope and negotiated an exchange with the group below. I would ascend back to the ledge that Elliot was on and Alfie would join us, allowing the group below to pass.
They accepted this happily and started heading up. While the five of them ascended and de-rigged, I started to get cold feet (see what I did there). We had been in the cave for a couple of hours and hadn’t yet left the entrance series. At this point we decided to chalk it up to bad luck try again another day. Alfie and Elliot went down the diver’s rope to keep warm. A cracking mix of nausea, no chest tape and general incompetence hindered my ascent greatly. We made it out of the cave by 4:30 and headed to the Ingleton coop to grab some much-needed blood sugar.

We got back to the hut, met Becca, packed our gear into the whip and headed on our merry way - for about 5 minutes. Alfie had been a gargantuan pillock and left all his shit at the npc. It must have been a tough night because, just outside the greenclose turning, my drive shaft divorced the rest of my car. Alfie must be a clairvoyant because his forgetfulness potentially saved us from turning into a very heavy bicycle on the A65.

We had lost steering, power, and my wheel was not where a wheel is meant to be. The car couldn’t be pushed back so it was left precariously in the middle of Clapham road. Becca, Elliot and Alfie, realising it could be a long night, walked back to the npc. I stood by the car, hazards burning holes in my eyelids, and called the AA. A few hours later a lovely chap called David rocked up, had a look, and confirmed to the AA that it was fucked. After a quick chat, he wished me luck and left for another job. Another few hours and “Big Ol’ Lorry” number 1 turned up, loaded my car onto the trailer and dropped us off even further from York than we started.
It was clocking close to midnight and we were halfway to Scotland with a broken car in a near abandoned services. Becca transformed some chairs into a comfy looking makeshift bed. This was clearly not her first rodeo. I called the AA, who told me that no one was on their way yet. An hour later I got a call from the AA telling me someone was 10 minutes away.

I getting restless at the thought of bed, while the AA performed Jesus’ lesser known miracle of turning 10 minutes into 3 hours.
A cool 4:30 in the morning “Big Ol’ Truck” number 2 arrived, albeit smaller than its predecessor, and dragged our tired corpses back to York.
Special thanks to:
Alfie, Becca and Elliot for being insanely patient; the AA for the impromptu trip to the lake district; David for being a stellar lad and “Big Ol’ Truck” drivers 1 and 2 for eventually getting us to York.