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Lancaster Hole to Maracaibo inlet - 25th May 2009

Monday May 25th 2009

Members present: Andy Tricklebank,  Matt Hobby,  Nicola Gover,  Richard Gover

Report by Nicola Gover

Originally we were supposed to be doing Ireby II but Matt wanted a short trip and we couldn't be arsed packing ropes so we changed to Maracaibo instead. Matt and Andy were already in Ingleton so we met them in Bernies before 10 after a super-quick start and drive, despite having to collect the car from Ollie's after beerage! We told the others we had changec plans, and convinced Andy to buy an Omni (I want one too!), and one ruthlessly efficient breakfast later we were off to Bull pot farm which was eerily quiet! Shame as we wanted to test out the showers (we currently dont have one!).

We set off for Lancaster with Andy carrying a umbrella to shield his glowing red neck and looking very special (luckily there was noone to see us!). He then proceeded to rig by getting Matt to do the start for him then faffing around until rich took over. Old age dementia setting in i think. Very warm outside so i was very happy to get into the cool!

A quick stomp down Kath's way and Fall pot and we were in the main drain. Really nice to do pretty much all of this. Its a very fine streamway indeed! After a quick wee stop we found the obscure hole on to Maracaibo. Maracaibo is mainly a small straight rift, with Bloody Thigh passage at the start (no bleeding this time though :-)) and various tight bits and squeezes along the way (I lose track). We made matt go first, who wimpered at the tight bits until we forced him through (its character building!). Lots and lots of pretty stuff down here which its very hard to avoid. We eventually got to a bit where we'd have to climb up and squeeze very carefully past a very white stal, which turned out to be quite hard so as this was virtually at the end we decided to call it quits and head out before breaking anything!

Nice quick exit and out to sunshine, although the dark clouds were massing! Got changed before the rain started and headed back to bernie's which was unfortunately shut. Off to Bodrum's for about half 5. Earliest ever i think! They now give you wooden platters for your pizza instead of wasting boxes. Very civilised! Back in York super early but really quite tired and battered! My elbows and knees still hurt!

All in all a good trip, hard but short and very pretty. Don't go twice though as its too easy to break stuff.