Recent reports

Black Shiver Pot - 25th Jul 2009

Saturday July 25th 2009

Members present: Andrew Vick,  Catherine Moody,  Mark Sims

Report by Catherine Moody

The alarm went off at 8 – as usual we chose to ignore it and went back to sleep. 15 minutes later Mark came knocking at the door (disappointingly without tea) and we were forced to get up. Deciding it was too late to have breakfast there, and as there was lots of shopping to be done in Bernies, off we headed.

Having not had a first breakfast, we opted for 2 courses. It turns out that cereal in Bernies is a very good option. However when its quiet, there isnt much time between courses and I ended up not being able to finish my breakfast butty - error. Perhaps the crunchy nut cornflakes would have been best served as a pudding – one to ponder for future occasions.

Eventually we made it up to the cave, and after some cake eating and sunbathing, finally left the lovely warmth behind.

The entrance crawl was rather minging it has to be said. I also managed to get myself drenched on the first pitch and so was very cold and wet the whole way down which took away from some of the fun. At the top of the (very impressive!) Black Rift I did an awful lot of shivering (explains the name) while waiting for the other two to sort out the bizarre rigging. It gave me a good opportunity to play with the turbo and strobe settings on my Fenixs though!

Downstream from the big pitch was a duck – since I was already soaked I thought what the hell and through we went into an impressive high canyon. The way on though was through an awkwardly small streamway to the final pitch where we spotted the ropes going across up to the newly discovered extensions. Some really nice streamway beyond this soon brought us to the 3m drop just before the sump where due to lack of time we opted to turn round and head back out.

All was going swimmingly (pun not intentional) until the top of Black Dub. While trying to squeeze up through the narrow gap at the pitch head, my light got knocked off its strap. I went to grab it before it rolled off my knee but missed and it went plummeting into the deep pool below. Mark kindly went for a swim in an attempt to find it but after a couple of minutes I decided it wasn’t worth it – even if he did find it, it would probably be fairly buggered after hitting the rock on the way down. I’d spent so long before the trip making sure my fenixs were securely attached that the middle light had been somewhat neglected. Oh well, a lesson for the future!

The last couple of pitches were fairly speedy, but the entrance crawl was again a bit of a bugger on the way out – the tackle sack was not my friend. I was quite glad to reach daylight, partly cos I’d been desperate for a pee for about the last 5-6 hours (there was no way I was stripping off underground when I was so cold to start with!)

Despite the cold and wet, and the loss of my light, it was a great trip. A fab cave with lots of variety. And of course great company :p The day was finished with some excellent (not swimming in grease!) take-away pizza from Austwick – yum.