Out Sleets Beck Trip .10th May ‘87
Jim Newton, Graham Leach, Bill Holden, Frank Hardy, Garald Wareing, Doug Wayman, with Andy Goddard (Aston University/CDG Northern section) and Stuart Marshall (Aston University CC).
Andy an myself set off, from Bullpot Farm on Sunday morning following Jim to Out Sleet Beck Pot, at an unmentionable hour considering that the previous night had been the last Saturday under the present ownership at the Marton Arms!!
The cave entrance is situated along a “track” along from Dale Head. Maybe it was the previous night or just sheer laziness that we took all the, cars. along this “track” instead of walking along the road Mini’s are just not designed for this terrain, so after severe groundings, scraping of exhaust pipes, and floating over rivers we arrived very close- to the cave entrance.
kitting up (gluing bits of neoprene to you body) the intrepid heptad (have you lost
one? Ed) set off for the entrance, which turned out to be a hole down which
the stream was pouring Half an hour later a dam, had been constructed and the
stream bed reconstructed so that the water actually went downstream rather than
down the entrance
However a short ‘crawl’ and ‘climb down inside the entrance soon revealed that this had been a waste of time as the water joined the passage again via: an inlet.
After a short time alternately crawling and walking, the head of the first pitch, or should I say the second pitch was reached. The first pitch had turned out to be just an awkward climb down for l2ft.
Cascade Pot, the second pitch, proved to be well named - a bit damp, and after much blocking up of the passageway with bodies and subsequent drownings, the party descended through this obstacle. The third pitch also about 40ft followed after a crawl and walk past some very nice cauliflower like formations.
pitch proved to be equally well named - Deluge Pot described by the guide book
as “very wet”. Damming proved to be far more effective and large torrents could
be released as and when desired. Andy Goddard was heard to remark subsequently
that he wished he had brought his diving bottles following the amount of water
that had been
released onto his head! After this pitch easy walking led to a swim to a passage with restricted airspace and a tight squeeze in the swimming passage. It was here that Jim Newton, who was wet suited and Gerald and Doug who weren’t, turned round and went out.
The true diehards carried on however to a rift passage followed by Seesaw Passage - a bedding plain in water with a disturbing flood level height (about 50ft.. up the passageway previous). Seesaw Passageway ends in an impenetrable (wish you would use easy words.. Ed) bedding and collapse very close to the resurgence (spiders webs were seen! ! )
The return trip proved equally entertaining being noted particularly by the absence of Frank who first went wandering around Seesaw Passage and who we waited for at the foot of Deluge Pot. At the top of the second pitch, Graham went out, followed by me. Frank followed, leaving Bill and Andy to de-rig. However when Bill and Andy emerged there was no Frank. Andy was sent in “to the rescue” to find Frank up the inlet, having previously gone up the correct passage, changing his mind, then going up the inlet. Jim was heard to remark - well that’s Frank - or something to that effect.
Previously of particular note on the way out was the large increase in water in the entrance series, this turned out to be due to the amazing way that the water had moved the dam from the entrance of the cave across the stream diverting the water down the entrance - amazing!!
pictures of people damming on Deluge Pot should be interesting also.
Jim et al who left early went in search of the resurgence and possible “dig”. Jim after consulting the survey remarked; “If this was Easegill, someone would have dug through there by now” - if they did it would be an interesting through trip but I like the cave as it stands dry weather only!!
P.S. Watch out for the cows - for some reason they like investigating smelly wet caving wetsuits as you are trying to take them off.