A Wharfdale Weekend. (May 4th - 6th)

A big Red Rose turnout for the weekend of the year.

Friday night: Giles Barker, Ray Duffy, Pete Hall and Richard Jones somehow managed to locate the correct pub and meet up.

Saturday: Dave Crellin and Bob Stevens turned up and managed to clean the cafe of Kettlewell tourists, after a lot of misgivings about the weather we set off to tackle Pasture Gill Pot at about 2pm! — early for us! Pete rigged down a scruffy entrance pitch which took us t a better wet pitch, the water was avoided by dropping out of a window over to the left of the pitch head. After a short scramble through a shale band we dropped down a magnificent forty metre pitch —all clean washed — then through a bouldery rift (a bit like Brown Hill Pot) then into Tadpole Passage. This is a crawl in water, nothing desperate except for Richard who was in “dry” gear, most of the rest of us wore wetsuits.

After that a couple of easy pitches which we free climbed then a rift, then a duck although Richard added another to his repertoire, whilst the rest of us walked over the top via a walking passage Richard tried to force a “nose—to—the—floor” squeeze at the duck. After that the cave became mainly hands and knees or stooping through a superbly decorated stream passage to eventually arrive at The Forest where tree roots come through the roof. Got to the last pitch but we had not brought any tackle for it, the sump was immediately below that.

Superb and enjoyable trip, no real difficulties, plenty of variety and superb formations at the end. Ask the farmer at Top Farm, Yockenthwaite first or Beckermonds if he is not in.

Sunday: The Z team, campers got totally smacked on Saturday night. The A team has been luxuriating at Buckden house but were ready to go caving, eventually Ray and Giles were joined by Richard to go in Birks Fell Cave. This turned out to be a magnificent trip with great variety, excellent passages, climbs, crawls, cascades and some magnificent formations especially in Whitehall, it is also very long so you can get good value for the day.. Certainly one of the best trips in the North if not the UK.

Meanwhile Anne and Andy had turned up on Saturday and they went down Pasture Gill on Sunday.

Giles Barker.


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