The Dentdale Meet


Team:          Angela Hare, Pete Hall, Neil Pacey and Paul Wilkinson (co-ordinator)

Youth was bullied into leading this meet, a nice easy day out exploring the lesser known regions of Dentdale. The itinerary for the day was:

A Team:    Robins Dub Cave (0800hrs)

B Team:    lbbeth Peril Caves (at their own leisure)

The A team arrived in a cloud of smoke with a screeching of brakes, Pete had been first to notice the smell of burning rubber, It turned out that the brake pads were almost on fire! After polluting the quaint tourist village of Dent in its peaceful, rural country setting the Audi roared off in completely the wrong direction towards Ribblehead driven by Captain Pacey. If you think that this was a poor start, the B team failed to materialize.

Eventually the speleo tank ground to a halt besides Robins Dub, a well noted local beauty spot in Deepdale? While we changed we were all amused by the astonished looks of passing motorists as they careered round a sharp bend and were confronted with our backsides (responsible behavior of Red Rose potholers). After getting changed into our caving gear we set off following Youth who seemed to know where he was going. He had been assured by a senior member of the club that it was an obvious entrance a few yards down the gill from the pool. Bulls**t! Youth had not got a clue. Excuses, excuses.
Patience wore a little thin as Pete slapped Youth around the lugs and told him to get a grip and find the pothole! The problem was that there was ten different entrances up and down the gill any one of which could have been Robins Dub Cave. Our intrepid leader wasn’t quite sure what the entrance looked like or what side of the gill it was on, but Youth soon put things straight.

“The entrance is either on the left or right somewhere within the gill and starts as a wet crawl for a few hundred feet”. To sum up practically all the caves in Deepdale.

Then our game began!

Rule 1.          No unfinished business!

Rule 2.         All contestants must explore each cave to the bitter end.

Dent caves can be summed up as follows: wet, bloody cold, low, tight, scoured clean and razor sharp. Eventually Youth came grovelling back into sight from a typical miserably tight slot barely above water level and announced to our jubilation that had found the cave (we had heard this story before). Three glum looking, cold, wet and torn cavers reluctantly followed.

Robins Dub Cave starts as a low crawl under blocks into a wide stream bedding, this continues downstream in much the same character until a low, spluttery duck is reached. After passing this wretched obstacle the cave matures into a fine, walking canyon passage. At this point we noticed that Pete and Angela were enjoying the unique qualities of the cave that we had previously negotiated. Neil genuinely thought that Pete would enjoy the sporting nature of the cave so far, but when asked he simply replied ‘*!@£!*’orrible!l!’  Angela’s silence spoke volumes.

Considering the active nature of the cave we began to notice considerable gnarled, grotesque but yet beautiful formations. As we continued we came across more intricate, twisted eccentrics. Here the formations became finer and more abundant until they reached staggering proportions and density, one of the finest arrays yet discovered in Deepdale.

For a few hundred feet we were treated to this spectacle until the passage dropped into a cascade and then formed a waterfall over a vertical chert wall, characteristic of many of the caves in this area. Unfortunately, from this point on, the cave degenerates into a short crawl ending in a promising dig. After sticking our fingers in to the furthest possible point of the dig we returned to the horror of the entrance crawl.
Before returning to the car we walked down the gill to try and locate the resurgence to the cave but we were unsuccessful.

One day this cave might make an interesting if short through-trip.

Another classic Red Rose meet.


Neil Pacey and Paul Wilkinson.

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