Volume 33 Number 1 Article 5
Stepping into the Past
Rick and I had originally started back into caving to "keep our heads together" for climbing, after all climbing walls don't give you much feeling of height. After doing a few very silly things that SRT cavers don't do, we managed to get our techniques sorted out enough to tackle most of the routes in the "Dick and Dave" book before we eventually gravitated to Bull Pot Farm. I had been raced through from Lancaster Hole to Wretched Rabbit in the past, by some member of the CRO, but had been too busy watching his heels disappear into the distance, to notice much about the route itself.
It was with the aim of finding our own way through from one end of the system to the other that found Rick and I staying at the farm for a few days near New Year. We'd get out the survey, the guidebook and pour over our route for the following day and in the morning head off to explore underground. We thought it best to work each end alternately and by different routes, so we went in through Cow, down Sneaky Route, and as far as Stake Pot. Next trip it was down Wretched Rabbit as far as Gypsum Cavern or an explore through to Monster Cavern.
It was addictive stuff this exploring and finally we did find we could connect the routes together and work our way about but that was just part of the fun. When we'd returned, eaten, been to the pub and later stretched out, we'd lie upstairs in the farm like a couple of naughty little schoolboys and read the paperback account by Jim Eyre of the Easegill System. I remember one night reading out a section and finding that the words seemed to come to life, and there we both were, on the original exploration stumbling around with failing lights and hemp rope ladders off to find a new bit of cave. When I stopped reading Rick urged me to keep going, but of course I didn't, like all good stories it had to be cut off at the exciting bit and continued the next night, then it was his turn to read. Many people try to do what we had done and I'm sure most of them have just as much fun as we did, but isn't that's what's so magical about Easegill after all.