RRCPC Newsletter
Volume 45 Number 1 Article 5
March 2008

Lancaster Hole

Sunday 16th December 2007

After a number of years away from caving I decided to see if it was still as much fun as it used to be. Having wangled a provisional membership with RRCPC and contacted Paul about a trip, he picked me up from my house in Darlington at 8 in the morning (one advantage of living near to the meets secretary!) After an uneventful drive across the Dales, we picked up a light at Inglesport and got a bit of breakfast and met up with Dave (Eldon Club) before heading over to the farm. Today's plan was to check some of the slightly obscure crawls in the Saturday Afternoon Series.

I was a bit nervous since I have not been down a cave since 1999 but I managed to squeeze into my old caving gear (only just) and remembered how to get into my SRT gear as well. We tramped over to Lancaster Hole and Paul set about rigging. The hole looked very narrow and dark from the top but after Paul headed down to the first ledge and set up the rebelay, I headed down and things were easier than I had thought. We all made it to the bottom in fairly short order and left our SRT gear there.

We headed off via Bridge Hall and Bill Taylor's Passage to Fall Pot where we traversed around to Montague West Passage and then to the Saturday Afternoon Series where we had planned to have a look at the small passages marked on the survey. We had a good crawl around and found that all but one of the passages did not go any further however one was small and unpleasant but did probably progress to the further area of surveyed cave we had seen on the survey.

We then went for a good explore around Waterfall Passage, first down to the bottom end and the waterfall and then following it up to the sump and checking any likely looking climbs as well. Next, we headed to Cross Passage and Wilf Taylor's Passage, took a look at the upstream sump and the beginning of Wilf Taylor's 2 as well. A quick drop down Double Decker Pot (it does look scary from above) to the Main Drain where there was very little water on this cold winter's day. We subsequently climbed up through Fall Pot to make our way back to the bottom of Lancaster Hole by the same route we entered by and the very tiring (for me anyway) ascent back out which went uneventfully if slowly.

Tiring but great fun and definitely gave me the bug to get back into caving - just got to work on the wife now to get some time to come over regularly!

James Eckersley

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