Saturday at Sunset hole



Starkers_sunset hole Lamp Adjustment_ 04


Starkers  on his 65th. birthday trip















According to ancient legend, Sunset hole was Alan Martins first Caving trip 50 years ago. We met in Bernie’s café for breakfast before heading up the road to meet the backup team arriving at the pumping station car park area. Our motley crew set off from Chapel le Dale crossing the fell to the sink. Tom and Emma had turned up in vintage wet suits, I donned my Oldham as I was also wearing the same gear (type) I wore on my early trips once I took caving on as a more regular activity. A pleasant sunny heralded, as we wandered across the fell toward Southerscales Nature Reserve. The path was busy with walkers going up Ingleborough, giving us curious looks as we walked along.

Alan pointed out where the end of Sunset Hole was, that he, Roy Holmes and others found in 1968 and so called the '68 series. 

We arrived at the entrance finding a moderate amount of freezing cold water descending the wet entrance so we went in the easier dry entrance, except Alan Kerr, who went in the wet way, aiming to head off the team.

 The streamway meanders its way through varying heights of passage to the first climb down, then the second climb down was reached, which was laddered. Some of the team retreated at this point. After a final climb down, we reached the top of the main pitch. Alan waited here whilst Steve Grey belayed everyone down who wished to descend. Myself and Alex reached the bottom and set up with a few flashes to take pictures of people descending the ladder in the fabulous main chamber. Steve Gray popped up a couple of times through a hole part way down the shaft whilst people explored the area, some of whom had never been here before.

After a bit, people started climbing the ladder to head out, Steve again belaying everyone but no one could distinguish what the issue was, until Alex Anderson climbed up the pitch. Due to take photos as I was, Alex kept dazzling Steve.

My Oldham was too dim for that - an irony considering they were the brightest lights around at one time ...

We headed back to the surface and regrouped at the entrance before wandering over to get warm and dry. A visit to the Hill Inn followed, which seemed appropriate considering Alan Martin had worked there in times gone by and its history!

This was followed by a lovely night at Bullpot Farm. See Club Facebook pages for more pictures.   It was calculated that the 13 or so of us on the trip, which equaled 734 years of age!

Happy caving

Bill Nix


Team 1 shot_ sunset pot 04    Group in pub_after_sunset Hole 04

Group before entering Sunset Hole                      Apres drinks in the Hill Inn                                             





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