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Very far from the madding crowd

It had become harder to find that same sense of humour he used to employ when writing trip reports, Jack reflected, perhaps because the novelty of caving had worn away. Fewer screw-ups, Rhys added. Half of his face was illuminated by the fireplace next to him. I quietly slouched on one end of the sofa as I tried to recall the day. It was pleasant, smooth, but indeed ordinary. Caving had been more of a sport than an adventure for... read more

Tatham Wife and Aygill Caverns

Socially distanced posing around the entrance to Tatham Wife Hole, Ingleborough in the background. Photo credit: Rhys Tyers.

Although individuals have been able to get underground throughout the summer, to no-one’s surprise 2020 hasn’t been the best year for club caving. Greenclose is now open for pre-booking by members in small groups though. A small group of us took advantage of this in September and ended up catching a fantastically sunny weekend, the last gasp of summer before the autumn... read more

Slovenia August 2019

A merry gang of twenty-five potholers spent two weeks in Slovenia and visited a dozen caves in the lowland karst.

A short way from Laze is the Planinsko Polje, a large flat-bottomed plain surrounded by wooded limestone hills. Running through this is the river Unica, which resurges from Planinska Jama and disappears into a line of sinks along the edge of the polje. After each time this river resurges and flows across a polje it takes on a different name, hence... read more

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Summer Dinner


My caving weekend began in the hot underbelly of London, crammed between raucous French schoolchildren with no regard for tube etiquette and banker wankers spoiling my weekend get away by going on their weekend get away. This form of underground holds no appeal and I was glad to emerge in Paddington and find a seat on the waiting train. 

I let my guard down and began to relax. As I settled in for an enjoyable 2 hours of reading, I was... read more

Ardèche 2019

Grotte de Saint-Marcel in the Ardèche, France. Photo credit: Clive Westlake

In May 2019 the NPC again made pilgrimage to France, and from my wording you can tell this means I've written a pretentious blog post about it! The destination was the Ardèche for a week. Named after the river (as so many French departments are), it is especially famed for limestone and caves, in particular the World Heritage Site of Chauvet Cave and Pont D’Arc. The sport caving is very fine too.

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Aven Des Pèbres


"This cave is rather casually stal-ed."
"I don't think that's how the word ‘casually’ is used."

I was stooping in a small chamber, taking up the last bit of its space that was not already occupied by speleothems --- I have found this word which would rescue this post from repetitive mentions of cave formations --- as I imagined how people might have tried to tape them all out of bound if this were in Yorkshire. But this was not... read more

Black Shiver Pot

Black Shiver was on the meets list for Easter but did not materialise on Good Friday and I went on a fun photography trip down Sunset Hole instead, learning about the additional parking beside the St Leonards church in Chapel-le-Dale, the footpath through Southerscales and the way back to Ingleton along the road beneath Twistleton Scars (the other side of the dale from the B6255). This would be helpful the next day!

Dave, Diss and Úna arrived on Friday evening looking... read more

Endless Faff in Meregill Hole

The weather was good, the sky was clear; drop everything for Meregill Hole. It had been over 10 years since I last descended the depths of Meregill, the last being with the York Uni crowd and some rather inexperienced freshers. The result was a very cold nine-hour trip, most of it spent going up, missing call-out by an hour to find our "rescuer" on the surface, mostly passed out drunk.

I was keen to go back, with a strong team and... read more

Winter trips to South Wales

Over winter 2018-2019 the club’s had a couple of trips to South Wales and I’ve had the pleasure of attending both. I’m naturally a Yorkshire caver by dint of physical proximity and since joining the NPC I’ve mainly delved into caves in Yorkshire and France. I know next to nothing about South Wales – but the region has made a case for itself recently.

At the end of November ten members descended on the Chelsea Speleological Society’s home at Whitewalls on... read more

Happy New Year!

At the NPC we had an excellent New Year celebration to welcome 2019. In the last days of 2018 there were caving trips to Maracaibo and Arson Shaft in Easegill, Vesper Pot, Valley Entrance and Swinsto Hole in Kingsdale, and Rift Pot on the Allotment. The final trip of the year on New Year's Eve was a club bonanza down Lost Johns', with everybody reaching the master streamway.

25 members then tucked into a huge delicious feast at home in Greenclose.... read more

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Sunshine for days: summer 2018

The blog has been quiet this summer since the family meet of May and the trip to the Grands Causses in France, but only because we were still out and about taking advantage of the excellent weather instead of writing it all down! The facebook group and website galley are full of great photographs of caves and social events, and there are definitely more out there. Trip reports of some of our shenanigans will undoubtedly follow in the next newsletter which is due... read more

Les Grands Causses

In May 2017 the NPC visited the Grands Causses region of France for two weeks, staying in Meyrueis and venturing out in all directions to sample a number of the many caves in the area. Armed with both the knowledge gained from 2017 and with an updated set of more objectives, we returned to the region in May 2018 for another two weeks of caving, cycling, walking, and talking about the weather.

The Grands Causses are a group of limestone plateaus... read more

Caving aplenty at Easter 2018

The new ‘Premier Inn’, constructed single-handedly by President Tiger, had opened for business (Trip Advisor reviews to follow). The forecast was decent. Even better, the previous days had been quite dry. All things considered it was definitely time to go caving. Those who descended on Greenclose over Easter (29th March – 2nd April) all thought so, even the ones who weren’t actually there to go caving (it's been whispered that the Pennine enjoys tolerates other outdoor pursuits... don't tell anyone).

But the main event was... read more

New Website for the Pennine

An update to the club website has been long over-due but finally, here it is. It's quite a change from the previous one and will hopfully show off the club in a much better light. No doubt it will evolve over time and some bugs will be ironed out but it's going to be a work in progress.

Public features inlcude a blog which will hopfully fill up with interesting articles on trips, digging and other club (mis)adventures. A new gallery... read more

Dowlass Moss; So near and maybe not so far?

The NPC has an impressive record of cave discoveries and exploration. Before I joined in 2015, I remember perusing Northern Caves on many a winter evening; and a handful of clubs seemed to account for a disproportionate number of discoveries. Of course, the Gritstone Club and Yorkshire Ramblers, each formed around 200 BC (or something like that), were prolific; they were having their heyday in cave exploration before the NPC was even a twinkle in the eyes of our founding members. The... read more

Cottage Maintenance Weekend 2017 - the sequelThe next maintenance weekend will be held 7th/8th October and is the last opportunity this year for you to demonstrate your advanced DIY skills to fellow Pennine members. As ever there will be jobs for all abilities including concrete mixing, carpentry, plastering, painting (of course) and tea making. The idea is to get the cottage ready for the winter ahead and spruce it up a bit before we are inundated with guests. If anyone has any thoughts on something they... read more
The President’s BitI had a very enjoyable weekend at this year’s Summer Dinner in Kettlewell. The weather was brilliant and the company excellent. This was, of course the weekend of my caving comeback trip. A total of 17 other members turned up to escort me into Dow Cave, none of whom I’d caved with before. Everything went well, Dewi lent me a light and helmet and after a kit examination Graham, with certain reservations, pronounced my boiler suit and woollies adequate for... read more
Lakes Meet 2017The Lakes meet this year was at Glenridding again. I missed last year’s event because I had to go into hospital. However I’ve made a full recovery and was raring to go. Kath and I arrived on Wednesday this time so we had 4 good days of walking, Thursday we went up Sheffield Pike. On Friday we walked back from Howtown along the lakeside path. Kat, Carly, Dave and Fiona with Rocky, Jean and Mark had arrived by then and... read more
The President’s Bit

A Happy New Year to everyone. Kath and I were at Greenclose for New Year and we had an excellent evening meal cooked by Rachael. We were joined by members of the York Caving Club. They had originally booked a meal at the Indian restaurant in Bentham, but due to last minute cancellations, Rachael invited them to join us. Our thanks to her for all the hard work she put into preparing it during the day.

The Winter Dinner

The Winter Dinner was at the Whoop Hall near... read more

The Chairman’s bit

It was great to see 50 people attend the Winter Dinner at the Whoop Hall including some new (at least to me) faces. The Whoop Hall turned out to be a great venue and I would like to thank Fiona once again for finding it and for her faultless organisation of the evening. The activities during the day saw 17 people descend either Lost Johns’ cavern or Committee Pot on Leck Fell and a further 10 descend Link Pot on Casterton Fell. The evening meal was rounded off... read more

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