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 of course caving. The meets list had been stuffed with trips in preparation. Although it was as likely as not that the caves on the meets list would be the ones actually visited, plenty of caving was had indeed. Friday saw a mass attack on Leck Fell and Lost Johns’. The main event was a successful exchange/through trip with Notts II (Committee Pot) in both directions, although I would obviously say that because that's the trip I did. The connection is
a bit of a grovel an entertaining piece of engineering, but I won't spoil it for you. Route descriptions for the CNCC may be forthcoming however. Other trips included exchanges between the Dome and Centipede routes, Boxhead Pot, and a visit to Short Drop.
Saturday was more fafftastic. Growling Hole was on the meets list, but a huge dark grey cloud hung threateningly in the sky. Although the cloud never burst a hideous cold wind blew all day, so it was never pleasant; still, it was dry. Some joined York Caving Club on Leck Fell, visiting Gavel, Short Drop, and Notts II; appropriate given it was the final day before closed season. Four headed over to Casterton for some noodling in Bull Pot of the Witches. A trio also bounced down Long Kin West, where Rhys took the photograph above of the impressive entrance pitch.
On Saturday evening several people went to Ruposhi, the Indian restaurant in Bentham, to fill up on naan and rice. Unfortunately the food took two hours to arrive! This gave the diners plenty of time to establish that salted lassi is a highly acquired taste though – it’s a no from 9 out of 10 cavers. It also gave them plenty of time to mull over possible trips for Sunday.
When Sunday arrived not only was enthusiasm still high, it still wasn’t raining. A trip down Cow Pot and Wilf Taylors Passage was enjoyed by a small contingent while the greater masses executed the plan formulated the previous night: an Alum/Diccan NPC/YCC exchange. Four teams on rigging and derigging duties descended the potholes. Par for the course, as they passed one another they took a few photographs and shared a few laughs as well as a few gripes thanks to the cold. Meanwhile at the cottage the hole in the roof was pushed to discover if it was a goer. Contrary to all caving instinct, it was plugged up tight upon discovering that it did.
The promised precipitation arrived on Monday. Satisfied with three days of activity most people packed up. The keenest were not dissuaded however and zipped down Lancaster Hole. Apparently finding the round trip in Wilf Taylors Passage too lovely, they plumbed the muddy length of Skittle Alley before returning to heavy rain on the surface, concluding the four-day weekend wetly but satisfyingly.
Wilf Taylor's Passage. Photo credit: Rhys Tyers.