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Yorkshire Weekend Feb 2014

by Gary Vaughan, 24 February 2014

A strong number of members attended the club trip to Yorkshire last weekend. The accommodation used was the recently upgraded and very much improved YSS hut at Helwith Bridge. The planned Friday trip to Juniper Gulf was abandoned due to very heavy rain and almost gale strength gusts of wind and instead a smaller party of three made a deep and extensive trip into King Pot whilst the bulk of the group settled on Aquamole as a jolly jaunt for the day. Jo White was the nominated rigging expert and new member Morgan Specht handled all of the de-rigging assisted by that well known vertical expert Brian Clipstone, this time in full control of all of his descents! The bottom pitch was well watered making prussiking away from the bottom of the cave a very damp and un-comfortable experience for everybody who didn't have a sewn in hood. (smug mood engaged). Joshua Vaughan made it all look too easy and his degenerate father pretty much escaped having to do any hard work at all. Result. Friday nights meal was provided by Helen Hooper and Andy Jones (the bulk of the King Pot team) and a very fine thai curry it was. All that was left was to partake of the fine ales from the local pub, the one next door. Saturday dawned not much brighter and nowhere near as fair as it could have been. With water levels still high and a keen driving wind a mass exchange trip from County Pot to Lancaster Hole was set up. Ben Stevens was in charge of the Lancaster Hole crew which included Chloe Foster, Richard Sore and Jo. Those less lucky such as Brian, Morgan and Josh, found themselves trudging over to County Pot with me. The trip was indeed sold on the basis of 'we are going to get lost a few times' and indeed the trip lived up to it's expectations. Poetic justice took about an hour to find even though I'd walked past it about ten times but surprisingly we still made it to Stop Pot before we encountered Ben's team making good and steady progress. We hoovered up some unsuspecting cavers at Fall Pot who were trying to make their way towards Stake Pot in search of Lancaster Hole only to then get them lost again when I became convinced that the way on was not actually the way on! Eventually they had the good sense to ignore me (as do my children) and they found their own way to Lancaster Hole and kindly sent somebody back to fetch me!! And so it was with much egg on face and two route finding f*@k $s we popped out to a very bleak cold and dark Casterton Fell about six hours after entering County. Ben's lot were long departed for pastures green and hot showers. A massive communal Chilli concrete for 8 on the Saturday night set everyone up well for the pub again which was a buzz with cavers from YSS and Grampian SG who were also staying at the hut. Sunday dawned a little brighter, still windy but to everyone's surprise the forecast 'heavy and prolonged rain' was nowhere to be seen. A fine trip was made into Notts II which was impressive not just for the entrance shaft engineering works but for the magnificent clean washed streamway which sets this cave a notch above many other Yorkshire favourites. For this jolly jaunt Morgan Josh and myself were joined by Ben and Chloe. A super Sunday trip and with no waiting for 'rope free' we were all done and dusted in about two and a half hours have explored the entire streamway top to bottom. I can thoroughly recommend this trip. Book early next SWCC Yorkshire trip to avoid disappointment (pot). Trip Report by Gary Vaughan