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How to use this?

These reports are meant to be useful.

Include information such as:

  • parking information,
  • how to find entrance to the cave,
  • water levels you encountered (high/low if you have been somewhere before),
  • tackle used (rope lengths are key),
  • key navigational information,
  • time spent in cave estimation,
  • is it any good with freshers (hard climbs and similar).

Keep it brief!

South Wales

"Umap interactive map"

Cave: OFD Hut: SWCC
Date: 14-16 Oct 2016 Tackle: N/a
Cavers: David, Sam, Weipeng,Patrick, Olly, Stuart, Adrian Novice ok? N/a

Saturday: OFD1 to Cwm Dwr;
Saturday: Cwm Dwr - Fault Aven - Top Entrance.
Sunday: Riverside and cross-country walk from Pontneddfechan.

Cave: Agen Allwedd Hut: Whitewalls
Date: 12-14 Feb 2016 Tackle: N/a
Cavers: Patrick Stewart Sam Wenham, Olly Madge, Adrian Horrell, Aiora Zabala, Mark Shinwell Novice ok? N/a

Saturday: One group to Agen Allwedd (Main stream passage).
Wonderful St Valentine's themed group dinner at The Bear. Some snow fell during the trip.
Sunday: Nice walk along the canal & river from Gilwern.

Cave: OFD Hut: SWCC
Date: 16-18 Oct 2015 Tackle: N/a
Cavers: David Walker, Max Schneiderman, Josiah Yan, Wade Suen, Yining Neo, Yuqun Lin, Conor Bolas, Marius Cannon, Michael Sargent, Adrian, Mark Novice ok? N/a

Cave: OFD Hut: SWCC
Date: 23-25 Jan 2015 Tackle: N/a
Cavers: David, Matt, Aled, Olly, Gareth Novice ok? N/a

Saturday: Top to Cwm Dwr.
Sunday: Short round trip in top

Cave: Agen Allwedd, Ogof y Daren Cilau Hut: Whitewalls
Date: 31 Jan-2 Feb 2014 Tackle: N/a
Cavers: Alex L, Claire, Smita,Alex B, Anya, Matt, Jess, Olly, Mark, Aiora, Sam, Stuart, Gareth, Adrian. Novice ok? N/a

Saturday: An enjoyable few hours looking around Aggy, taking in the impressive Main Passage and The Southern Streamway.
Sunday: In an unguarded moment at the pub a week or so before this trip, a Caver of Larger Circumference had let slip that he might be persuaded to try Daren Cilau. Being unable to think of a convincing excuse, he found himself walking up the hillside on Sunday morning with a jovial group of cavers who kept picking up (and being admonished to put down) pointy sticks, and soon was underground. He had secretly pinned his hopes on not fitting through The Vice. After a few minutes quiet contemplation followed by a few minutes of wriggling, however, he was horrified to find himself on the other side. There he was met by Another Caver, grinning from ear to ear in a manner that plainly said 'you've had it now, mate.' A slightly delayed pair of cavers caught up in the entrance crawl, and the combined group of six proceeded through the cave to exit at Price's Dig - an impressive piece of navigation by Another Caver. The Caver of Larger Circ. was knackered.

Cave: OFD Hut: SWCC
Date: 8-10th Nov 2013 Tackle: N/a
Cavers: N/a Novice ok? N/a

Cave: Ogof Draenen, Ogof y Daren Cilau Hut: Whitewalls
Date: 9-10th Mar 2013 Tackle: N/a
Cavers: Jess, Sam, Emma, Edvin, Kathryn, Adrian Novice ok? N/a

Saturday: Ogof Draenen. All up for breakfast at 7:30am so we could make it to the Lamb and Fox just in time to piggyback on a digging trip. We were late. Fortunately, we appeased them by contributing Emma to the dig effort (actually, she just didn't say no quickly or convincingly enough). The rest of us were underground by 10am (surely some mistake? Ed), and dispatched the entrance series fairly efficiently, owing to gravity assist for the larger caver. We were soon signing in at Cairn Junction. After a side trip to Straw Grotto, and a stop for Edvin to test some rusted-to-crap in-situ gear, we made for Gilwern Passage via Wonderbra Bypass. Much tedious boulder hopping was amply rewarded by some spectacular formations. At the end of the passage, the more dimensionally blessed elements of the team went on to explore north of a bouldery squeeze. Regrouping, we walked, teetered, clambered and cracked our shins back south along Gilwern Passage and on for a look at the streamway before heading out. We bypassed the bypass, securing opprobrium for the navigator. The entrance series seemed much wetter and colder on the way out! T/U 6.5hrs.

Sunday: A few determined and hardy cavers (Jess, Emma, Sam) ambled into Daren Cilau while the rest of us went for a stroll and lazed about the hut.

Cave: OFD II Hut: SWCC
Date: 25th-27th Jan 2013 Tackle: N/a
Cavers: Matt Watson, Mark Shinwell, Alex Crow, Jess Stirrups, Aiora Zabala, Simon Iremonger, John Bennetts, Tom Leighton, Henry Dawson (BEC), Adrian Horrell Novice ok? N/a

Cave: OFD I, Llygad Llwchwr Hut: SWCC
Date: 26 - 28 Oct 2012 Tackle: N/a
Cavers: Joshua Weiss, Rui Hao, Meekail Nasym, David Walker, Robert Wilson, Lara Spencer, Martin Green, Edvin Deadman, Jess Stirrups, Alex Crow, Stuart Bennett, Adrian Horrell Novice ok? N/a

Saturday: Two groups for round trips in OFD I. Despite setting off on different routes, the parties ran into each other much more often than one might expect. Fun at Roundabout Chamber, some impressive formations and fine wet streamway made for an interesting and varied trip. Evening entertainment included a Saucepan and Sling friendly against UBSS.

Sunday: A combined group visited Llygad Llwchwr on the western edge of the Black Mountain, half an hour's drive from the hut. Wriggling into a little hole above the stream resurgence gets you into a compact and interesting cave where high-level passageway meets the streamway in a series of impressive chambers.

Cave: OFD I, Cwm Dwr, Pant Mawr Hut: SWCC
Date: 20 - 22 Jul 2012 Tackle: N/a
Cavers: Siobhan McGowan, Nial Peters, Matt Watson, Edvin Deadman, Kathryn Hopkins, Jess Stirrups, Olaf Kaehler, Mark Shinwell, David Molnar, Aiora Novice ok? N/a

OFD1 - Cwm Dwr exchange on Saturday. Nial, Matt, Edvin, Kathryn & Jess visiting the Pompon on the way to Cwm Dwr exit (Pictures!). Siobhan, Olaf, Mark, David and Aiora on an epic 10hrs trip on the way to OF1 stream (Pictures!)
Pant Mawr on Sunday, glorious weather for the 1hr long walk. Cavers: Siobhan, Nial, Edvin, Kathryn, Olaf, Aiora
Mark, Matt, David somewhere else...

Cave: Darren and Craig Hut: Whitewalls
Date: 20 - 22 Apr 2012 Tackle: N/a
Cavers: Bela Dimova, Andrew Diver, Nial Peters, Dan Storisteanu, Tess Jones, Wookey, Gareth, Aiora Novice ok? N/a

Darren up to the Time Machine on Saturday (Nial, Bela, Andrew, Dan, Aiora), 10hrs underground Craig on Sunday (Wookey, Andrew, Dan, Bela, Aiora), 6 hrs underground

Cave: OFD Hut: SWCC
Date: 27-29 Jan 2012 Tackle: 40m + some, a few jammers
Cavers: Tom Handford, Tess Jones, Jan Lellmann, Siobhan McGowan, Mark Shinwell, Jess Stirrups, Daniel Storisteanu, Matt Watson, Wookey, Aiora Zabala Novice ok? N/a

Saturday 28th: Team keen consisted of Wookey, Jess, Tom and guest appearance by Olaf. They decided to go practice their cave flying skills in OFDIII and came back looking very tired.

The second party consisted of Matt, Aiora and the newbies (Danial, Siobhan and Jan), who opted for a more civilised bimble round OFDII.

Sunday 29th: Nobody was feeling ultra keen today, so we all went into Cwm Dwr down to the stream way - we split into two groups, one went via the wet way and the other via the dry way. Guest appearances by Olaf (who unsurprisingly didn't like the streamway) and Gareth.

Cave: Aggie and Daren (Saturday), Ogof Craig y Fynnon (Sunday) Hut: Whitewalls
Date: 19-20 Jan 2008 Tackle: N/a
Cavers: Tom Handford, Tess Jones, Jan Lellmann, Siobhan McGowan, Mark Shinwell, Jess Stirrups, Daniel Storisteanu, Matt Watson, Wookey, Aiora Zabala Novice ok? N/a


"Umap interactive map"

Cave: Swildons ~ short-round variant Hut: Wessex
Date: 18 Nov 2017 Tackle: Ladders for Swildons and rope
Cavers: Tom Crossley, Rad, John Toft, Ruairidh Novice ok? Were present but please do NOT repeat with novices

Cave: Eastwater, Swildon's, Goatchurch, GB Hut: UBSS Hut
Date: 4-6 Nov 2016 Tackle: One ladder for Swildons
Cavers: Ruairidh, John, Rad, Elaine, Thom, Andrew, Sion (UBSS), David, Sophie, Michael Novice ok? Yes

Friday: We joined UBSS for their annual Bonfire Night meet. It took us all bloody ages to get there due to huge hold-ups on the M4, but some of us got to the Hunter's in time for dinner, then we managed to drink some homebrew before getting an "early night" at 3am.

Saturday: Elaine and Thom joined Andrew and Sion from UBSS for a longer trip to Eastwater (Southbank round trip). All nations of the UK were represented on this team. Novices Alasdair, John and Radost were accompanied by David and Sophie to Swildon's for a trip through Sump 1. They had to be dissuaded from doing the Short Round - got to stick to your call out! Michael joined some UBSS members to hit up Goatchurch and spent the rest of the day tending the lamb and bonfire. Wookey and Tess turned up later in the day in time for lamb and fireworks, then a range of caving games ensued: Ladder Traversing, Suspended Sock Wrestling, Potato & Chair, and Apples On Strings.

Sunday: One party went to GB, while those less able to walk following Saturday's exploits/not in possession of a dry undersuit/generally not feeling keen went to Cheddar for a walk, cream tea, and hot mulled cider.

Cave: GB, Sidcot, Lionel's Hut: Fernhill Farm
Date: 25-27 Nov 2016 Tackle: N/a
Cavers: Elaine, Roshni Novice ok? N/a

This is part of CHECC trip:

Friday: We drove down to the Mendips already wearing our fancy dress costumes, which got us some interesting looks when we stopped at a service station. Lots of partying ensued; bed at 5.30am

Saturday: We both did the photography training course - an indoor session which allowed us to work through our hangovers, then underground practical in GB. It was fun and we saw lots of bats. Did a speed run down Sidcot to get a photo of the ducks for the treasure hunt then back to Fernhill Farm where Elaine gave a talk about the CUCC expo. Other talks included caving singing lessons and rum bingo. Despite reduced numbers we enthusiastically participated in the competitions - beer pong went pretty well for a couple of rounds but eventually we were defeated by Kent. Although we are both smallish we had no hope at the squeeze competition as there was a person from Cardiff who didn't look a day over 12 who eventually won.

Sunday: At the AGM it was revealed that despite having the smallest contingent in attendance, we'd won the treasure hunt. TAKE THAT ABER AND CARDIFF! Elaine teamed up with someone from UBSS to try some "route finding" in Lionel's, and invented the excellent game of Underpants Fishing. Roshni did her report that was due in on Monday, then we all reconvened in the Hunters for dinner. Mmm.

Cave: Swildons Hut: Wessex
Date: 24-25 Oct 2015 Tackle: N/a
Cavers: David Walker, Joshua Lim, Aidan Marks, Matthew Maltby, Roshni Gohil, Felix Stahlberg, Aled, Mark, Sam Novice ok? N/a

Cave: Swildon's hole, GB Hut: Wessex
Date: 24-26 Oct 2014 Tackle: N/a
Cavers: N/a Novice ok? N/a

Cave: Swildon's hole Hut: MCG
Date: 18-19 Oct 2014 Tackle: N/a
Cavers: Adrian Horrell, Alex Carr, Carolie Werlang, David Walker, George Roberts, Gilad Antler, Jackie Maslyn, Mark Shinwell, Mendes Oulamara, Michael Sargent, Michal Tomaszewski, Oli Madge, Sam Wenham, Serena Povia, Stephen Geddis. Novice ok? N/a

Saturday: Arrived at MCG hut in the evening, then went to the Hunter's for dinner - at least those of us who can tell left from right went there; the others went exploring first.

Sunday: Split into a few groups for an enjoyable trip in Swildon's as far as Sump I.

Cave: Swildon's Hole followed by a slack Sunday on Burrington (Pierre's, Sidcot and Goatchurch) Hut: The Belfry
Date: 17-18 Mar 2012 Tackle: N/a
Cavers: Matt Watson and Alex Crow Novice ok? N/a

First we were going to S. Wales, then at the last minute Alex was sent to Hastings with work, so we opted for driving to Mendip on the Saturday morning (the definition of morning might have been pushing it by the time we actually left Cambridge!)

We arrived at Priddy green just as most of the other cavers were coming out of Swildon's and heading to the Hunter's, and after an bit of faff trying to find someone who would answer their phone to leave a call out, we were off.

We did the short round with a couple of detours to visit the Shatter series and Swildon's 4 streamway (this is a fine bit of passage and definitely worth a visit, though the section by cowsh' avens does smell a bit like following Toby through a small passage after he's had night on the beers and a dodgy curry) via blue Pencil passage.

All in all this is a good trip, but hauling the extra tackle sack round the whole thing is a bit tedious. Especially when it tips it down the whole time you're underground and the streamway is a bit on the sporting side on the way out.

We finally managed to book some accommodation while en route to the Hunter's, where we bumped into some CHECC people and were invited for a picnic down Hunter's Hole on Sunday, but sadly we didn't have our SRT gear.

On Sunday we decided to have a fairly slack day and get back to Cambridge early. We headed over to Burrington and had a pootle round Pierre's pot, Sidcot swallet and Goatchurgh, before having cake in the cafe (highly recommended)and driving back.

Cave: Swildon's and Eastwater on the Saturday, G.B. on the Sunday Hut: Wessex
Date: 24-26 Feb 2012 Tackle: N/a
Cavers: Matt Watson, Mark Shinwell, David Loeffler Guest appearances by: Clive Westlake (Saturday), Frank Tully, John and Rachael Kendall Novice ok? N/a

Saturday 25th: Myself, David, John and Rachael were joined by Clive for a trip down to Sump one in Swildon's while Mark persuaded Frank for a rather more energetic trip: short round with detour to sump 4.

Sadly, our trip was cut short at the 20' (a pitch fabled to be 20' that clearly isn't) where we met up with two scout groups. After waiting for half an hour, the situation clearly hadn't improved so we decided to can it and come out the wet way. We met up with Mark and Frank on the way in who asked if any of us wanted to join them, but We'd done enough queuing for today so headed back to the hut. Myself and David were still keen to spend a bit more time underground, so we headed over to Eastwater, for a bimble around the upper series (as we couldn't be bothered to take rope and ladders).

In the evening we were treated to a slideshow by Clive and then headed over to the Hunter's

Sunday 26th: For once CUCC made an early start and after minimal faff we headed over to G.B. Once again, Frank had been persuaded that the wiring he was supposed to be doing at home could wait for another weekend, and so we were joined by him and Mark. We did a quick trip down mud passage and the gorge, then came back out along the gallery, over the bridge and back up mud passage.

A good weekend, though it would have been nice to have a few more cavers along from Cambridge.

Cave: Longwood/August and Eastwater on the Saturday and G.B. on the Sunday Hut: Wessex
Date: 18-20 Nov 2011 Tackle: N/a
Cavers: Jessica Chatwin, Mikaela Ediger, James Hickson, Adrian Horrell, Ramana Kumar, Gareth Phillips, Fareeha Safir, Mark Shinwell, Jess Stirrups and Matt Watson Novice ok? N/a

Cave: St Cuthbert's Swallet,Longwood, GB, Rhino, Charterhouse, Swildon's short round Hut: Wessex
Date: 28-30 Jan 2011 Tackle: N/a
Cavers: Jessica Chatwin, Mikaela Ediger, James Hickson, Adrian Horrell, Ramana Kumar, Gareth Phillips, Fareeha Safir, Mark Shinwell, Jess Stirrups and Matt Watson Novice ok? N/a

Cave: St Cuthbert's Swallet, Charterhouse Hut: Wessex
Date: 26-28 Feb 2011 Tackle: N/a
Cavers: N/a Novice ok? N/a

Cave: Swildon's Hole Hut: Shepton Mallet
Date: 13-14 Oct 2007 Tackle: N/a
Cavers: N/a Novice ok? Yes

The first meet of 2007 will be a one day introductory trip to the Mendips. Leaving on Saturday afternoon, we will go caving in Swildon's Hole on Sunday and return to Cambridge on Sunday evening. Swildon's is an excellent introductory cave, as its extensive passages provide opportunities for more or less challenging trips.

Total cost for the trip will be £25, but you will need to bring extra money for food on Saturday and Sunday nights (see the Costs page for more details).

Swildon's Hole involves one short ladder descent, so there will be a training session on the Saturday afternoon before we leave Cambridge. It is advisable to attend, but not compulsory if you can't make it.


Cave: Gaping Gill (Bar Pot and Marilyn entrances), Easegill (Lancaster and County to Wretched Rabbit) Hut: Bull Pot Farm
Date: 6-8 May 2016 Tackle: N/a
Cavers: Wookey, David Walker, Sam Wenham, Mike Gaultois, Julien Grall, Adrian Horrell, Philip Withnall, Aiora Zabala Novice ok? N/a

Gorgeously sunny weekend, with plenty of (nice) caving and minimum faff.

Saturday: Two groups went into Gaping Gill. Into Bar Pot: Adrian, Wookey, Julien, Mike and Aiora. Into Marilyn, the other three. Out from Bar Pot: Adrian, Philip, Julien, and Sam. Out from Marilyn, the other four. The waterfall at the main chamber in Gaping Gill is world-class.

Sunday: Two successful trips. One from Lancaster hole to Main passage and back (Philip rigging, Julien practising SRT, Aio navigating). Another from County Pot to Wretched Rabbit (David, Wookey, Mike).

Warm evening on the Sunday, perfect for washing ropes, drying kit, and having cake under the sun in BPF.

Cave: Bar Pot, Sell Gill Hut: Brackenbottom
Date: 6-8 Feb 2015 Tackle: N/a
Cavers: David, Michael, Philip, Claire Novice ok? N/a

Saturday: Bar Pot into GG main chamber. Weather was beautiful for the walk up.

Sunday: Sell Gill dry route. Short trip, again excellent weather for the walk up. After getting up at 7:30 would you believe! We parked in the lay-by just past New Houses, then took the path up the valley from New Houses to the Pennine Way and headed left along the Pennine Way for about 200m to the obvious entrance.

Cave: Lost John's, Bullpot the Witches, Shuttleworth, County Hut: Bull Pot Farm
Date: 28 Dec 2014 -3 Jan 2015 Tackle: N/a
Cavers: David, Matt, Michael, Sam, Philip, Elaine, Serena, Alex, Aled Novice ok? N/a

Lost Johns trip: Complete balls up, plan was an exchange down centipede and dome. Centipede went down monastery (needed to climb out of the stream earlier/notice that they shouldn't have dropped back into the stream). The dome team ran out of rope despite following the rigging guide...

New Years day: Matt, David and Elaine got trapped in Bullpot the Witches by flood water and missed their callout.

Cave: Pool Sink/Lancs exchange, Maracaibo, Mistral, Boundary Pot Hut: Bull Pot Farm
Date: 28-31 Nov 2014 Tackle: N/a
Cavers: David, Mark, Matt, Michael, Olly, Sam, Stuart, Adrian, Martin, Edvin, Kathryn Novice ok? N/a

Saturday: Pretty packed at BPF, with many cavers from OUCC also in attendance. Super trip from Pool Sink to Lancs via streamway and Wilf Taylor's. Guest appearence by Rosa from OUCC. No significant navigational errors underground, though Adrian and Matt walked off the wrong way in the mist after derigging Lancs - in our defence, the weather was miserable, and we were dazzled by the shiny new entrance. Heard tales of mystery and adventure from the Maracaibo party that evening.

Sunday: Smaller groups visited Mistral and Boundary Pot. Others went looking for cake.

Cave: Saturday: Alum, Tatty, Illusion/Heron. Sunday: Sunset, County Hut: YSS
Date: 28-31 Nov 2014 Tackle: N/a
Cavers: Adrian Horrell, Aiora Zabala, Alex Crow, Bela Dimova, David Walker, Matt Watson, Siobhan McGowan, Xain Jie Tay Novice ok? N/a

Varsity trip

Cave: Easegill, Gaping Gill, Bull Pot, Jingling Pot, Swinsto, Illusion Pot Hut: Greenclose
Date: 7 - 9 Sep 2012 Tackle: N/a
Cavers: Siobhan McGowan, Nial Peters, Edvin Deadman, Adrian Horrell, Dan Stori, Alex Crow, Yves Moussalam, Cormac, Jan Lellman, Djuke Veldhuis, Tony Rooke, David Loeffler, Sara, Wafa, Aiora Novice ok? N/a

Successful meet with a large group of cavers gathered in Greenclose for a taste of Kingsdale caves. Great and warm weather, excellent lasagna by Nial, and lots of caves visited.


Bull Pot & Jingling: Djuke, Nial, Jan Jingling & Bull Pot: Dave L, Sara, Dan, Aiora - very enjoyable and picturesque shaft in Jingling, boht caves almost entirely vertical Somewhere in Easegill: Adrian, Edvin, Siobhan, Cormac Gaping Gill: Alex, Tony, Wafa, Yves Sunday:

Illusion Pot: Tony, Nial, Wafa, Adrian Swinsto: Alex, Djuke, Yves, Jan, Dan, Cormac, Aiora -a series of abseils down waterfalls linked with walkable shallow stream passages and pretty meanders: wet and fun!

Cave: permits for Bar, Marylin, County, Wretched and Lancaster Hole

We had a caving fail, due to the weather, so went for a curry instead

Hut: Greenclose
Date: 10-12 Feb 2012 Tackle: N/a
Cavers: Curryers: Stuart Bennett, Tom Handford, Tess Jones, Mark Shinwell, Tony Rooke, Djuke Veldhuis, Matt Watson and Aiora Zabala Novice ok? N/a

Few beers in Live and Let Live and headed over to the Koh-i-Noor. Though much less glamorous than its namesake in the Tower of London, they do a decent curry at a reasonable price and have the added advantage of a fairly "relaxed" booking system, so it's not a disaster if you turn up with twice or half as many people as you told them.

Cave: Permits for County Wretched and Lancs both days. Hut: Bull Pot Farm
Date: 28-30 Oct 2011 Tackle: N/a
Cavers: Curryers: Stuart Bennett, Tom Handford, Tess Jones, Mark Shinwell, Tony Rooke, Djuke Veldhuis, Matt Watson and Aiora Zabala Novice ok? N/a

Beautiful caving weekend in Bull Pot farm. County Pot - Lancs exchange on Saturday, where one of the parties did comb some parts of the route up to three times (to make sure that we learnt the way properly) and finished an epic roundtrip by going back to Lancs from County aboveground to derig the entrance. The team lose one of their exhausted members after six hours caving which had accidentally brought the team back very close to the entrance.

Short through trip in Heron Pot on Sunday, all the way down a pretty meander with a couple of wet pitches in between, where photos were taken. For the finishing touch, a fully soaking crawl right at the very end of the meander. Unfortunately we didn't arrive on time for a well deserved tasty cake & tea at Ingleton.

Cavers: Kathryn, Olly Madge, Adrian H, Yves, Matt W, Martin Green, Aiora (reporting), Mark S. And Edvin, Becka and Julian in separate trips 'creating' new cave

". . . but when they got there, the T-store was bare”

D’oh! Not to worry. After a quick head scratch and a thumb through the CNCC rigging guide, we managed to find some maillons, a few crabs and some ropes that were almost but not entirely the wrong length for any of the caving we were planning to do.

Cue some last minute transport-rearrangement faff and we were finally off to Yorkshire only an hour and a half behind schedule. Several hours, and a portion of fish and chips later, we arrived at the farm to find Edvin, Kathryn, Martin and a rather large pile of empties huddled up in front of the fire. Not wanting to be antisocial, we decided to add a few to the pile and come up with a plan for Saturday’s caving. For the first time I can remember, we came up with a plan that actually involved the caves we had permits for: County-Lancs exchange.


Cave: P8 Hut: Orpheus
Date: 28 Jan 2018 Tackle: 17m for Pitch 1, 10 for belaying, HMS crab.
Cavers: Rad, Jon, Paul Novice ok? Yes

Route: Entrance - Idiots Leap - Upper 1st pitch - Dry route - Mud Hall - Waterfall chamber - Wet pipe - Climb to windows - Exit

Parking in a 4-car parking space opposite a farm. Trespass fee of £1/person paid in person at farm. Passing through a gate next to the parking space, the entrance to the cave found on the right after a trek of a few hundred meters through fields following markers on fences, passing past some other more obvious holes on the left. The cave was quite wet. Following the streamway leads to Idiot’s leap, which had an in-situ hand line, and is a reasonably easy 3m free climb. After another short trek down the pleasantly narrow streamway, the 1st pitch provides a much more substantial drop. To bypass the waterfall, took an upward facing turn on the right side (facing downstream) a few meters behind the pitch. It immediately turns sharply to the right. Climbed up for an awkwardly tight 3m, and squeezed past lots of flowstone to find the top of the alternative rigging. Rigged off an obvious column and 2 bolts. Some gymnastics required to reach a bolt on the other side at the base, and a traverse along this wall follows. 17m was a VERY tight rig; another 1-2m would have been ideal. Follow upper route to exposed traverse. On the right observe windows (this is way back). Reaching Mud Hall turn left towards chamber with a waterfall coming out of the ceiling. At the bottom of the waterfall a hidden squeeze connects to a sporty tube. On the other side of the tube two part climb is the way back (first back to waterfall chamber, second up to windows). From there reverese to the entrance.

Photos by John Toft:

Cave: Giants Hole Hut: Orpheus
Date: 27 Jan 2018 Tackle: Ladder, HMS carabiner, 20m for Garlands Pot, (17m for Crabwalk Descent not essential)
Cavers: Rad, Jon, Yidan, Hana, Paul, David Novice ok? Yes

Route: Entrance – Garlands – Crabwalk – Dining Hall – Windpipe – Crabwalk – Out

Going towards Castleton we took the usual nearly parallel slip road towards the farm. Entrance fee was left in a very new box. To get to the entrance continue uphill up to very obvious hole on the right (walk in size). Water levels where higher than last time we visited. Using far away bolt in Garlands for rigging ladder kept it completely free hanging out of the waterfall. Going down the streamway water flowing over the fixed ladder drenched everyone who did not swing below it. Climb just after Dining Hall had (more than one!) fixed rope that offered some help. Water level in windpipe was not affected by general increase of water levels and was easily passable. Belaying freshers down to crabwalk not from pull through ring but the excellent natural at the very end of upper passage and having non-novices climbed down we exited through Garlands.

Cave: Peak Cavern, Great Masson Cavern Hut: TSG
Date: 7-8 Nov 2015 Tackle: N/a
Cavers: Wookey, David Walker, Agnieszka Piatkowska, Sam Wenham, Felix Stahlberg, Miguel Garcia-Ortegon, Sally Pearson, Paul Aste, Charlie Farmer, Micheal Sargent. Jess Stirrups, Alex Crow Novice ok? N/a

Saturday: We all got ready early on Sat and went into The Devil's Arse, splitting into two teams. Wookey's team (Felix, Sally, Paul, Micheal) went on a strenuous side-trip to Moss Chamber, with quite a lot of crawling, squeezing, tricky climbs and posting oneself through the genuinely-awkward eyehole, which isn't really 'novice caving', so well done all for getting yourselves in _and_ out :-) Back in the main passage Sally gave herself a fright by slipping off into a canyon, but did a good job of landing so as not to do any serious harm. Wookey somehow bruised his arse so he couldn't sit down for the rest of the afternoon. The other team (David, Charlie, Agnieszka, Sam, Miguel) visited all the main sumps (terminal, ink, lake and far) and the waterfall flopjacks.

Far sump was bubbling in a most unusual fashion as the air was being forced out by rising water. The stream was rising noticeably during the trip so we ran away before we got flooded in, giving a long afternoon+evening to eat, sleep, cook, dry gear, drink, talk bollocks and play silly games. The inaugural squeeze-machine match produced some surprising results (Sam skinnier than Agnieszka, Sally's head wider than Wookey, Charlie much thinner than seems reasonable for his height, and Jess beat Alex in a repeat grudge match, possibly by the secret weapon of shiny pants). We'll have to see who got the best injury, but I reckon it might be Felix :-) Charlie and Miguel were unbeatable at the 'how-far-away-can-you-put-a-can-whilst-one-person-touches-the-chair' game. And there was also broom game, upside-down ladder climbing, table-traversing, pole-climbing and pan-and-sling. Standards are high already...

T/U: 4hrs.

Sunday: Heavy rain was threatened, which would make the usual caves unpleasantly wet so Jess+Alex's picked us something more suitable. After a certain amount of faffage (whilst Paul went for a run and Sam resisted being dragged out of bed), we drove most of the way across the Peak to Great Masson Cavern, near Matlock. This is a fine (dry!) cave/mine with an entrance in a disusued quarry, where some chaps were 'dry-tooling' up the cliff at the entrance (climbing with crampons and ice-axes - I didn't even know that was a thing).

There was an entertaining round trip with some 'combined tactics' to get people up a small shaft, then a very interesting wander round the mine with kibbles, shafts, minerals, pipes and a very confusing cave. Miguel, Sam and Agnieszka went for a walk instead (one hangover - 2 keen to see the outside of the Peak).

T/U 3hrs

Cave: Carlswark Cavern, Peak Cavern, P8 Hut: TSG
Date: 19-20th Oct 2013 Tackle: N/a
Cavers: Nial Peters, Tony Rooke, Djuke Veldhuis, Adrian Horrell, Max Schinke, Lisa Volpatti, Lisa Johnson-Davies, Eva Yang, Rui Hao, Jess Stirrups, Alex Crow, Martin Green, Edvin Deadman Novice ok? N/a

Summary: The first caving trip of the new academic year! Somehow we all managed to arrive in Derbyshire within 5 minutes of each other and in good time for a quick trip down Carlswark Cavern on Saturday afternoon. As everyone who has been to Carlswark knows, it is not much to write home about! However, it was a fun trip and served its purpose of working up a good appetite for fish and chips afterwards.

On Sunday, we split into two groups with one going to Peak Cavern and the other to P8. I was in the P8 party so I can't comment on the Peak trip really, but it sounded like everyone enjoyed it. The P8 trip was excellent! Our early morning start paid off and we had the cave to ourselves. With heavy rain forecast for the afternoon, we decided not to do the loop at the bottom - just down to the sump and then back out the same way.

Trip Report by Lisa Johnson-Davies: After our drive up to the Peak district we stopped next to a small hill and put on our caving gear, a surprisingly comfortable undersuit and an orange caving suit on top (which probably made us look like escapees from Guantanamo Bay to any passing locals). Our first trip was to a cave called Carlswark, and we were led to the hill and a tiny hole in the ground which I assumed was some kind of rabbit hole until we were told we had to go down the hole... Nial started rigging up a ladder, and then one by one we had to climb down the ladder into the dark depths of the bottomless pit below...

I managed to make it down the ladder in one piece, and then we continued down a very low-ceilinged passage; only with a combination of crawling, stooping and scrambling could we get through the passage. It was really hard work! I reckon this first cave was planned as a kind of test, and only the people that survived were able to progress onto the second cave the following day. :P (which was everyone luckily)

After our hard work we went to get fish and chips, and then continued on to the caving hut, where we had drinks and chatted in the hut, and got told stories about the really exciting trips the club goes on, as well as caving trips gone wrong to reassure us for the trip the following morning. The next day my group went to the cave P8, which has a stream that flows into the entrance and then continues throughout the entire cave. We had to climb down some rocks to get inside the cave which we discovered was the complete opposite of Carslwark, the cave from the day before. This cave had high ceilings but was quite narrow, and the stream meant all the rock faces were beautifully smooth and shiny. As an added bonus we got an educational geology lesson from resident geographer Nial about the formation of the rocks inside. :P This cave was really varied, and the obstacles involved climbing down a rope, doing tricky acrobatics on ladders (like climbing halfway down one ladder and then jumping to another ladder, with a scary 5-10 metre drop below! At this point I should probably mention that you are secured in a harness for all the dangerous parts), traversing which essentially involved straddling across rocks to avoid walking through the river, and climbing down holes by bracing yourself against the walls. We weren't able to get to the very end of the cave because that would have involved cave diving with scuba diving equipment and a lot more experience than us novices had!

The trip was a really enjoyable experience, and I definitely recommend caving to anyone interested in trying something a little different, and physically exhausting! The caving club are also very friendly, and if you are feeling a little nervous they can always be counted on to reassure you by telling you some caving horror stories. :)



Cave: Bagshawe Cavern Hut: Orpheus
Date: 20-21 Oct 2012 Tackle: N/a
Cavers: Alex Crow, Mark Shinwell, Cormac Doyle, David Molnar, Tina, Carolyn, Edvin, Kathryn, Aiora, Adrian Novice ok? N/a

The presence of at least 200 cars in the layby near P8 indicated possible congestion in that cave. Fortunately, Edvin had the foresight to have obtained the access code for Bagshawe Cavern, near Bradwell. This is a curious cave, having been a lead mine c.1750, and later run as a show cave. Entering via a stone hut, and descending concrete steps in a mined out rift (don't spend too much time looking up - you'll just worry) brings you into natural cave. We split into a few small groups and explored. Entertainment on offer included a fine muddy slither leading down toward the terminal sump, an intimidating low crawl and a short laddered pitch. The farther reaches of the cave are gated off.

Cave: Hillocks - Knotlow, Maskhill Mine Hut: TSG
Date: 9-11 Mar 2012 Tackle: N/a
Cavers: Anya ermakova, Nimrod Gileadi, Dan Stori, Siobhan McGowan, Stuart Bennet, Olly Madge, Kathryn Hopkins, Edvin Deadman, Aiora Zabala Novice ok? N/a

Hillocks - Knotlow exchange on Saturday (the wettest crowl ever, like a very long bathub...); Maskhill Mine on Sunday (down, down,... and up, up,... excellent SRT practice!)

Cave: Peak Cavern, Carlswark, P8 Hut: TSG
Date: 22-23 Oct 2011 Tackle: N/a
Cavers: Sarah Gales, Keshav Thirumalai, Alisdair Bolger, Tay Xian Jie, Matthew Morgan, Yves Moussalam, Eliza Prettyman, Jessica Chatwin, Ramana Kumar, Olivia Espy, Jess Stirrups, Nial Peters!, Tony Rooke, Emma Wilson, Martin Green, Bela Dimova Novice ok? N/a

Cave: Carlswark Cavern, P8 Hut: TSG
Date: 15-16 Oct 2011 Tackle: N/a
Cavers: Jess Stirrups, Stuart Bennett, Adrian Horrell, Olly Madge, Serena Povia, Kathryn Hopkins, Edvin Deadman, Martin Green, L.J. Young, Mikaela Ediger, J.J.A. Walker, A. Funke, Alex Broekhof, Nhan Dao Novice ok? N/a

Old database of meets