Hello, my name is Mal Tabb.
Thanks for visiting our web pages. Marion & I operate a small outdoor activity organisation called Canoes, Mountains & Caves. We provide activities for: adults, young people, schools, charities, families & individuals. A key aspect of our work is the provision of a "Community Programme" which is offered free of charge to participants. If you think we might be able to help please don't hesitate to contact us, you can find out more about what we do on our main website www.canoesmountainscaves.com

Sunday, 15 September 2013

An Afternoon In The Underworld

It was a fine, dry early autumn afternoon in West Kingsdale yesterday for an afternoon trip underground with the "In2venture Community". The chosen venue evolved to become Yordas Pot. So after breakfast at Inglesport & a minor transport logistics issue it was a very pleasant drive up the dale which by this time was populated with a smattering of cavers: a small group heading for Bull Pot of Kingsdale (our original venue) and a family group heading for Heron Pot ( a cave I quite enjoy a visit to).

Alan & I were joined by five members of the Washington Wild Camping Society. After changing & sorting kit it was just a short walk to take a look at the old show cave and our planned exit point.

The contrast upon "entering the underworld" was, as always, vast compared to the bright sunny scene we left behind. There was a small flow of water still running across the floor of the cave, the remnants of heavy rain earlier in the week & the constant loud, low rumble from Chapterhouse Falls: hidden from view but their presence increasing with every step taken towards them. On the day they made an impressive sight with just enough water coming through to make the prospect of their later descent by abseil a clearly challenging & exciting prospect for the guys who had never visited before.

The darkness; temperature; noise & clear challenges of the cave environment prompted me to consider, on this occasion that whilst there is much that can be seen on the surface there is often an awful lot more going on underneath.........

So it was up to Middle Entrance & a hand line climb down to the head of the short pitch. Everybody had a go at abseiling themselves & a bit of ladder and lifeline practise followed. Feet got wet in the pool and the crawl along the stream way to the head of Chapterhouse Fall was longer than I remembered. The pitch-head was atmospheric, although there was not too much water the noise & spray provided a dramatic scene. Alan abseiled first followed by each of "Team Washington" being lowered by myself - there was considerable zeal in one or two of the descents!! A quick re-rig for pull-through saw me descending last, it was an enjoyable journey into the plunge pool at the bottom, where Will's birthday had earlier been celebrated with soggy cheese cake & candles that wouldn't light in the spray!

Soaking wet we exited via the expansive Yordas cave back into that calm serene surface setting which had earlier masked all that was going on beneath,

Hopefully a few more photos to follow

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