Saturday April 24th 2010
Matt, Gary, Laura, Nick, Richard G, Nikki, Chuck
Fantastic and efficient trip down Penyghent!
Staying at the YSS hut on Friday night (thanks to Rich and Nikki for catering), we made a hungover early start and were up at Brackenbottom by 9am, and at the entrance by 9:45am!!! I have never even seen a cave entrance this early in the morning! Myself, Gary, Nick and Laura formed the rigging team, while Rich, Nikki and Chuck sunbathed in the lovely spring sunshine for an hour or so to avoid catching us up too soon. We made very quick progress through the first several pitches, helped by the low water level. The derigging team caught us up on the approach to the eighth pitch, and we made the remainder of the journey down to the sump together. A mega efficient trip out saw my team arrive at the surface just before 5pm, with the derigging team only an hour behind (after getting stuck behind another group).
My team then headed off straight up to Middlesborough for Andys 30th birthday party, arriving there at the not unreasonable time of 9pm with several hours of excellent socialising and drinking time ahead.
Saturday September 12th 2009
Gary, Matt, Ade, Chuck
I donâ€™t think you can call yourself a Yorkshire caver (or probably even a caver) until youâ€™ve done Penyghent Pot! It defiantly lives up to its name as the finest stream passage pot in the UK.
The day started with the usual faff in the name of Ade who couldnâ€™t set off from Macclesfield until 9am because his car insurance had run out. This and some other faff meant we didnâ€™t get on our way to the cave until 1pm. Car parking seems to be a problem with no clear instructions on where is best in any of the guides, however we asked the nice lady at the farm at the end of the footpath and she let us park there. Off up the hill in wonderful sunshine (for a change) to arrive at the entrance for about 2pm. Itâ€™s a bit late we thought, but we gave it a go anyway.
I set off first to face the long entrance crawl. It wasnâ€™t as bad as I had been lead to believe; although up to the elbow in water, itâ€™s quite spacious and easy going, just long. Some light relief at the head of the first short pitch with a descent down an unavoidable waterfall, then some annoying stooping height passage. I went off to rig the next pitch which I thought the description had said was 10 meters away. No, I miss read it, it was 10 MINUETS away! Quite easy going stooping passage to the second short pitch then just around the corner to the head of the spectacular third pitch. Some quite interesting and awkward rigging under the ledge to get a dry hang but an amazing deep shaft with water crashing down on one side. The bottom was one of the drafyist places Iâ€™ve ever been underground and got rather chilly waiting for the others.
More fine stream way starting with some traversing and several more short pitches. At this point the bolting seems to have gone out of the window and most stuff is just rigged off some rather dodgy looking naturals, often in waterfalls! After a while we were rewarded by some amazing dark coloured streamway which seemed to eat our lights. Some quite deep water leads onto the final couple of short pitches before we ran out of time. We didnâ€™t quite make it to the sump but used all the rope and completed all 10 pitches.
In summery, this is a truly great Yorkshire pot with some great variation and fun rope work. It is quite wet however. We were there is pretty dry weather and the water was unavoidable. Most people found a neo-fleece idel but I was in a cheap 3mm wet suit which I found worked well. There is defiantly evidence of major flooding in the lower sections, with several passages we passed through that had sumped recently.
I would love to go back and tackle Friday the Thirteenth series now that I know the main part. This would be a strenuous trip though as we were all knackered after just the trip to the sump. Make sure you leave enough energy for the return trip as we all found the crawls at the entrance a lot harder on the way out.