Published by the Craven Pothole Club, Ivy Cottage, Horton-in-Ribblesdale, North Yorkshire. Copyright - Craven Pothole Club. No part of this Record may be reproduced without permission from the Committee of the Craven Pothole Club.
Contributions to this publication are welcome in any form and can be accepted on MSDOS disk (ASCII or Word preferred).
Dr. R.A. Halliwell, Academic Office, The University, HULL, HU6 7RX
Tel No: 0482 465948(W) 876544(H) 466441(FAX)
This has been a very successful Summer for the Club. Dave Hoggarth led
the first major club meet to the continent for a large number of
years. All who went to the Gouffre Berger will have already told you
how successful the trip was with around 50 percent of those present
reaching the bottom of the cave and many others reaching the personal
targets they had set. Special congratulations should go to Steve
Warren who is believed to be the oldest Englishman to reach the sump;
and to Martin Holloway and Fritz who must surely be the fastest at 9
hours for a trip to the bottom and back out. It says much for the
Club, and the leadership of Dave and Patrick, that during the ten days,
with over 70 people in Camp, there were no arguments or fallings-out
and when work needed doing it was quickly and efficiently done.
It is intended to produce a separate publication to commemorate the Berger trip. A small number of trip reports and other articles have already been received. If the publication is to be a success then it is important that you send in your stories of the trip, your thoughts on the cave or even the preparation for the trip. Whatever you think will be of interest to other members of the Club, who may not have been on the trip, or indeed of interest to non-members. Everyone's trip to the Berger is special to them, why not try and explain what made it special to you or the people you went down with. We also need lots of photographs of the trip because it is intended to reproduce these to a higher standard than is normally used for the Record. If you are willing to donate copies of the photographs to a Club Album then that will be greatly appreciated. Closing date for contributions is around mid-November.
The summer continued with a good turnout at Gaping Gill, relieving the worries of the Committee that the numbers of people going to the Berger would seriously affect the meet. This year it was the turn of a German film crew to visit us; they had been in discussion with the Committee for much of the previous year about their documentary on Martel and we had agreed to help them. Faxes from Germany suggest that they have some very good shots and we have been promised a copy of the finished TV film. We even had some new passage discovered at Gaping Gill and this really is good news.
However the summer also brought its share of sorrow. The Club lost a long standing member in the form of Hugh Holgate and a good friend in the form of Dick Glover. Both are remembered later in this Record. I have strong memories of Dick because it was he who introduced me to the Craven at Gaping Gill and I was his first victim when he was learning to drive the old free-fall winch. He was one of the people who persuaded me to be NCA Secretary in the 1970's and we shared many happy times helping to organise the 1977 International Speleological Congress. It was Dick's wish that he be cremated and his ashes scattered into Fell Beck so that he could finally complete the through trip that he had dreamed of long before it became a reality.
Enough from me. The next Record will come out early in January and the closing date for items to reach me is 12 December, but as usual if you can get them in earlier please do so.
Northern Cave Diving News
Hurtle Pot in Chapel-le-Dale has continued to receive attention from Phil Murphy; a choke has been passed in the deep route (Ellerbeck Hole etc. water) and the depth has increased to around 40m so decompression is becoming quite lengthy.
In The GG System the sump from Beck Head Stream Cave to Lake Pluto in Ingleborough Cave was surveyed recently by the writer. This was found to be longer than expected (201m) and has provided a convenient closed loop for Dave Allanach's high grade survey of the cave. In GG itself the writer also inspected the upstream end of Southgate at the near end of Far Country. Two sumps exist here; both were dived for a short distance with one ending very close to Hensler's Master Cave but the other going off into the "blank" area to the south east. The Troubled Waters series beyond Hallucination Aven was visited recently by a White Rose party and another radiolocation carried out to Clapham Bottoms Pot. Apparently more digging is intended.
Underwater civil engineering at the end of Malham Cove Rising has been resumed for the winter and in Langstrothdale an interesting extension to Deepdale Rising has been made by Martyn Soliman. A lot of underwater digging was needed but the new passage seems to carry the main flow (from Hagg Gill Pot etc.). Steve Warren has a copy of the survey if anyone wants to see it.
A lot of activity in Nidderdale has resulted in two significant extensions. Brian Judd et al have pushed Nidd Heads NW Rising to about 700m from base. The new section has dipped below 30m depth now so more and more air will need to be carried. Perhaps the best news however is that the underwater dig at the end of downstream Sump 8 in New Goyden has gone. At the time of writing 30m of line has been laid by NPC/ULSA members in a big passage which includes a large airbell. We await further news
The upstream sump of Hammer Pot has been dived several times recently by Mark Hadden. The difficult diving conditions here have been made worse by a depth of around 30m having been reached. The undisputed potential in the direction of Out Fell thus seems less likely to be tapped from this direction at present.
At the CNCC AGM in March 1994 it was agreed that the ladders (of unknown vintage) at Fall Pot and Stake Pot should be removed and replaced with ECO Hangers rather than fixed tackle. The bolt locations will be suitable for ladders, SRT and pull-through trips. The ladders were scheduled to be removed on 24/25 September. At the same time the ladder at Stop Pot was due to be replaced by a new ladder. There is a warning of recent rock falls in the County Pot area of the Easegill system. There has been a substantial fall in Showerbath Passage and in the area above Razor Passage, before Dismal Bypass some new large scrape marks line the walls.
Based on CNCC Newsletters 3/94 & 4/94
Gaping Gill Notes
Within a few minutes we had identified several choked leads in the south wall, one of which was soon cleared to reveal a narrow sloping bedding plane. The end of this was blocked by a large jammed chockstone which yielded to brute force and a lot of swearing. Beyond was a larger bedding plane running from right to left some 6m from the start. Unfortunately a very tight squeeze prevented access on this occasion.
Two days later Simon Parker went to inspect this squeeze and gained the continuation. Right was too tight but leftwards was a flat out crawl leading via another squeeze to a cross joint with some stals. Beyond here the passage enlarged at a junction where it collected an inlet from the left but then dipped into a canal which appeared to sump.
The following day Paul and I returned, finding the entry squeeze to be just passable but not without a certain amount of commitment. We made a rough survey of the new section and crawled far enough into the deep water to confirm that it definitely sumped. The inlet ended at some fallen slabs only a few metres from another choked undercut in Booth Parsons Crawl (with lights visible through the obstruction). We also surveyed the eastern half of Booth Parsons Crawl back to the ladder at the start of Old East Passage, to tie in with the main GG Survey.
The total length of the extension is about 60m. The survey shows that the new sump is close to the above mentioned one dived last year and it seems likely that they are one and the same passage. Unlike Booth Parson's Crawl the extension is formed entirely within The Porcellaneous Band ie a "type C" passage according to Dick Glover's classification (see CPC Jnl. 5(2), 1974, pp.58-65).
Although no flowing water was seen at the time it was explored there was much old flood debris and many clean washed cobbles in evidence so it presumably conveys Main Chamber overspill water in mega flood conditions towards the Hensler's system. There is also a low crawl in the north side of Booth Parsons, believed to have first been explored many years ago by Geoff Workman. Simon Parker later confirmed Geoff's original findings: after 18m it ends at a narrow choked rift in the floor where the Main Chamber waterfall is audible.
For the record the tube at the top is some 60 cm in diameter and becomes choked with silt after about 12m. Flow markings on the walls seem to point inwards but these are ancient and it appears that in flood conditions this passage merely fills with ponded water backing up from Main Chamber. A few bearings were taken (see sketch survey) before the climb was derigged.
New Lightweight Caving Light
Speleo Technics have just launched a new helmet mounted battery and headlamp which is similar to the Petzl zoom. The battery pack, which is claimed to be very tough and water resistant, houses NiCd C cells. The headlamp is water-resistant and incorporate scratch resistant glass. Two halogen bulbs are available. A 0.5A mes fitting gives the same light output as an FX2 for approximately 5 hours whilst a 0.85A pre-focus bulb (as fitted in the FX3) will give three hours. The recommended retail price in the UK is 68.99 pounds for a battery, cable/headpiece, helmet strap and mains charger. If anyone buys one perhaps they could do a review for The Record.
Driving up Wharfdale in glorious weather on a Sunday morning I began to think the weather men (and ladies, sorry Barbara) had got it wrong again. The forecast, as usual, put God's country on the border between "warm, dry and bright" or "cloudy, some rain, possibly heavy on high ground". My lack of faith was quickly revised on nearing the Giant's Grave area and looking to where Penyghent had been replaced by a very large black cloud.
Undaunted, the party were quickly changed and on their way down the hole. Not bad for a club meet to have everyone changed and caving in less than an hour of the appointed meeting time!
Tom and Gemma did sterling work heading up the party to the first pitch proper - Cascade. Having been forced to lead from the rear by the speed of the party, and having every faith in the abilities of those at the front, I anticipated a nice dry descent of the pitch - especially after the recent dry spell. I was even gaining such hopes for the day, that I thought Deluge pitch might not be all that wet. However, thanks to some lateral thinking by Tom who laddered Cascade we all had an excellent free ladder hang, but were slightly hampered by the start being a good 4 feet from the wall, and bottom 20 feet right in the water.
Having decided Tom needed more laddering practise, he thankfully returned to sanity for Deluge - aided, no doubt by the lack of alternatives. On seeing the ladders disappearing into the waterfall only feet from the lip of the pitch to only other non-wetsuited participant, apart from myself, gallantly and unselfishly volunteered to remain at the top and lifeline everyone - many thanks Rob.
From the bottom of Deluge my memory of this fine hole completely deserted me, and still near the back, I arrived at the canal/duck section, waded in, found it bottomless and quickly waded out again (must learn to swim sometime). Thoughts of keeping Rob company back up the pitch began to look very promising - solely for the good of the team. Unfortunately Tony appeared and showed me up by making it look so simple I had no option but to follow him through - Thanks Tony!!
Of the nine who descended Deluge, eight reached the bitter end. The leader having done all the best bits, turned back at the grotty end section - Rob's lonely vigil was beginning to prey on my mind. (also, if I was to make a fool of myself again in the canal/duck, I wanted to do it in private). Most of the team regrouped at the foot of Deluge on the way out, apart from the Little party, but Tony and Roy went through the canal/duck yet again to whip them in.
The return journey to the surface was uneventful, being only interspersed with the odd wrong turn, lamp fettling, resting, dropping tackle into pools, oh, and of course, the death defying leap from ladder to solid rock at the top of Cascade pitch.
On surfacing Penyghent was still under a large black cloud which now seemed to have spread across the whole horizon, but the rain had held off. Everyone said they'd enjoyed their trip, and that they'd come again, the guests even wanted to become Probationary Members.
Many thanks to everyone who turned up to combine together to make an excellent trip.
Gouffre Berger (1 to 10 August 1994)
Went down, came out, 25 people to the bottom. That is all that I am going to report about the trip at the moment. I would like other people to write their own reports about the trips they experienced. I already have a few in the logbook but not enough. We also want photographs. The important thing I want to mention at this time is thanks to:
To ask whether the Meet is on with no leader visible is always risky, so yes I ended up as DIY leader via Ivy front room. With a minimum of tackle on board I was confronted by nine hopefuls at Yordas.
Dennis having already confirmed that the bottom entrance was clear, a speedy descent of the streamway and pitches ensued, one or two detouring to see the pretties in Phreatic Inlet. All out to sunshine via the moist exit, followed by an upstream return detackling trip for the leader, Dennis and Dave Edwards.
Of interest is a hidden alcove found accidently by Dennis with some fine crystal pools. I had not noticed this before despite photographic "rummaging" in most corners of Heron in the past. If visiting please take great care not to despoil them.
Lake District Camp (1/2 October 1994)
Present: Tony Blick, Lawrence Elton, Ric and Pat Halliwell, Dave and Jan Hoggarth, Bob, Jenny and Sarah Jenkins, Barbara Jenkins(Leader), Steve Pickersgill, Martin Taylor
Nine members braved the lousy weather forecast to camp at Sykes Farm behind the Fish Inn at Buttermere. All arrived sometime on Friday evening and all managed to build their rag huts in dry weather, apart, of course, from those in the mobile tin tent.
Saturday was warm, wet and miserable so the original complete ridge walk plan was adapted to walking on the lake side to Gatesgarth Farm and the ice-cream van, up the zigzags above Warnscale Bottom on to Haystacks. After descending to Scarth Gap Tony Blick, Martin Taylor and Sarah Jenkins carried on in cloud to High Crag, High Stile and Red Pike.
Bob and Jenny Jenkins, Ric and Pat Halliwell, Dave and Jan Hoggarth, Laurence Elton, Steve Pickersgill and I decided we were wet enough, cold enough, tired enough and had seen as much as we were going to so went down at Scarth Gap and back along the lake - missing out the ice-cream van this time.
Sunday was wetter, colder and even more miserable so I was very relieved,
and amused, to hear the excuses for not doing anything:
"I won't see anything so I'll visit Janet in Preston"
"My knees hurt after yesterday"
"I've got blisters"
"My left knee hurts too"
"The weather forecast says possibility of snow on high ground so I'm going to put my geraniums away."
One of these was mine by the way! The most honest was left until last: "The weather's shite!"
Thanks to all who turned up in spite of lousy weather - it was still very sociable. Average age of members present again in the 40s!
Barbara J Jenkins
Gaping Gill 1994
I seem to have drawn the short straw to write this report, albeit as part-time leader, since the post was held at varying times by Dave Milner, Terry Shipley, Dave Allanach, Geoff Workman, Kath Blick, Fritz and Jo Warren. Alan Weight acted as transport manager before the meet and got the myriad pieces of equipment to the starting post.
It was a fine example of co-operative team-work, notable for the way in which leaders came forward to run each winding day and not least because our two female leaders marked the first occasion when women members have lead, what is arguably, our most prestigious meet.
The question of a leader for this meet, if only on a daily basis, is extremely vital for the safe and efficient running of winding operations to the extent were, should no one be available for the position, we should have no alternative but to suspend the meet. This thought had crossed my mind when the impact of the Berger Meet loomed large, earlier in the year.
Needless to say, the meet was a success and functioned well inspite getting down to a near skeleton crew. I gather that the meet took off with a bang, quite literally, when a tyre blew off the trailer at Flatts Barn. Considering the delay in repairing it and that a large majority of us were "slumming it" in France, an excellent job was achieved in getting the winch operational by late Sunday afternoon.
A lot of the "little" jobs like digging the bog and rubbish pits, putting ladders, cables and wires in place did not get done that weekend. However, a special thanks must go to the four long standing members who stayed in camp after the tackling weekend and ensured that all those miscellaneous jobs were completed. Fondly referred to as the "Last of the Summer Wine Brigade", I suspect it was more to do with the fact that they enjoyed the last remnants of summer during that week whilst the rest of us experienced the begging of winter during the actual meet.
In actual fact, the meet started with three days of pleasant weather, now generally associated with the arrival of a film crew. Such was the case with the arrival of a German crew making a film about Martel's exploits across Europe including his descent of Gaping Gill.
The Director, Berndt, was a caver and had attended the International Speleological Congress in 1977 when we made Gaping Gill available to delegates for descents, so he was at least "in tune" with us as cavers. Unfortunately, filming being filming does create some problems with those not directly involved, not least of which is the seemingly endless amount of time required for a shot. My apologies to those who's feathers were ruffled having to endure the frayed temper of the queue trying to exit the Main Chamber; the 2kw lighting must have compensated to some degree.
Time got its own back when the crew attempted to drive off the moor in the dark and succeeded in bogging down, resulting in a walk back to Clapham and no dinner but a liquid supper from the kind barman.
Stars of the film extravaganza were Alan Davey and Fritz selected for their continuity qualities, matching oversuits and general twin-like appearance! The scene of their stardom was the interesting traverse line about 50 feet below the gantry where the Main Shaft cuts through into Jib and from the end of which must be the most spectacular free hanging abseil in the country. It even hangs nicely for a camera-man to film the descent from the comfort of the winch chair. Faxes from Germany suggest some good footage and we have a promise of copies of the GG rushes and the completed film itself; entertainment for the dark evenings to come.
The departure of the film crew saw the arrival of the usual Gaping Gill weather which turned quite nasty in and among. Fortunately things never got too bad to affect winching although Wednesday night's rain sent a dam topping flood down the hole and meant some patching up the following morning. This sort of weather has an insidious effect as everything becomes damp and conditions in the Main Chamber became positively hostile albeit spectacular. The heat of southern France seemed an eon ago as I pondered the ground inside my tent turning more and more squalid.
Attempts to plug the sink found by Patrick, excavated and filled in by Howard last year and unplugged again this year, improved matters for the whistleman but that sink is a big hole!
A descendant of Hurricane Charlie (You are showing your age Russell - but then so am I because I can remember it as well Ed) shredded a few tents on Bank Holiday Sunday but the inclement weather did not seem to deter the visitors too much. A decrease on last year's numbers was welcome considering our reduced numbers, although the knock-on effect was that not a lot of caving was achieved. We really ought to be using the occasion for a good ferret around in areas such as the Ingleborough Cave connection. Even enthusiasm for the North Passage dig seemed to have waned in the circumstances although some muck was shifted.
One or two interesting diversions occurred along the way to distract us; the old winch engine (Ruggerini) has been redeployed to drive the electric generator. One night early in the meet it developed a hiccup and investigations revealed that it had dumped a sump's worth of oil, later found to have blown out of the filler/crankcase breather cap. Calls to the supplier suggested that a teaspoon or so of Vim through the air inlet would improve things. A short cough and a cloud of white smoke later, it was cured. A repeat dose later in the week ensured that the beast ran until the end of the meet; it was something to do with a glazed bore and needing to rough it up for any techno freaks out there requiring an explanation.
To add to the latest mayhem generated by the film crew our insurers decided to go over the top on our annual inspection and sent two inspectors to do the job (at twice the price!) at the same time as the film crew were filming. A list of improvements resulted but they must have been impressed as one came back later in the week with his family and revealed a conundrum from their point of view; apparently we have been classified as a "travelling show/fairground attraction"!
New toilet tents had been purchased for this year's meet. They were greatly appreciated for their size which enabled a user to doff clothing within the comfort of the tent rather than the past practice of somehow juggling semi-naked into position, battling with loose door flaps, a surfeit of waterproofs, clothing and whatever girded the loins. Two problems became apparent, the commodious size of the tents might encourage squatters and one or two people of a nervous disposition commented on their fear of being surprised whilst cowering in the recesses, unable to communicate their presence to would be users before the door was flung open. Suggestions for a warning device to next year's leader - Jo Warren.
A short working day on Bank Holiday Monday enabled us to detackle, get the heavy gear up on to the moor and a load off the fell that evening whilst there were still enough hands to make light work of it. The number left in camp that evening was such that we managed a very convivial evening in the catering tent complete with good company, supper and heat on tap; even the odd alcoholic beverage miraculously appeared despite the fact that our beer supply had run out on Saturday night.
The rest of our equipment, personal, winch and everything else was trailered down to Clapham on the Tuesday and everything done and dusted by tea-time. I must admit that the tea party on the fell awaiting the return of the tractor for its final load, felt like the height of decadence in the balmy afternoon sunshine after the inclement weather of the previous days. I really enjoyed the GG Meet
Due to stressing the fact that the Gaping Ghyll Meet would be very short staffed this year, because of the Gouffre Berger Meet, I was able to convince my wife, Irene, that it was imperative that my expertise was available at GG to get the meet going. Because of local commitments this meant we could only travel on the Saturday, so rising at 3am, to start driving at 3.30am, we managed to arrive at the Farm in Clapham by 9am to rendezvous with the tractor. We took turns at driving, making three stages of it, but it is the first time I have seen the Sun rise while travelling up the M1.
Having managed to get my tent etc. on to the tractor among the winch gear, I set off to walk up to the Pot but was soon left behind, being out of practice at climbing hills with Ingleborough gradients. I was relieved to see the tractor apparently reloading at the Barn, but found that the off-side tractor tyre was punctured, alas!. However one of the private land-rovers on its way up was available, so it was unloaded, its jack helped to raise the axle, and then the land-rover took the wheel down to Benson for a replacement tyre.
Luckily the morning was warm and sunny, but with a fresh wind, so I lay down on the grass in the shelter of the luggage and tried to catch up with the sleep I had missed earlier that morning. There was too much interesting conversation going on, so I gave up trying to sleep, though I joined in from a recumbent position and got some rest that way.
After about 2 hours, while the others got the gantry parts out on to the grass, the Land-Rover with the fresh tyre arrived, which was rapidly fitted, and we resumed our journey. Again I was left behind, but as I have passed this way several times I managed to find GG without much trouble and repossessed my gear and my old camp site. The mole had caused the bank to collapse in one corner, but a few minutes with a shovel cleared the loose soil and levelled up the site ready for habitation. As soon as the tents were up, the others returned and we started to manoeuvre the heavy parts of the winch down the slope to their operating positions. By the time the tractor returned with the load of gantry parts, the compressor was running, so we were catching up on the tyre delay.
It was evening by the time the last load of personal gear came up as the spare driver was on holiday, but by now the "heavy gang" had almost completed installing the gantry. After a light meal of soup and biscuits I went to bed in the daylight, the first time I've ever done that at GG, and so ended the first day.
On Sunday I searched through the scatter of gear until I found the box marked "telephones", for Steve Pickersgill was taking his summer holiday in France before returning from the Berger. I was pleased to find that the telephones had been tested and were in working order, so after testing that the wire was continuous, it was dropped down Jib ready for use by the Guide line party.
There were lots of people milling about aimlessly so I found some lads who said they were Club members and had them carry the Beer tent and Catering tent poles and canvasses over to the usual sites. They did'nt know how to erect them, so as usual, some time was spent locating and arranging main guy-lines. Other members now joined us who had been there before and soon we had the place looking like home. My "volunteers" now brought all the catering boxes over so things began to look ship-shape.
Donald Mellor had also collected a working party, so that the Dam, was taking shape and the noise of the diesel compressor said that the gear was in working order. By now it was evening so soon the "working party" left to return to "their daily rounds", and we who were left, tidied up, made supper, then converged on Brian Varley's tent for a glass of wine and convivial conversation.
Monday was overcast but dry so I started to clean up all the catering gear and tables, for sheep must have been stabled with them since last year. The only clean box must have been checked over, for all the cups and plates and cutlery it held were clean, "thank you somebody". Having levelled up the tables, I decided to use the facilities and live there for I'm getting too stiff to squat in my little tent. More wine and conviviality.
Tuesday the four of us spent the morning digging a toilet pit for things were getting un-hygienic around the site. After lunch we checked more wire for the signalling system between whistle-man and driver and prepared to lower the wire down Jib. We decided to eat before installing the press-button by the chair, and while we were trying to fill primuses with paraffin a female came pestering us, wanting to go down the Pot. We tried to put her off but she cornered Brian and talked him into collecting the rest of us into manning the winch. She apparently had a degree in geology and her husband, who was German, was in the petro-chemical industry. So we collected 20 pounds as they had two children with them. When Brian was in the Pot he found there were people SRTing up Jib Shaft, so if we had fed the signalling wire down before the interruptions it would have tangled with the climbers. They said that there were no club members about when they arrived so they went down regardless, we were digging on the moor of course. There were six of them altogether from an Essex group, some of them in Bar Pot. But they did come and tell us when they were all clear. Then another party of three arrived and two of them wanted to descend, so we made another 10 pounds. We had used whistles for signalling while making the descents and when they were all out we fixed the buzzer system.
Brian announced we would have dinner, "black tie and tails", as we had missed tea because of the visitors. So after shaving and a bath we had "Tomato soup, Rice and something with crispy noodles, Pears, Spice-cake with cheese all helped down with black-berry wine and finished with coffee and biscuits". This I believe is a normal supper at "The Inn of the Three Magis" upstream at GG, proprietors, Brian Varley, Roy Taylor and Hugh Bottomley.
Wednesday dawned very miserably. During the night it had rained very heavily, the water was three inches from the top of the Dam when I woke, and Brian was out inspecting tents. He then noticed that a blue barrel that had been standing in the stream bed was gone but we found it under a heap of foam trying to get down Rat Hole. Luckily it had a tight lid on and this saved it from sinking and stopped its cargo of hats from being washed away. During the day we started to erect the shelter over the winch, but a gust of wind caused a collapse and broke two of the pegs off the main triangular piece. However, by lashing bits on, a shelter of sorts was finally erected, after taking stock of the selection of portions of canvasses. The rest of the day was wasted due to the number of visitors asking questions about GG, there should be a handy collecting box about and a charge for some of those gems of information that are given so freely. We might even double the profit on the meet. Again there was more wine at the Inn.
Thursday it was decided to install the telephone in its usual place at South Passage. Brian was first down and rang back immediately to say the shaft was wetter than he had ever seen before. I had to dig out my water-proofs for I had intended to go down unencumbered, having seen how dry the visitors had been. It was as he said. I have never seen so much water in the shaft in my long experiences of GG, and Brian said, "this must be where all the water from that little whirlpool at the corner of the Beck goes to". Having seen all that water in the shaft, that must be the understatement of the year. I have been in the Main Chamber several times with the stream in full flood, all the North Wall covered with falling water and the floor beginning to flood, but I have never seen so much water falling in Spout Tunnel before. There was very little water round the corner down the usual Rat Hole fall but the whole of Main Chamber was full of spray.
The telephone was full of water for the floor must have been flooded since Tuesday, but it was working satisfactorily once we poured the water out. There was a great heap of wire on the floor and it was a work of art sorting it out so that the telephone could be housed safely at South Passage. When this was done and the wire hung out of the way, we went to look at East Pot.
The water from Spout Tunnel was rushing along the wall to North Passage and much of it was pouring down East Pot. The rest was swirling round in the sink hole which is developing just to the right and then sinking there. Very carefully we squeezed into the Foyer keeping well clear of the water and had a look around. The flooding during the past year must have been excessive for many of the rocks from the floor had been washed into the Pot. The wedge shaped rock behind the Sword of Damocles was still there but some of the rocks from the floor were standing on the Sword and were wedged against the roof boulders very precariously. After listening to the sound of the water pouring down behind the Window in the Pot we then very, very carefully made our way out past the inflowing water and returned to the surface. The wine tasted very sweet that evening.
Friday was very wet and showery, and so proved that the shelter over the winch was completely inadequate and would keep pouring deluges of water onto the driver. As Roy would be one of the victims we decided to improve matters immediately. There were no pieces of conduit about but we remembered that there were eight long poles redundant from the defunct toilet tents, so those were pressed into service. The pattern may be peculiar but I hope that the drivers were dry during the subsequent week. The remainder of the pieces of plastic sheeting were fixed up by the gantry to protect the Gantry man and the Tally man and however many visitors that could squeeze in from the elements. I had to return to the humdrum world by the first tractor the following morning so spent the evening packing all un-necessary gear, and then went and had a fare-well glass of wine. Saturday dawned bright and clear with a fresh wind to dry the Fells, so very soon two heavily loaded tractors hove into view. There was then a very hectic period as I dashed round greeting my many friends but soon I was sitting on a pair of old wellies beside the farmer who took me right into the car-park and dumped me beside our car. That's what I call arriving in style. The return to civilisation meant Fish and Chips at Salter's at Wibsey Top. And so ended my Summer Holiday.
If you are thinking of visiting the far end you may be encouraged to know that it is possible to stand up about two yards after the Dogleg and a similar respite occurs after another five or six yards of tight crawl. It is positively spacious for another six or seven yards which brings you to where the cave ended until a return to it in the 1980's. The passage continues very much as before with a six yard crawl and another aven which I am told helps you get over a six foot rise and fall in the passage floor. Another six yards of crawling and another respite before squeezing through and down into Simon Parker's Rift Chamber.
At this point we should have broken through into those passages measureless to man, but sadly they remain just that! I have still to reach this elusive cavern and my description of the journey and the present final chamber has been gleaned from Edward Whittaker, Simon Parker and Patrick Warren.
If you are an intending visitor to North Passage; do not be put off by tales of its fearsome nature. Bearing in mind the quote in the first paragraph; after passing the Dogleg, all you need is the ability to do a series of three, five or six yard squeezes ( with the option of turning back after each one). I have convinced myself and hopefully a few others to return and have a go in 1995.
Thanks to all those who took part and especially to the young ladies who removed my eleven remaining bags of spoil. I must plead guilty to neglecting the dig and leaving the Main Chamber one day for the first time in thirteen years. Hopefully the dig will be crowded and I can do the same thing next year. You have to enjoy these things whilst you are still young enough!
Une Vacance en Vercors
Every family has its skeleton. Don't tell anyone but my brother is a member of the shed draggers society and, hearing I was going to France in summer, showed me an article in his club magazine describing the Vercors. It was a very well written piece, spending a lot of time on the history of the Resistance, but one phrase stands out when it came to the geological description; "look out for the towering Granite cliffs...."
So Steve and I decided to do just that. We travelled via the Hull/Zeebrugge ferry with Jan and Hoggy, Jo and Patrick, Edward, Martin and Rob on the same boat. After that it was independent travel to Autrans for the first night's camp. Couldn't see any cliffs, granite or otherwise, due to the tremendous thunderstorms, so we left the next day and headed for the Berger camp-site at La Moliere. More details in another publication; here it is enough to say that Steve, Nigel Graham and l went to -900 metres but did not find the granite cliffs.
From La Moliere Steve and I went to La Chapelle-en-Vercors and a favourite site and spent the next 21 days continuing our search. First, with Carol and Ted, we visited the Cuves de Sassenage. We met a very loud guide, who, having been asked to talk "lentement et simplement", shouted at us. She was very surprised to hear that the "chambres" in the Berger were bigger than the one she had taken us to at the end of the show cave. In fact. I'm not sure she believed us; however she did show us lots of limestone, some flint, but no granite.
After everyone else had left La Chapelle Steve and I got down to some serious searching. After all, what else do you do on 5 weeks' holiday?
We drove on some of the days - the duller, only 24 C, days, to the Gorge des Ecouges, a mindblowing drive along "dual carriageway". Going down the gorge the road was carved out of the limestone cliff, coming up was through a tunnel. This is the most famous canyoning spot in the Vercors as all the adventure groups there proved. Then on to St Nazaire spotting a pair of kingfishers, and, with improved weather, a wonderful limestone sunset over the Bourne.
To Grenoble for take home beer and some wine, revisiting a good croque monsieur cafe, harassed by several beggars, and having a good sight see round a lovely and fascinating city. One day we travelled to Valence for a change; a superb drive over several cols with fine limestone views especially from the Col de la Bataille. Valence itself is built in between the limestone cliffs bordering the Rhone and we spent a good few hours wandering the maze of streets which spiral out from the centre.
Perhaps we'd missed the granite cliffs driving too fast in the car. Bikes unpadlocked we cycled 15 miles to Les Baraques and back via St Agnan, gazing at limestone crags en route. Then to Col de Rousset via Vassieux, along 24 miles of limestone roads.
Further afield the next time - we drove to les Jarrands then bikes to Lans-en-Vercors, up to Pas de la Croix Perrin and the route forestiere to La Moliere to see if the Army/Red Rose/CRO team had had a successful trip; they were packing up a day early so we assume a good time was had. A superb downhill-all-the-way ride back to the car taking in the Mortier Tunnel on the way, we passed a few cave entrances and lots of limestone gorges and valleys.
We tried even further away, taking the car to St Laurent-en-Royans and parking next to the cemetery. During a very hot 10 mile ride up Combe Laval to Col de la Machine I thought the parking spot a bit prophetic - it was hot. However, recovery soon took place in the bar at the top; enough to enjoy the "undulating" ( i.e. very steep up with a little down ) ride along and down the west side of the combe, meeting a mad French car driver on one of the hairpins nearly head to head - he was on my side I hasten to add - and two interesting tunnels carved in the limestone.
An afternoon ride from the camp-site, down the Bourne to Pont-en-Royans then up the Petits Goulets and Grands Goulets, calling at St Eulalie for croque monsieur - yes we are rather partial reminded us of previous visits to the "limestone" caves of the Bournillon, Grottes des Gaulois, and Gournier and the Choranche show caves. No more caving for us this holiday due to an iffy back, too good weather or too much rain.
Cycling was too fast; these granite cliffs must be flashing by. We tried walking in between the bike rides. After cycling to Les Baraques the afternoon was spent following sign posts marked Autour de la Village, a 7 mile walk round La Chapelle taking in Les Myrtilles camp-site on the way. A fairly gentle route through varying limestone scenery and some interesting birdlife including red back shrike.
We climbed the surface version of the Great Rubble Heap, La Grande Moucherolle; a mountain destroyed to make pistes - I hope the money spent in winter is worth the destruction of a magnificent mountain but, not being a skier, I am doubtful. However, the last 300 feet is a superb scramble on a "thin" limestone ridge and the far views in all directions are tremendous.
Looking at the map in the tent one night we saw what looked like an interesting walk when there is more than one couple - from Les Baraques to Pont-en-Royan by the original mule track over Pas de l'Allier. With only two of us - you need a car at both ends - we decided to walk the first half. A very hot and steep start through the woods was made interesting by the honey buzzards and the "terrine-on-the-hoof' - a sanglier ( wild boar ) farm. The views from the pass over the Goulets was as good as expected and on the way back we crossed the limestone "bridge" to look over the Bourne Gorge. I'm running out of superlatives to describe the view and the best is yet to come.
In the supermarket we had bought a use once panoramic camera and one day was clear enough to use it. Parking at Clos de la Balme we walked the steepest path yet through woods and across, I'm sorry to say, more pistes to Pas de la Balme and the best views of the full limestone ridge, the Ecrins and beyond that we have seen. Back to the car and a dash to all the viewpoints - the view of Mont Blanc from La Moliere was stunning - it looked about 15 miles away.
No, walking was too fast. We tried sunbathing and bird watching hoping to catch a glimpse too of those granite cliffs. We saw buzzards by the dozen, treecreepers and crested tits; on the last day in camp a short toed eagle hovered over us for an hour.
Stronger tactics were needed; we drove to Le Bourg d'Oisans 20 miles east of Grenoble. The rock was certainly different; was it Granite? Did it matter? We weren't in the Vercors now but we both managed to cycle up Alpe d'Huez the most famous of the Tour de France routes, only "they" do it after cycling 120 miles first. Twenty three hairpins, 10 miles and 1100 metres height - stupendous finale to a spectacular holiday. But no towering granite cliffs to be seen in the Vercors. Perhaps we'll have to go back for a further search!
Barbara J Jenkins & Steve Pickersgill
Lost Johns (31 December 1994)
The Lost John's Meet on New Year's Eve will be an SRT Meet with all routes, including the Stink Pot route, being rigged. Anyone who wishes to use ladder rather than SRT must contact the ladder in advance.
Vale - Hugh Holgate
To the majority of Club members, Hugh Holgate is only a name in the CPC list of members. Hugh was one of several who constituted the first intake of new members after the war in 1945 and who of course did their early potholing with the Club's pre-war pioneers. Of those pre-war veterans who returned to attend meets after a break by the war years, at least twenty have since passed beyond the veil. Small wonder therefore that there are very few who can relate their pot-holing experiences with Hugh in 1945-48 before he went to live in Ireland.
The remaining few who shared his company above and below ground can testify that he has made his mark in the Club's archives. He served on the Club Committee 1947-48, attended Gaping Gill camps and led meets. In September 1947 he led the Marble Steps meet. During the CPC's first post war meet at Gaping Gill Hugh accompanied by Brian Cairns, Brian Hartley and Bill Spencer did what in those days was a major undertaking: going down Disappointment Pot and through the long original Henslers Crawl.
In 1950 the Club held its first Irish meet organised and led by Philip Tyas ("Pekoe") with Hugh Holgate as deputy leader. It is recorded that on arrival in Ireland the party was entertained by Hugh and his wife to a typical Yorkshire breakfast at the home of Hugh and his wife. With sixteen in the party this was in itself a sufficient tribute to the culinary prowess of Hugh's wife.
Further CPC meets were held in Ireland in 1951 and 1953, again with "Pekoe" as leader and Hugh as his deputy. Then in 1954 Hugh led the Irish meet with Alf Birkett as his assistant. Hugh and his wife always provided their special brand of home hospitality while Hugh took a major part in all the new discoveries and explorations.
With potholers in Ireland being very thin on the ground (or should I say under the ground) and such numerous pots and caves waiting to be discovered, Hugh played a very big part in Irish caving in the years that followed. He was a member of the Irish Caving Club and edited their newsletter in the late 1960's and early 1970's. He was also President of the Cave Survey Group of Ireland 1965-1966 which merged with the Speleological Society of Ireland to form the Irish Speleological Association of which Hugh was President 1968-69. He was also editor of the Speleological Union of Ireland 1972-1979. Hugh was elected President of the Craven Pothole Club in 1984, an honour which he richly deserved.
So the Club has lost another of its long serving members. Hugh and Bob Crunden joined the Club in the same year and passed beyond the veil in the same year. Those who knew Hugh will long remember him.
(Thanks to Don Mellor for searching the Irish Caving archives for details of Hugh's membership of various caving organisations.)
In Memoriam - Dick Glover
Dick Glover died on 8 July after a long series of illnesses. Although only a member of the Club for a few years he had a great passion for Gaping Gill and it is this together with his impact on British Caving in general that make it appropriate to honour his memory.
He was born in 1930 in St Annes and was brought up believing that Ingleborough was a hollow mountain. His first trips underground were around Grange but his first real caving trips were in Devon during his National Service. In the 50's he went to Reading University where he was President of the Climbing Club, which rapidly expanded its agenda to include caving on Mendip and in South Wales. He then moved to Staffordshire where again he was busy both climbing and caving in Derbyshire. At this time he was actively involved with the Cave Research Group spending many evenings collating and mailing CRG Newsletters.
In 1965 he moved to Lancaster University as Director of Audio-Visual Aids and it was now that his visions of a hollow Ingleborough started to take seed. He was involved in the early dives in downstream Lake Avernus in Ingleborough Cave. He was invited to join BPC members on their second trip into the Whitsun Series and started the survey of their new discovery. When the students at Lancaster wanted to form a Speleological Society it was Dick who loaned them their first 100 foot of rope and 40 feet of ladder. He became their "Senior Treasurer" and was fondly referred to in LUSS1 as the guiding "father figure" of the Society. He helped finance the magnificent Journals the Society published in the early 70's.
During this time Dick together with Bob Machin started work on the early development of the "Speleophone". This work was later developed by Bob Machin into the current invaluable Molephone. Dick's interest in applying electronics to caving continued and he was the first Chairman of the BCRA Cave Radio and Electronics Group as well as being its Assistant Editor.
In 1971 Dick abandoned his job to undertake study for a PhD on the Ingleborough caves. He soon recognised not just the structural features that controlled the system but also the importance of the Porcellaneous Band. I particularly remember a trip down Disappointment Pot with him, licking all the light coloured rocks to see which one stayed the same colour when licked, the standard Glover test for the Porcellaneous Band. He wrote up some of his results in the CPC Journals and in a chapter in "Limestones and Caves of NW England". He was joint editor of the "Caves and Karst of the Yorkshire Dales" Guidebook which was written for the 1977 International Speleological Congress. Dick also led several CRG/BCRA field meetings in the Ingleborough area looking at the geology and hydrology. It was during this period that Dick was most closely associated with the Club. He and I produced a joint bibliography of publications relating to Gaping Gill. Many evenings in the beer tent at GG Dick would amaze people with his detailed knowledge of the system. His ideas not only matched what we knew of the cave but inspired us with ideas of how the cave had been formed.
As if this was not enough, realising that caving in Britain need a national body and being respected by both the scientific and sporting sides of caving, Dick was active in the formation of the National Caving Association becoming its first Chairman and one of the four Trustees of the Organisation.
Dick's active involvement in caving came to a sudden end in 1980 when a large part of the cliff near Gatekirk fell and crushed his leg. Although the surgeons at Lancaster managed to save his leg it became deeply infected and Dick never really regained full health. He continued as best he could as an enforced armchair caver inspiring people to do the things of which he was no longer capable.
Dick was a charming man with a passionate interest in all aspects of caves and especially the Gaping Gill System. The tragic accident to his leg curtailed his abilities but not his influence. His death is indeed a sad loss both to our Club and to British Caving as a whole. Many members of the Club were present at Gaping Gill on 3 September when Dick's ashes were added to Fell Beck so that he could make his final journey through the system to Ingleborough Cave. Our condolences for the sad loss are extended to Jenny, John, Richard and the rest of Dick's family.
Drop Test Results of Eco/Resin Hangers
Test Date: 9 July 1994
Supervised by: Les Sykes
Location: Dingle Quarry, Dalton, Lancashire.
Three hangers were placed on 05 July 94, they were installed by L Sykes using the correct method of placement. Above two of the hangers "M8" self drilling bolts were placed, these were to hold the gauges in position. The third hanger had a thermometer placed against the hanger and in the resin to a depth of 45mm.
The readings for the critical load point, that being the point at which the rope and hanger arrest the fall of the weight, are approximate because it was impossible to take this reading accurately.
Hanger number 2 was placed using the correct method of placement but with the load bearing curvature parallel to the ground, eg the hanger was in horizontal position. This was to test for movement of hangers in traverse lines, where the applied load would not be in-line with the hanger. Static stress test: A load of 85Kg was loaded on the hanger, a reading of 00.30mm was recorded. When off loaded a reading of 00.71 was recorded. The gauge was zeroed, 85Kg was loaded on the hanger and the weight was bounced for 30 seconds, this was to simulate cavers hanging on traverse lines, and, bouncing in their harnesses. During the bouncing a maximum reading of 00.50mm was observed. When off loaded a reading of 00.059mm was recorded, (remember the gauge was zeroed after the previous test). This movement 00.50mm is equivalent to a torque of 40psi/5.5Kg metres.
It is apparent from the static stress test and the bounce test, that, the hanger does move when loaded from the side, as in traverse lines. In fact, as a caving group progress along the traverse to the head of the pitch, each hanger is being multi-directionally loaded. If cavers use the rope to pull themselves up/along or hang in their harnesses in mid-traverse, then, considerable stress is being placed upon the hanger and resin bond. Although the hanger and resin bond possess strength and flexibility, actions as mentioned in 2 above, will, ultimately weaken the resin bond prematurely. This though will not lead to a rapid failure of the hanger or resin and may only show as a slight rotational movement in time, I feel that it WOULD NOT compromise the safety of the user, as hangers that have had slight rotational movement have proved, stubborn and hard to remove.
When using traverse lines, the body weight should be kept on the feet and hand holds, the traverse line should be used as a safety line, not as a means of suspension while traversing. The practice of driving a groove with a chisel in the base of the hole for about 45mm, will increase the surface area of the resin and help alleviate slight rotational movement. All installers who have attended the eco-resin training will be sent an amended training procedure.
Hanger number 3 was installed 3 metres from the ground using the correct method. A thermometer was inserted with the hanger, the thermometer was inserted to a depth of 45mm, half the length of the hanger, and was in contact with the hanger and resin. This test was set up to ascertain what amount of heat build up would be created when a load is lowered on a rope through the eye of the hanger.
A 51Kg weight was used for this test. The temperature reading before the start of the test was 22 degrees C. After 10 ascents and 10 descents of the load, a total travel distance of 60 metres, the hanger was too hot to touch, the reading on the thermometer remained at 22 degrees C. A further 10 ascents and 10 descents were conducted, the reading on the thermometer remained at 22 degrees C, the rope/hanger contact area was extremely hot, after 3 minutes the hanger could be touched without sustaining a burn. This test did glaze the rope and it was obvious that the rope had been mis-used. The hanger, had a shiny area where the contact had taken place, there was no obvious grove. Note: This test was conducted mainly for the BMC who often "lower off" after a climb.
The test was conducted using a dry clean rope. A wet rope would offer reduced friction resulting in a lesser temperature increase on the exposed hanger, but, a dirty rope would definitely abrade the hanger's contact curvatures and reduce the diameter of the contact curvature to 6mm (the minimum) prematurely. There is obviously no appreciable heat build up that is transmitted to the resin, or down the shank of the hanger. Generated heat obviously dissipates effectively through the surface medium.
I would not recommend that the hangers are used in this way, especially underground, where the ingress of grit into the rope is inevitable. Pulleys, krabs or maillons should always be used. Where this practice is the norm, then, a careful, regular check should be maintained to ensure that hangers stay within the minimum 6mm in diameter in any plane.
Les Sykes, Hon. Secretary CNCC
Based on an article in CNCC Newsletter 4/94
Mapping by Robot
NASA have developed a robot called Dante II which is designed to walk around inside active (but not erupting) volcanoes and map the terrain whilst measuring gases and other interesting parameters. The robot remotely resembles a metal spider having eight legs and can negotiate obstacles up to 1 metre high. It was claimed that the robot would permit exploration of terrain too hazardous to visit such as volcanoes, deep caves (my stress - Ed), Antarctica or other planets. Its laser ranging system makes 30000 measurements per minute and generates a virtual reality 3D image of the landscape. It also has eight onboard video cameras and four computers.
However before you rush out to borrow it to map your favourite cave you should note that it is rather slow with a top speed of 0.9 metres per minute and a bit heavy at 770kg without power supply. It is also 3 metres tall and cost 1.7 Million US Dollars to develop; and the really bad news is that it missed its footing and fell over and had to be abandoned!!
Based on an article in "Time" magazine of August 15 1994
Excerpts from: Climbing In The British Isles,
Part 1 - England
By WP Haskett Smith, MA (pub 1894)
Alum Pot, the name of which is also found in such forms as Allen and Hellan, lies just west of the Midland Railway, about halfway between Horton and Ribblehead stations, and on the north-east side of Ingleborough. It is one of the most striking and most famous of the Yorkshire potholes, being an elliptical opening in the limestone, 120 ft long and 40 ft wide, with a perpendicular depth of 200 ft. The exploration of it was begun by Mr. Birkbeck of Anley in 1847, who, assisted by Prof. Boyd Dawkins and a large party including three ladies, made a complete examination in 1870.
Attermire, one of the most picturesque limestone scars in Yorkshire. It is reached from Settle on the Midland Railway, and may be seen on the way to Malham Cove.
Beck. -- In the north of England (except in Northumberland and Durham, where burn prevails) this is the usual word for a brook. It differs from a gill in being more open, and having banks less rocky and a stream somewhat more copious. A gill may contain only a few drops of water, or none at all, and still preserve its self-respect, but not so a beck. Camden speaks of "Beakes and Brookes".
Brimham Rocks, in Yorkshire, are easily visited from Harrogate or from Pately Bridge. From the latter they are only four miles to the eastward. The station for those who come from Harrogate is Dacre Banks, from which the Rocks may be reached in an hour's walking. They are of millstone grit and well deserve a visit, for nowhere are the grotesque forms which that material delights to assume more remarkable. Some resemble the sandstone forms common about Tunbridge Wells, and many might very well stand for Dartmoor Tors; but others at first sight seem so evidently and unmistakably to suggest human handiwork that one can feel no surprise at the common notion that they were fashioned by the ingenuity of the Druids. Several of then, though very small, can only be climbed with considerable difficulty.
Calf (The) (2,220 ft.), in Yorkshire, near Sedbergh. Cautley Crag, on the E. side of it, is very steep. In this corner of the county the Yorkshire climber experiences the intense relief of seeing rocks which are neither chalk, limestone, nor millstone grit.
Camping. - Camping out by rivers has always been more popular in England than the same form of airy entertainment among the mountains. The labour of carrying tents or sleeping-bags acts as the chief deterrent. It is true that some thirty years ago a distinguished member of the Alpine Club applied to Scafell Pike, and one or two other spots where England is loftiest, the practice, which he has carried out on many of the higher peaks of the Alps and Pyrenees, of watching sunset and sunrise from the loftiest possible gite which the mountain can afford. Mr. Payn, too, has given us a most humorous narrative of how he and his friends encamped on Fairfield. Also, about twenty years ago, four stalwart climbers from Penrith made a regular camping tour of the Lakes. Their tent was pitched on these spots: Penrith Beacon, Red Tarn on Helvellyn, in Langdale under Pike o' Stickle, Sty Head, in Ennerdale under Gable Crag, and on Honister. It weighed only 5 1/2 lbs., and yet had a floor space of 8 ft by 8 ft.
It may be that, just as bicyclists suffered by the scathing definition "cads on casters", so the enthusiasm of the camper may have received a check when he heard himself described with cruel terseness as a "fool in a bag". Perhaps, again, our climate is not one which offers much encouragement to any but the hardiest of campers. In the Lakes by far the most popular (and probably, therefore, the most convenient) place is the shores of Ullswater, where tents have been seen even in the depth of winter.
Clapham, a station on the Midland Railway, is an excellent centre for Ingleborough and the Potholes.
Craven. - Camden remarks that the country lying about the head of the river Aire is called in our tongue Craven, "perchance of the British word Crage, that is a Stone. For the whole tract there is rough all over, and unpleasant to see to; which [with?] craggie stones, hanging rockes, and rugged waies." Modern climbers, however, find it hardly rocky enough for them, at least above ground, and have been driven to invent a new variety of climbing - the subterranean. Exploration of the numerous potholes which honeycomb the limestone hills has of late years become a favourite pastime, and, in truth, it combines science with adventure to a marked degree. Any one who tarries for any length of time among these Yorkshire dales should read Mr. H. Speight's handsome volume, which gives a very complete account of the beauties and the curiosities which they have to show.
Dale : curiously used in Derbyshire for each separate section of a river valley, which elsewhere would form only one dale.
Dunald Mill Hole. - One of the earliest descriptions of a "Pothole" will be found in the "Annual Register" for 1760, where this curiosity is treated at some length. It is a good specimen of a common type, and lies between Lancaster and Carnforth.
Gaping Gill Hole, in Yorkshire, on the south side of Ingleborough, is most easily got at from Clapham, on the Midland Railway. It lies higher up than the well known Clapham or Ingleborough Cave, and both should be visited in the same expedition. The actual funnel is about 8 ft. by 20 ft., and Mr. Birkbeck, of Settle, partly descended it many years ago. There is a ledge of rock about 190 ft. down, from which a plumb line drops a further distance of 166 ft. Strangers often pass close to the place without finding it.
Gordale Scar - a magnificent limestone ravine near Malham Cove, in Yorkshire, on the line of the great Craven Fault. Bell Busk is the nearest station, but Settle (6 miles) is generally more convenient. It has been prosaically compared to a winding street between enormously high houses, with a river falling out of the first floor window of one of them. It is easy to pass out at the head, leaving the water on the right hand; but on the other side of the water there is quite a little climb, which, however, the writer has seen a lady do without assistance.
Ingleborough, 2361 ft., one of the most striking of the Yorkshire mountains, of which the poet Gray spoke as "that huge creature of God." Readers of the "Heart of Midlothian" will remember how it reminded Jeannie Deane of her "ain countrie". The most exaggerated ideas of its height formerly prevailed. Even in 1770 it was commonly reckoned at 3,987 ft., and Hartley actually gives 5,280 ft. Its top is only about four miles from Clapham, and ponies can go all the way. It is ascended far and away more frequently than any other Yorkshire hill, and consists mainly of limestone cliffs and slopes of shale, with a certain amount of millstone grit. Here are some very remarkable caves (see Alum Pot and Gaping Gill Hole), and of some of these there is an early description by Mr. Adam Walker in the Evening General Post for September 25, 1779, which is quoted by West, and an account of an ascent of it made in the year 1761 is also extant.
Limestone is abundant in Derbyshire and Yorkshire, and forms the fine cliffs in Cheddar in Somerset, Berry Head in Devon, Anstis Cove and others; indeed most of the south coast of Devon and Cornwall east of Penzance is of this material. Chudleigh Rock and Morewell Rocks on the River Tamar are very striking. West, speaking of this rock in Lancashire, says, "The whiteness and neatness of these rocks take off every idea of horror that might be suggested by their bulk or form." In England it is very rare to find limestone which is a satisfactory material on which to climb.
Malham Cove. - A fine example of the limestone scenery of the Craven Fault. The River Aire gushes forth from the base of the cove, which can easily be seen in the same excursion as Gordale Scar. The nearest town is Skipton-in-Craven and the nearest station is Bell Busk, but Settle is very little farther and will generally be found the most convenient starting-point.
Penyghent. - The sixth in height of the Yorkshire hills, but long supposed, on account of its finer shape, to be the highest of them all. As late as 1770 it was reckoned at 3,930 ft. It can be ascended from Horton station in little over an hour. Celtic scholars revel in the name; they practically agree that it means "head of something," but cannot accept each other's views as to what that something is. When Defoe was in this neighbourhood he saw "nothing but high mountains, which had a terrible aspect, and more frightful than any in Monmouthshire or Derbyshire, especially Pengent Hill".
Pot-holes are frequent in the Yorkshire limestone. The rivers for considerable distances have underground courses. At each spot where the roof of one of these tunnels happens to fall in a 'pot-hole' is produced. They are very numerous about Settle and Clapham. Some are of very great depth and can only be explored with the aid of much cordage and many lights. The explorer of pot-holes has to face all the perils of severe rock climbing, and, moreover, to face them for the most part in the dark. It would be hard to imagine anything more weird than one of these darksome journeys, rendered doubly impressive by the roar of unseen waters and the knowledge that abrupt pitches of vast depth are apt to occur in the course of the channel without the slightest warning. (See Alum Pot, Dunald Mill Hole, Gaping Gill Hole.)
Toe-scrape. - May be defined as "foot-hold at or below its minimum".
Whernside, in Yorkshire, was considered even as late as 1770 to be the highest mountain in England, 4,050 ft. above the sea.
Yorkshire (see Attermire, Calf, Craven, Gordale, Ingleborough, Malham, Micklefell, Penyghent, Pot-holes, Whernside) - a county whose uplands fall naturally into three great divisions, only one of which, however, demands the attention of the mountaineer. The chalk Wolds in the East Riding, and the moorland group formed by the Hambleton and Cleveland Hills, may be dismissed here with a mere mention. The third division, which constitutes a portion of the Pennine Chain, and, entering the county from Westmorland and Durham on the north, stretches in an unbroken line down its western border to Derbyshire on the south, approaches more nearly to the mountain standard. Even in this division, however, only that portion which lies to the north of Skipton attains to any considerable importance. It is in this latter district - in Craven, that is, and in the valleys of the Yore, the Swale and the Tees - that we must look for the finest hill scenery in Yorkshire. Most of these mountains consist of limestone, capped in many cases by millstone grit, and of such summits some twenty-five or thirty rise to a height of 2,000 ft. Very few of them, however, exhibit individuality of outline, and, with the exception of the low lines of limestone precipice which occasionally girdle them , and of the wasting mill-stone bluffs which, as in the case of Pen-hill or Ingleborough, sometimes guard their highest slopes, they are altogether innocent of crag. If any climbing is to be found at all, it will probably be among the numerous "pot-holes", or on the limestone "scars", such as Attermire or Gordale, which mark the line of the Craven Fault. The Howgill Fells, north of Sedburgh, form an exception to the above remarks. (See Calf.)
Although the climber may find little opportunity to exercise his art among the Yorkshire mountains, yet the ordinary hill-lover will discover ample recompense for the time spent in an exploration of these hills and dales. The ascent of Micklefell, of Great Whernside, of Penyghent, or of Ingleborough, whilst not lacking altogether the excitement of mountain climbing, will introduce him to many scenes of novel character and of astonishing beauty. It is only fair to mention that the Yorkshire waterfalls are second to few in the kingdom.
It is necessary to add a word or two with regard to the coast. The rapidly wasting cliffs to the south of Flamborough are too insignificant for further notice. Flamborough Head, where the chalk attains to a height of 436 ft., is noticed elsewhere. (See Chalk.) The line of coast from Flamborough to Saltburn, passing Filey, Scarborough, and Whitby, presents an almost unbroken stretch of cliff, which, however, will find greater favour with the landscape-lover than the climber. These cliffs, which consist chiefly of the oolite and lias series, are throughout crumbling and insecure, and are frequently composed of little more than clay and shale. Rockcliff, or Boulby Cliff, however, near Staithes, merits a certain amount of attention. In addition to not a little boldness of outline, it enjoys - or, at any rate, enjoyed - the reputation of being the highest cliff (660 ft.) on the English coast.
Extracted by Ron Bury
Lost or strayed
One Rob Eiger blue duvet jacket with a mended rip by the right pocket. Last seen at La Moliere. If spotted please return to Martin Holloway because its very cold in Scotland on his own!
Those "more mature" members of the Club who can remember when the Whistleman's job at Gaping Gill was to blow a whistle rather than press a button, may be interested in the following.
The whistle on virtually every World Cup soccer referee's lips is the Acme Thunderer. Approved by more than 200 sports bodies and referees associations, it is the world's biggest selling whistle at more than 1m a year. And it is British, manufactured and exported to more than 130 countries by J Hudson & Co (Whistles) Ltd, of Hockley, Birmingham.
The Acme Thunderer was invented in 1885 by Joseph Hudson, and has hardly changed since. Although it is available in injection moulded, high impact, shatterproof, bite-resistant Symonite, the classic Thunderer is still made from non-corrosive, non-toxic, nickel plated brass.
Pitch, volume and penetration are determined by the size and shape of the mouthpiece and drum. But the key to the Thunderer's consistency and quality is the "pea", made of finest cork. It has to be completely grain-free, to prevent it from absorbing moisture or splitting, and perfectly spherical, so that it rolls smoothly and never gets stuck.
So there is absolutely no danger of swallowing the pea (although I have vague memories of Bucket Gob blowing the side out of one - Ed) which is one of the many reasons why the World Cup referees Philip Don and Mario van der Ende visited the factory recently to select their own Acme Thunderers.
Extracted from the Sunday Times
Yuri digs deep for cash
It seems no part of Moscow is safe from the attentions of Yuri Luzhkov, the irrepressible mayor. Not content with transforming the skyline of the city with grandiose schemes, he has now gone underground. Last week, he and a handful of aides in helmets and boilersuits popped down a manhole in central Moscow to explore part of an extensive network os secret tunnels built beneath the city in communist times. "I've been losing weight especially for this" Luzhkov told bemused passers-by as he squeezed through the hole in the road.
The network of tunnels and bunkers linking government buildings is one of the most closely guarded secrets of the former Soviet empire. Luzhkov's exploration last week seemed like one more step by the mayor, seen as a potential successor to president Boris Yeltsin, towards imprinting his considerable authority on every nook and cranny in Moscow. Luzhkov's interest in the subterranean warren, designed to protect communist governments and their families in a nuclear war, is also commercial. With Moscow real estate prices higher than Paris or London, some in the mayor's entourage dream of turning the bunkers and passages into underground parking lots and shopping malls to entice a new breed of super rich Russians. There is certainly enough space; the biggest underground shelter completed in 1975, was designed to house up to 30000 people for three decades. For the moment though the authorities are considering a different money-spinner: urban pot-holing. "It would be appealing to the particularly adventurous class of tourist," said a city official, explaining that the cockroach-infested complex is so dark and poorly maintained that it would be easy to get lost down there.
Based on an article in the Sunday Times of 18 September 1994
What are your Journals worth?
Craven Pothole Club Journal. A complete run from Volume 1 No.1 (1949) to Volume 6 No.6 (1985) (36 annual numbers) plus numbers 1 to 4 of the CPC Record (1986) 3 volumes 8vo and solander box 4to with silk tie, all in matching half green levant morocco gilt. Illustrated throughout, all original wrappers bound in, and complete with all inserts, large folding maps, plans,diagrams, etc. as issued, together with the Craven Pothole Club Record, Nos.1-4 in the solander box. A handsome complete set. Skipton: The Club 1949-86 350 pounds.
Extracted from Occasional list No.72 - Mountaineering issued by RFG Hollett & Son of Sedbergh
Members who wish to purchase back numbers of the CPC Record, CPC News or CPC Journals should contact Don Mellor. We have a reasonable stock of many of the publications (at 1 pound per copy), a small stock of some (at a higher price) and some where the Club has no spare copies. If you want to see a set of the Club's publications before deciding what you would like to purchase then contact the Librarian, Don Mellor
Rumbling Hole - Steve Pick Gavel Pot - Russell
Large Pot - Bob C..s Frustration Pot - Tony B..k
Whispering Cave - Pat H Dismal Hill - Martin F...n
Wretched Rabbit - Steve W..n Rift Pot - Skipton Mafia
Goatchurch - Ken "Ancient Mariner" C..l Bar Pot - David "Rugface"
Broken Finger Pot - Patrick W..n Crackpot - Richard "Harp.
Twin Titties - Barbara J Blue John - John T.....
Beck Bottoming - Howard "Stream Walker" Birks Fell - Aidan K..y
Little Hull - Terry S..y Flood Exit - Ank
Bicycle Cave - Ted W..d Revolting Pot - Randy C..
Car Pot - Paul N..n Batty Wife - If cap fits......!
Bull Pot - Pete "Bucket" Sheepskull Pot - Bryan "Dillon"
Pint Pot - Pete ":" Windypits - Bob J..s
Big Meanie - Edward W..r Snatchers - Trevor S..h
Quaking Pot - Nigel G..m Brown Scar - Pete R..e
Lamb Leer - Edward W..r Dib Scar Cave - HughB..y
Singing River Mine - Andy H..r Fairybottom Cave - John C.
Pound Gll & Penny Hole - Rob S..t Spectacle Pot - Jan H..h
Blue Pig Pot - Dave "Hoggy" H..h Banwell Bone - Tony B..t
God's Bridge River Cave & Resurrection Hole - Tony W..e
Black Shiver - Steve C..n
Many members will either know of Keith, or will have used one of Keith's "Wessex" permits for Notts or Lost Johns across the New Year period. Keith is a hard caver by anybody's standards and has descended many of the major continental caves. Regrettably during his trip to the Piaggia Bella earlier this summer he fell when a fixed rope broke on a 5m pitch some 700m down. Thankfully the rescue went smoothly and Keith was on the surface within 30 hours or so of his fall. He is now recovering at home in Newby Cote and I'm sure we all wish him a speedy and complete recovery.
16 April 1995 is the day when all British telephone numbers change by the replacement of the STD (0) by (01) i.e. the Hull code 0482 becomes 01482. The codes for five big cities (Leeds, Sheffield, Nottingham, Leicester & Bristol) will change completely. There may also be local alterations to individual numbers, such as turning them from 5 figure to 6 figure numbers.
I will automatically update our list of members' telephone numbers to take account of the 01 and the five big city changes. However will members please let me know, before 1 November, of any other changes which will affect their telephone number. All notified changes will be incorporated into the membership list in the new issue of the Handbook. The new numbers are already valid for use.
Jottings from the Committee
The member who had been requested by the last Committee Meeting to attend and explain his unauthorised removal of another member's sleeping bag was present. All correspondence relating to the incident was read to the Committee. The member then expressed his regret at the incident and said that such behaviour would not occur again. It was noted that an apology had been made to the owner of the sleeping bag and this apology had been accepted. The Committee agreed that in the light of all the evidence presented, it would not consider terminating the membership of the miscreant. Nevertheless this was a serious matter and such behaviour could not be condoned by the Committee and the member in question was formally reprimanded by the Chairman on behalf of the Committee.
It was noted that the new room in Castle Chambers had been plastered but a lot of cleaning and clearing up would be required before the Library could be moved into the new room. It was reported that four members had qualified for SRT leader status; M Hrynyk, S Keedy, S Kelley and S Shimbles.
It was noted that no progress had been made with the car-park wall. There was a lengthy discussion on which items could legitimately be included in the costs of Gaping Gill. It was agreed that a new "catering-style" tent should be purchased to replace the Patrol tent which had been "misplaced". It was also agreed to purchase a 200m reel of lifeline rope to replace those used in Bar Pot. It was suggested that the descent fee for Gaping Gill should be increased from 5 pounds but there was no agreement on by how much it should be increased.
We welcome the following as new members of the Club (addresses omitted from
the on-line version of the Record):