Trips & Reports

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Sunday July 9th 2017

Manchester Hole - Goyden Pot

Josh, Laura, Jean-Luc Heath (YUCPC), John Holloway (ULSA)

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Sunday July 9th 2017

Goyden Pot

Toby, Matt E, John D, John C, Gary

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Thursday June 29th 2017

Cnoc Nan Uamh System (Cnockers)

Ade, David W, Josh, Rachel, Lots of others from YUCPC

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Monday June 26th 2017

Uamh An Claonaite

Laura, Jerry, Gary, Ade, Matt E, Philip, Rachel, Adam Walmsley (YUCPC) and Matt Bouwman (YUCPC)

19 photos by Gary...

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Sunday May 28th 2017

Ogof Draenen to Dogleg Series

Aileen, Gary, Matt E

Matt E wrote...

After numerous trips to the far reaches of Ogof Draenen over the last few years (including one to Medusa's Children, one to the Geryon, and one to War of the Worlds and Sandero Luminosa at the opposite end of the cave), we were on the lookout for new places to visit in this excellent system. A tip off from a few club members recommended the Dogleg Complex, a different branch from the end of MS&D. After watching the excellent YouTube videos by The Freems (Youtube name 'Catchpool'), documenting a trip to here, it was clear that this part of Draenen is home to some of the finest formations.

A trip here was a must and so a bank holiday weekend at Whitewalls was promptly arranged.

A reasonably early start for a team of five enthusiasts suggested an efficient day ahead. Unfortunately on arriving at the Draenen car park opposite the Lamb and Fox, myself, Gary and Aileen waited patiently for Rachel and Toby to arrive in Rachel's car. After 30 minutes and no sign of them we were wondering what had happened. With no mobile signal, we gave them another 30 minutes before deciding that we might as well get started and hope they would catch us up (we knew they had recently been as far as MS&D so hopefully knew the way).

Aileen, Gary and I made quick progress through the entrance series, Beer Challenge, Indiana Highway, Megadrive etc etc, arriving at the Snowball in about two and a half hours - Not bad going! Into Last Sandwich Crawl, and the 30-40 minutes of long but not too hard crawling commenced. It was good to be back at MS&D after a year or so away. We stomped along to the junction where on all previous trips we have headed up towards The Geryon, but this time we headed down to 'Into the Black' down a steep slope of boulders (with a handline at the top). In the chamber at the bottom, a cavernous stream passage disappeared into the darkness (hence the name), but up on the left a steep rubble slope lead up into the Dogleg complex, and then the route was on the right at the top of the slope up yet more scree slopes. This did not look like a place many people had visited!

The Dogleg Complex is a very old, high level fossil complex of joint-driven cave development. It is a three dimensional labyrinth of junctions. Thankfully, Tarquins description which is freely available online (, is excellent. There are a few confusing moments where it is necessary to read ahead considerably to see what bits to ignore and what to follow, and some creative interpretation, but we encountered no major difficulties. Within 30 minutes of entering the Dogleg complex we arrived at our target; a stunning, absolutely magnificent, grotto at the end of an inconspicuous low passage, hidden beyond five minutes of arduous flat-out crawling.

Peering into this grotto from the approach, it is like a fairyland of columns, stalactites, straws and helictites. Stunning! They were in splendid condition, thanks to the difficulty in reaching this location and the fact that this is a dead end so it is not a thoroughfare. We admired this stunning chamber for several minutes and Gary took photos before we moved on.

Next stop was Circus Maximus, where it was nice to be back into more typical Draenen type caverns. There were some very nice stalagmites and straws here. However, the real treat was just beyond Circus Maximus, another dead end with a stunning gallery of flowstone and helictites. Absolutely pristine!

After more photography, we started on our outward journey, stopping only for a brief stomp down the first few hundred metres of the Into The Black Streamway, and exiting the cave at 9pm after about 10 hours underground.

What a superb trip - I thought I'd seen the finest Draenen had to offer before today - But the Dogleg pips the others to take first place.

Arriving out we found a note pinned to the entrance hatch. Rachel's car had a blown out tyre on route to the cave. Very bad luck indeed, but at least they'd got a top notch trip to the Courtisan in Aggie the day before to slightly compensate. It was nonetheless fun telling them how great The Dogleg was!

16th July 2017

Matt Ewles

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Saturday May 27th 2017

Agen Allwedd Up Turkey Inlet

Gary, Jerry, Matt E, Philip, Tegs

7 photos by Gary...

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Saturday May 27th 2017

Agen Allwedd to The Courtesan

Aileen, Rachel, Toby

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Sunday May 14th 2017

Knotlow Caverns via Climbing Shaft

Gary, Jerry, John D, Matt E, Tegs

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Saturday May 13th 2017

Lathkill Head Cave , Mandale Mine and several other small caves

Chris, Gary, Jerry, John D, Matt E, Tegs

14 photos by Gary...

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Saturday May 6th 2017

Fairy Holes (Weardale)

David W, Fleur, Matt E, Pete, Ursula Seddon

Matt E wrote...

It'd been a few years since our last trip into Fairy Holes, and I was quite excited about the possibility of returning.

With the weather very much in our favour, we arrived at the quarry and made our way up the forestry track - or at least what once was the forestry track. Now it is more like the deforestry track. All the trees have gone (replanted with saplings) and the place is unrecognisable compared to last time. The parking spot was covered in forestry debris so we parked on the side of the track near the top gate.

Unfortunately, Gary was developing a migraine so opted out of the trip (choosing to fly his drone instead) but the rest of us made quick progress through the quarry and to the entrance. The entrance pipe has two locked gates, and is crawling in several inches of water, so you get wet legs and arms from the off.

Having done the trip in a 5mm wetsuit last time, and almost passed out with heat exhaustion, I opted for a neofleece today (half fleece, half 3mm wetsuit).

The description that was supplied with the permit was excellent throughout. About 25 minutes of fine easy caving in sizable stream passage with waist deep pools eventually reached the climb up into Vein Chamber, with a few reasonable formations. Back down the fixed rope to the stream, and upstream developed into an extensive streamway of straight passages broken by sharp bends - evidence for the highly fracture-driven nature of the stream passage. This varied from stooping, crawling, crabwalking, easy stomping, scrambling over blocks and everything in between, with nothing of any particular difficulty.

Part way along I stopped to read the Northern Caves Monitoring form that we were filling in - it referenced clastic sediments and various other technical jargon that I was wholly unfamiliar with. On vocalising my concerns about our ability to complete this, Fleur promptly reminded me that at the back of the group we had Pete, who just so happens to be a Professor of sedimentology! It seems our problems were well and truly solved!

Eventually we reached the choke with the climb up to Grave Chamber. Last time, we stayed in the water here and got very wet, but today we climbed up the steep slanting wall to a squeeze up into Grave Chamber, which is barely a chamber. A narrow sideways squeeze at the far right end of the 'chamber' soon opens out and a descent back down to the stream was possible.

A short distance on we reached the climb up into The Choir, a sizable chamber. This was shortly followed (via a crawl) by The Vestry, with some decent stalagmites.

At the end of The Vestry is a traverse to a window, which marks the start of about 25 minutes of rather arduous dry thrutchy crawling in a small twisting passage. Ursula, Pete and David opted to turn around here. Fleur and I pushed on at top speed, whizzing through the various crawls and building up enough heat inside our oversuits to melt lead. The crawls seem to go on for quite some distance but eventually we reached The Sarcophagus. This is a stunning chamber with some very nice unspoiled formations, significantly better than I had remembered, and worth the crawling.

After a few happy-snaps, we turned around here and headed out at top speed, arriving at the entrance only a few minutes behind the others. We were greeted at the end of the pipe by a buzzing noise - Gary's drone - here to greet us as we exited the cave into glorious sunshine.

Fairy Holes is an outstanding trip. It's proper Northern Dales caving at it's best, and a trip to The Sarcophagus is a lengthy day (about 4-5 hours) and a worthwhile destination. It's not one for wet conditions, but in settled weather neither is this one for a full 5mm wetsuit as the description suggests. Many cavers will be perfectly happy in a fleece and others in a 3mm wetsuit or ideally neofleece - You can actually keep your upper body completely dry throughout if you are careful, and the absence of any pitches to wait around at mean you don't get the chance to get cold.

Sadly Pete never did get to the clastic sediments; A good job otherwise poor Natural England may have ended up with a dissertation in the post!

18th July 2017

Matt Ewles

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6 photos by Fleur...

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Sunday April 23rd 2017

Hagg Gill Pot

Aileen, Gary, Laura, Matt E, Toby

6 photos by Gary...

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Saturday April 22nd 2017

Christmas Pot - Grange Rigg Pot

Aileen, Gary, Jack, Laura, Matt E, Toby

4 photos by Gary...

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Sunday March 12th 2017

Brown Hill Pot

Fleur, Pete, Rachel, Toby, Josh Young and Adam Walmsley (YUCPC), Avelina

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Sunday March 12th 2017

County Pot Upper Trident, Main Line Passage, Mancunian Way and Manchester Bypass

Ade, Chuck, Gary, John D, Matt E, Mary Holder

5 photos by Gary...

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Saturday March 11th 2017

County Pot - Pool Sink

Ade, Fleur, Gary, Matt E, Rachel, Toby, Josh Young (YUCPC)

Matt E wrote...

A rather late start due to the prior CNCC meeting, but we assembled at Bull Pot Farm at 1:30pm intent on a very efficient exchange between Pool Sink and County Pot. It was Old Farts (Me, Gary, Ade, Fleur) going down County and the younger contingent (Rachel, Josh, Toby) down Pool Sink.

We had a merry trip down County Pot taking the usual Upper Trident route to avoid having to rig any pitches other than the one just below the entrance. This route has one challenging climb, but is otherwise tackle-free. An excellent description of the route to Stop Pot from County via Upper Trident (as well as via Poetic Justice and Manchester Bypass) can be found on the CNCC website, although I am biased as I wrote them!!!

The stream was up a little, but of no concern and within about 45 minutes of entering the cave we were at the bottom of the Stop Pot boulders.

It had been some considerable time since I have done Pool Sink, so navigation to it was a little uncertain, but Fleur had a better memory than me. In the end, it's dead easy; head upstream from the foot of Stop Pot for a few hundred metres, keeping left and gradually rising up onto boulders perched above the stream. After about 75m the stream is lost from immediately below the boulders but continue onwards regardless. Another 75m later (still continuing over boulders), the passage ahead narrows and there is a hole in the floor under the right wall leading back to the stream. This is Holbeck Junction.

Return to the stream here and turn right (downstream) in walking passage for 20m and into an obvious crawl on a shelf on the left. This leads into approximately 10 minutes of easy and varied caving (passing the very recognisable serrated limestone walls; the Bacon Slicer, characteristic of this part of the cave). We didn't know where we were going so we just followed the most obvious route which seemed to work fine. We reached to the bottom of the final pitch of Pool Sink just as the others had got to the bottom, so we traded banter and parted company again.

Pool Sink boasts an absolutely cracking selection of short, easy and enjoyable pitches, which we quickly ascended. The final section of the cave which leads to the surface is annoying; a narrow crawl with a few awkward bends, but it's extremely short and daylight soon beckoned ahead.

Returning down the valley to County Pot we met the others just coming out - Perfect timing! Total time underground only 2.5hr!!!

Plenty of time for tea at the NPC and then curry in Bentham. A great day out.

28th March 2017

Matt Ewles

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Saturday February 18th 2017

Alum Pot - Long Churn

Gary, Matt E, Rachel, Toby

Matt E wrote...

The planned trip for today was Brown Hill Pot, but the weather forecast from 2pm was a little concerning and we didn't know how Brown Hill responded, so we stuck with a much safer option to do a quick Alum Pot to Long Churn exchange, aiming to be out before the rain started.

Myself and Rachel headed down Long Churn, skillfully traversing the Double Shuffle Pools (which I have never done before; I usually just fling myself in) and reaching Dolly Tubs. On this occasion I decided that I would do my once every five years rigging refresher and promptly set to work. A group of instructed cavers were doing ladders but we were able to bypass them via the right hand window route.

Down at Dolly Tubs ledge the view was splendid as always. I could just make out Gary and Toby above starting the descent of the North West Route of Alum (if you look at one of the photos taken by Gary it shows an excellent view from the top looking down at Toby going over the edge, with me starting rigging of the Greasy Slab part way down). The whole rigging thing came right back to me which was a relief!

For reference, from Dolly Tubs ledge, traverse along the left wall of the shaft to a Y-hang descent (steep slope) down the Greasy Slab with some unavoidable rope rub further down. Once on the large balcony below, there is a sandy shelf leading out along the opposite side of the shaft. Some rather far apart P-anchors support an easy traverse along this ledge to The Bridge. This is a sloping huge jammed block in the middle of the shaft which must be crossed (carefully), and then descended on the far side to another small balcony. Anchors then spiral down to underneath The Bridge where a tiny Y-hang can be achieved, followed by a deviation (in-situ tat) from the opposite wall for the final excellent pitch. What a great place!!!

We arrived down only a short time after the Alum team, and they had already rigged the final pitch.

We did some photography at the always dramatic and inspiring sump next to the thundering Diccan waterfall, and then in the stream passage just upstream of the sump. and we headed back out. to complete the exchange.

The ascent back up Alum north west route was quite sufficient exercise, and we returned to the surface around 2pm to find absolutely no sign of the rain that had been threatened; in fact it was a lovely day. Never mind... Brown Hill will be there for another day.

28th March 2017

Matt Ewles

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6 photos by Gary...

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Sunday January 15th 2017

Rowten Pot

Gary, John D, Laura, Matt E

Matt E wrote...

It wasn't just wet... it was REALLY wet... white water down Kingsdale Beck.

John turned up, snorting about how there was no way we were getting down Rowten today... but having descended Rowten several times in similar conditions I was rather more confident that the Eyehole/Flyover route would be passable.

Progress underground to the bottom of the normal (Eyehole) pitch was expedited by the cold and driving rain on the surface. Gully Route (our original plan) was hidden behind a raging waterfall and shrouded in spray. The noise was deafening!!!

Down at the traverse, I waited patiently as Gary descended first, disappearing into the spray. At this point I was 50/50 whether a descent would be possible, so I was half expecting Gary to turn around and come back up. But after some time, the Rope Free call bellowed up and off we went.

The bottom of the big pitch was horrendous; not the usual wet weather spray, but heavy rain from the torrenting waterfall lashing the balcony by the start of the Flyover route; but perhaps the most noticeable thing was the 40+ mph chilling wind howling at us. It was a painfully cold wait for five minutes, huddled over the pitch head, while Gary completed the Flyover route rigging.

I thought it would be sheltered once off the ledge, but abseiling down the first section of the Flyover route you are hung only 5-6m from the water and the wind, spray and noise was unbelievable. But once at the re-belay you go around a corner away from the waterfall and it was sheltered from the wind.

With our extremities numbed to the bone, it was a relief to get onto the traverse to the final pitch where it was dry and nicely sheltered and we could complete our trip to the bottom in greater comfort.

On the way back out, Gary and I offered to go last and de-rig. We sent the others off out on a 20-minute head start, to avoid us all bunching up at the bottom of the big pitch, not somewhere you would want to wait for more than a few minutes under these conditions. We arranged for the last person up to drop a Krab down the rope to indicate it was free.

After a cold 20 minute wait I set off with instruction from Gary not to stop until the traverse at the top of the big pitch. I was pleased to see a Krab hanging in the loop of rope at the bottom of the big pitch (there was no way I would have heard a rope free call nor could I see up through the spray to tell if anyone was on the rope) so without delay up I went... with the gales, the torrential rain and intimidating roar I didn't stop for my usual rest half way and I belted it up the rope to the relative shelter of the tiny traverse at the top.

From here it was fairly straightforward progress out, where the surface seemed so peaceful and mild by comparison.

A tremendous, dramatic, enjoyable but very cold day out.

28th March 2017

Matt Ewles

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2 photos by John D...

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Saturday December 31st 2016

Ireby Fell Caverns

Ade, Gary, Laura, Matt E

Matt E wrote...

A fine and uncomplicated trip down to Duke Street to work up a thirst for the new year NPC celebrations at Greenclose which York had been very kindly invited to join in with. Gary took some cracking photos. Another group from YUCPC did the Cripple Creek round trip too which sounded a little too energetic for me!

28th March 2017

Matt Ewles

6 photos by Gary...

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Saturday December 17th 2016

Eskdale Mines - pre Christmas meal trip

Tegs, , Richard W, Rachel, Peter F, Pete, Matt E, Laura, John C, Jerry, Gary, Fleur, David W, Chris, Chalky, Ade, Various other mine enthusiasts

16 photos by Gary...

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Saturday December 3rd 2016

Cwmorthin Slate Mine

Aileen, Ali, Chris, David W, Fleur, Gary, Jerry, John D, Margot, Matt E, Rachel, Richard V, Tegs

12 photos by Gary...

YCC Trip History

Here you can see the list of pretty much all the trips YCC members have been on over the years. Members can also submit reports which will hopefully help others to avoid problems or just for some inspiration! Use the filters below to view by year or cave.

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2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009

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