7th/8th November 2015 - Tom Howard
Another report from the farm. A wild, wet, windy and somewhat miserable weekend was in the making and finding I had no plans set yet, I wangled my way onto a Red Rose Link Pot trip (Easegill System) to fill my Saturday. That morning, I had planned to travel up bright and early - until an angry misinformed lady decided she'd take parking laws into her own hands and clamped me for parking on a public road during the night! After a few raised voice discussions and threats for me calling the police she backed down and I set off for the Dales! Good start to a weekend... Driving down the Bull Pot road (two hours late), I could see clearly across the beck a group of cavers heading toward the Mistral area. In my mind I had hoped they weren't RRCPC members and the trip I was supposed to be on.. Yep, they were. 6 RRCPC members headed down Pippikin with the aim of leaving Mistral. Upon arrival, I bumped into Carol who I'd known from Matienzo and within 10 minutes I was kitted up and ready for a Manchester Uni Pippikin to Mistral trip! For those who don't know, Pippikin to Mistral is relatively tight and awkward consisting of 6 small pitches (Largest of 13m) and a few acrobatic style moves. I'll add, it's not for fatties or those who don't do tight spaces. But if you want something that shouts "fun" and "sporty" then it's definitely the one for you! It was a wet weekend to begin with, seeing several teams fail playing down County Pot attempting to traverse along to Lancaster Hole and Wretched Rabbit. The entrance to Pippikin pot on this particular trip seen us soaked through on just the entrance pitch with remarks from others saying it's the wettest they've ever seen the cave... Again, good start! We moved on down and through the meandering passages, slowly losing height and closer to the exit in the Beck. Full SRT kit wasn't really required and I definitely came to understand why a quick release "D" ring would come in handy.The pitches were small, and even I found a way to become stuck without SRT kit on! Out and at the farm, 4.5Hrs later we settled down to a beer, some food and getting the bonfire ready... I would love to tell you more about the goings on that night, but I can't remember! Vague memories show firecrackers erupting in Gregory's pint, Rockets being fired at eachother from Janes crutches. and scaffold rocket launchers! Lots of fireworks, lot of fun! Come play out in the Dales! Tom.