17th February 2019 - Robert Stevenson
James Booth, Phil Lilley, Callum Ewan, Lucy Platt , Yvonne King, Andy Collins, Robert Stevenson
SUNDAY Crack of Noon start in true DCC style - though to be fair James had a 0 minute drive to get here …. Nah its no good, templates for trip report simply don’t cut it - every trip is different. All except Andy were at BullPot farm so we had a very very human wake up call at 9am with a slow gradual rise and we made it IngleSport café for 10 (ish, very ish). Another fine cuisine driven chat about what to do - this, that , the other and finally back to the original plan of Great Douks Cave.
Off we went in convoy on another fine Yorkshire day , crashed our cars and vans into the layby (well given that the layby is six inches lower than the road crash is more appropriate than park). Whatever anyone says I was NOT lost we found the entrance very quickly and without (whatever anyone says) incident – look the guides don’t say anything about a footpath over a walled barbed wire enclosure. You can just about avoid SRT in Yorkshire but never water a quick climb up the middle of a waterfall and we were into the phreatic tube that makes the bulk of this cave – extremely bimble, well you can up the challenge and play the game the floor is water and try and not get your feet wet – it is a very beautiful and quite long walk through meandering tubes and flow stones.
Phil got his 3 quid ultraviolet light out and we proceeded with minimal lighting to follow the route guided only by the glowing green of the calcite – we eventually reached the low crawl. At this point we split and Phil headed back out the way we came because the survival pack he had brought wouldn’t fit the stream bed and Yvonne accompanied him so he wouldn’t be on his own (see I told you guys I wouldn’t mention that you don’t like crawls Phil and Yvonne you didn’t want to get freezing cold and completely wet). Its not all really a flat out crawl it is very low and very hands and knees and a total bugger if you don’t have knee pads (and none of us had knee pads) but hey we persevered and got to what calamity Rob thought was a dead end till I looked up and saw the hole above that leads to a continuation.
We made it out in good time and order, headed back to the layby – we decided NOT to grace the ice cream van with our trade but opted for free hot Chocolate from the back of Uncle Phils van then back to The Wheatsheaf for beer, nosh and a loooooong wait for a Meringue and Blue Berry pudding (Phil)