Streaks Pot, Sat 11.3.17.
Those attending: Mike Smith, Mark Gration, Ann Soulsby and Robin Stiffin
Must have been on form today. I had that nervous apprehension feeling whilst looking forward (why was I looking forward?) to Streaks Pot. Having read through some descriptions I was possibly pondering my sanity.
Anyway, met Mike , Mark and Ann in the Yondermann for breaky, we joked that perhaps big breakfasts weren’t the best idea seeing as we were eyeing up a thrutch fest, but the fortitudinal qualities of a big calorie intake proved the wisdom of our unintended foresight eventually. Mike photo-journaled most of the event, Mark did some excellent rigging and navigating, reading through an increasingly soggy description numerous times, Ann was good back up, picking up and carrying my bag through on quite a few occasions. Me – usually Tail-End-Charlie, which I was to begin with, enjoying having everybody else test the rope, water, landscape etc before me.
Into a narrow adit type entrance. Across a slightly exposed traverse and down a rope, and clambering on in a generally down wards direction through miners deads and stemples and then along bits of more roomy stream passage, passing Telescope and Alexander’s Avens, and with a few diversions left and right (don’t remember what order) until we got Mikes tick of the Lu-Blue Sump, a rather pretty and slightly turquoise pool down a natural shaft. But we were still only half way through our ordeal. Now we had to try and find our way through the part we had little or no knowledge of. Turns out Ann had been through this part before, but a long time ago.
Accidentally, I managed to find myself in the lead. So knowing we had to find our way through, as I don’t think any of us were relishing the return trip back UP that lot, I forged ahead, with the only thought in my head of ‘don’t go down anything you cant get back up’. This said I find myself up to my cheekbones in running water for the second time trying to find a hole in the stream passage roof. This just about made itself evident, just as I would have gone no further, really; the roof in the stream passage getting ever lower. Nervous Breakdown passage then unsued, meaning more clambering up and down boulders in and out of the stream passage, getting wet, trying more ‘hopeful’ windows etc etc. After a warming chocolate break, thankfully a through route was found, though what we now had to suffer was more crawling down wet stream passages. One turning left went to a very wet stream passage where I really wasn’t going to go this time, thankyou very much. Back a the last T Junction, it was the low sandy crawl we should have followed, which I did and which eventually got more roomy and lead to the lower mined part of the cave and the way out – if you could manage just one more squeeze……
After all that nice clean stream passage, we emerged all nice a mucked up. Good thing there’s a thoughtfully excavated cavers cleaning pool been created recently on the bend of the road, Ann and I got ourselves cleaned up, Mark went to get the rope, and Mike was already getting changed when we arrived back at the cars, he had work soon, AAAH!, would I, after that lot. I’d still be reminising. Funny how hindsight can make you believe you’ve had a more enjoyable time than when what you were really thinking and having to suffer at the time. Still in a perverse way I suppose its what we get out of such caves. I smiled all the way home. Until I found out I’d lost a Maglite in there. Anyone fancy going back to help me find it…….Robin Stiffin