Report by Jon Pemberton
Cavers: Jules Barrett (EPC), Toni Murphy (EPC), Mark Harrison (EPC), Jon & Sam Pemberton (EPC), Jim Lister (EPC) plus special guest appearance from Guy 1 (no idea), Girl 1 (Bridget Hall) & Girl 2 (Jane Rigby)
An evening trip which was meant to involve actually going down Eyam Dale House Cave but ended up a bit south of the entrance in a completely different delph!? After parking and kitting up in the car park for the retirement home we promptly went in search of the manhole cover supposedly “within the grounds of the retirement home.” After 10 minutes of searching with no luck we went on our instinct down the path at the side of the car park heading parallel with the road. Bridget rigged the first pitch while we all gathered at the entrance of the cave. With nine people packed at the entrance of the cave getting numerous battle wounds from nettles, the five Eldon (minus Jim) decided that Eyam Dale House Cave could wait a few more weeks so to save time we walked on down to Cucklet Delph for the Nickergrove Mine through trip.
We went through the adit entrance and headed straight for the 15m shaft to the lower levels. Jules rigged while Toni waited at the pitch head for Sam and me to ab down. When we were all safely in the lower level, we took off our SRT gear and secured it to the bottom of the rope so instead of mucking it up through the rest of the crawls we could pull it straight up on completion of the through trip, (Cue Mark). After a few awkward crawls, climbs and scrambles we eventually reached the Didsbury Shaft entrance and after a few metres of vertical free climbing we were successfully above the surface. Jules kindly offered to flee back into the adit entrance to de-rig.
With the above antics over we still had an hour left until we were to meet up with Team-2, (the Eyam Dale House cavers) in the retirement home car park. We agreed that to fill this gap a Carlswalk Eyam Dale Shaft to Gin entrance through trip would be appropriate. Jules quickly rigged the 11m shaft with the help from my Carlswalk knowledge (Laughter from all!!) When we were all at the bottom of the shaft again we took of our SRT gear, (all except for Toni, see de-rigging Shaft entrance) and made our way to Noughts and Crosses Chamber to gain access to the main Eyam Passage. We made a brief stop for Jules as he wanted to poke his nose down through the rift in Oyster chamber to spot the through trip to the resurgence. We then scaled on out of the Gin entrance. When we eventually made it back to Eyam Dale Shaft the task was now to de-rig. Jules was 100% correct in knowing that the SRT kits and tackle bags attached to the rope would snag on the way back up. Luckily Toni had kept her SRT gear on so that we could safely retrieve the gear. We met up with team-2 bang on 10:30pm, (timing or what?)
Overall although we didn’t manage to get even a foot in Eyam Dale House Cave, we still had an eventful night of caving with two through trips.