Report by Jon Pemberton
Cavers: Jon Pemberton (EPC), James Wood (EPC).
“Only small amounts of work have been undertaken in Ivy Green cave mainly by SUSS members during the sixties and early seventies. The cave received little attention until 19th May 1974 when Mark Noble, Kevin Wild and Brian Commander undertook a recce trip, returning the following weekend to dig through a tight squeeze extending the cave to its current length of 225m. Work was then abandoned, although the cave appeared to continue beyond the heavily calcited cross rift although if digging persevered, the cave would probably connect to the high level second remnant complex of the Carlswark Dynamite series.” 'Classic Caves of the Peak District’ – Ian Barker.
Us being intrigued by the Stoney system (especially the Carlswark Dynamite Series) after a quick chat with Mark Noble up in The Miners Arms in Eyam, we decided Ivy Green was well overdue a trip. We reached the big lay-by opposite Lovers Leap at just gone 7:00pm. It was pouring down with rain so we hastily kitted up and legged it to the entrance. After about 18 attempts! we managed to hook a rung of the ladder over a limestone ‘nubbin’. A quick traverse followed into the cave entrance.
The main passage is pretty big for the first 20-30 metres or so then turns into a hands and knees crawl. A quick climb over a roof fall and you reach a walking sized passage which continues for about 7-10 metres to a flat-out crawl followed by the first squeeze. Now this really does remind me of a passage at the bottom of Fall’s Chamber in the Dynamite Series, which requires a push up over flowstone and back down the other side…though you really have to push your arse through including James (Beaver – the skinniest caver about.)
After the squeeze you continue through another flat-out passage until you reach a cross rift. From here you continue through the second constriction (flat-out) through a puddle of static water. After getting wet you follow your nose through a small chamber until you reach another flat-out which leads to the final squeeze to the calcited choke. (A huge stal boss and loads of flowstone.)
The passage beyond the second squeeze is highly decorated in a Stoney kind of way so be careful and if you wish to see the final choke and you’re in a group beware no more than one person can turn around in the end!
After reaching the end we stop-motioned our way back to the entrance passage where James waited while I went for a quick gander down the second passage leading off to the right that is said to draught towards the mine level underneath. After a few minutes I scurried back and we scaled back down the ladder and ran to the river to wash our kit off where I lost an elbow pad and got caught in a drain. Out by 9.15pm. – Fun times had by all!