Dr Jackson's Cave - 11/09/2007

Written by RobEavis.

Report by Jules Barrett
Cavers: Sam Townsend (EPC), Jules Barrett (EPC)

We arrived at the P8 parking with a load of kit including ladder, rope, slings, bolt hangers, and other weirdness. Didn't really know what to expect so had brought a bit of everything. This got put into a couple of bags (in fairly unscientific quantities) and we walked over to Torr Top Farm at Perryfoot to ask permission. The bloke there was very amenable to us going down his cave and we walked over to the entrance in an adjoining field.

Dr Jackson's begins with a 6m entrance climb to a small stream passage. Right through a squeeze (with a weird pyramid-shaped piece of rock) eventually leads to the Yoga Hole. At the Yoga Hole, a short uphill crawl leads to a small chamber. At the end of the chamber is a bar of limestone and the passage descends sharply on the other side of this bar. We'd heard a fair bit about this and it definitely takes some thinking about; being what you might describe as "technical". After the Yoga Hole a couple of short silted up crawls lead to a decent-sized sloping rift passage and we reached the head of the first (8m) pitch. Here there's one rusty bolt and hanger which didn't inspire confidence. We hung our ladder off this and arranged a separate double-lifeline off some natural nearby. This for me was the nicest part of the cave (if you ignore the fixed gear!). After the second pitch a greasy traverse leads to the head of the second pitch. From here we could see the rock bridge in the bottom. There are three options from here <see the guidebook> and we traversed directly from the head of the second pitch to the continuation passage on the far side with some great (and slippery!) back-and-footing. There's a traverse line in place which we were careful not to load as it's not in the best condition. On the other side we crossed the "very greasy and dangerous traverse" (again not weighting the in-situ rope) across the Chasm to the other side to end in a series of tight, silty, muddy crawls on the other side. Having reached the end we made our way back across the traverses, up the first pitch, through the Yoga Hole and out.

Dr Jackson's is a very interesting cave which doesn't feel well-traveled. The trip to the end is a varied collection of squeezes, climbs, traverses and pitches and we thoroughly enjoyed it. It certainly maintains interest throughout!. There's a lot of flood debris in the roof and you wouldn't want to be down there in wet weather. We were underground for about two hours.