Perryfoot Cave - 18/09/2007

Written by RobEavis.

Report by Jules Barrett
Cavers: Jules Barrett (EPC), Chris Schofield (EPC)

After a trip down Eldon Hole we had some time left and since neither me or Chris had been in Perryfoot Cave we went for that. It's not a long cave (less than 200m of passage) so we didn't expect that it would take long. After getting permission from the farm we walked to the entrance and headed in to the cave. We quickly found ourselves in a chamber with a tyre in it ('1st Chamber') and the guidebook said that two alternative routes were possible from here to the final chamber at the end of the cave; one via the Iron Maiden squeeze and the other easier alternative. We went straight ahead dropping down into a low section with cobbles on the floor ('The Rack'). This emerged in a small chamber with two possible routes on. This was a bit of a surprise as CotPD just says that a series of crawls and pools leads to the Iron Maiden and the final chamber with a sump. We had a very brief look up and right and could see what looked like a small sump with a black flexible pipe in it. Everything else this way looked blind. Given that everything looked impassable here we took the left-hand option (the 'low road') which led up over a short wall and into comfortable crawling passage. This continued for a way until a body-sized horseshoe-shaped hole at floor level. Chris went through the hole and I followed him through. On the other side of the hole the rifty passage seemed to get too tight. It seems that thispart of the cave maybe what's called the 'low road' which eventually becomes too tight.From here we re-traced our steps back to the 1st Chamber and followed the alternative route to 'Flood Passage'. This was easy enough to follow and eventually led to a sump pool and concrete dam that had been used for bailing. According to the guidebook the route through the Iron Maiden etc. should emerge in this chamber but despite looking everywhere we couldn't really see where the Iron Maiden route could enter. We exited the cave after a couple of hours. Have since seen a survey and it all makes more sense. Will be returning for another look but it seems that there's more water in the lower parts of the cave than there used to be and it's possible that some parts of the cave can't be accessed any more.