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Marilyn and Gaping Gill - 15/11/2008

Written by RobEavis.

Report by Jules Barrett
Cavers: Jules Barrett (EPC), Dave Gledhill (EPC), Sam Pemberton (EPC), Pete Pollard (EPC), Faye Hartley

Four of us met at the Inglesport cafe in the morning for the usual debate about what we were going to do. The options were Boggarts Roaring Holes, the Marilyn entrance to Gaping Gill, Long Churn - Alum or a bit of a tour of Kingsdale. Asking around a few people in the cafe no-one seemed to know much about Marilyn but we'd got a vague idea that it didn't flood badly so went for that. Parked in Clapham where we met Faye who's friends hadn't turned up and walked to Bar Pot. Marilyn is nearby and the lid is certainly an impressive piece of metal fabrication. We rigged the top and headed down the entrance pitch - a simple short hang down to a ledge. The next pitch is a bit constricted (similar to The Narrows in Nettle Pot) but short and goes past a couple of rebelays/deviations to land at the start of a short crawl. At the end of the crawl is the head of Niagara pitch. This has a slightly loose top but is fine with care. Niagara pitch dropped us in above pitch three of Disapointment Pot and we followed the stream down past the final three pitches. From the bottom of Disapointment Pot we followed the water down to Hensler's Master Cave. Without exactly meaning to we followed the water downstream and through a very unusual coffin-shaped passage to arrive at the foot of the ladder that leads to the Far Country. Our directions now sent us back to where we had arrived in the Master Cave and slightly upstream to find the passage leading to Hensler's High Aven. From here we entered Mud Hensler's Passage with its two easy ducks and on to Mud Hall. I'd not been to Mud Hall before and it's an impressive sight. A load of lights were coming towards us on the far side of Mud Hall which helped to give scale to the place. We followed the traverse lines around to the the far side of Mud Hall and followed the route on to the bottom of Main Chamber with it's impressive waterfall. Pete enjoyed a run through the water before we continued on to traverse underneath the big pitch in Bar Pot. From here some interesting wet crawling along New Henslers Passage leads back to Hensler's Master Cave and the bottom of Disapointment Pot. The de-rigging was all straightforward and we exited at about 18:00. No rain in the evening so the walk down through Trow Gill was quite pleasant.

A very varied trip and an excellent way to see a large part of the Gaping Gill system.