Here is a very incomplete list of some of the trips the Eldon have been up to recently.

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Jug Holes - 29/12/2000

Written by RobEavis.

Report by Steve (Stik) Rider
Cavers: Steve (Stik) Rider (EPC), Jase Rider (EPC), Dan Hibberts (EPC), Mike Salt (EPC), Steve Fellows

In that bit between Christmas and New Year what do you do in the day apart from sober up from the night before? Well, you could try Jug Holes Mine and Caverns like we did on the 29th December 2000. Getting there was fun in itself with the roads white over from overnight snowfalls, but the sun was shining and the temperature very pleasant. Having got changed without too many direct snowball hits, we made our way down through the crisp, frozen undergrowth of Jug Holes wood, admiring the spectacular whitened views out over the Derwent valley.

We scrambled about trying to find the lower entrance, which, when we found it, had to be dug due to the snow! Mike commented on the superb formations around the entrance passage only to be berated by the others as they were only Icicles! Jug Holes is an interesting place with mined passages intersecting large natural caverns the so called ‘Water Caverns’. As the mine was worked relatively recently for Fluor spar there are a number of left-over bits and pieces such as wagons and rails to look at. Being a two part trip, we entered the lower series at the bottom entrance, working backwards through the 5th water cavern to the 2nd water cavern and daylight. This takes about half an hour. The upper series is entered by climbing down a 4m chimney which leads to a boulder choke. Once this is passed natural caverns in the beddings are reached where a vast flow stone slope comes from high on the left leading down to a small streamway.

We made our way out and before long were seated in the Miner’s Standard at Winster enjoying Real Ale and Cheese Burgers.

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Lancaster Hole - 18/11/2000

Written by RobEavis.

Report by Steve (Stik) Rider
Cavers: Steve (Stik) Rider (EPC), Jase Rider (EPC), Paul (Paz) Vale (EPC), Gary Bode (EPC)

There are those type of Sundays when the previous Thursday it seamed a good idea to get up at 7, drive to Ingleton, get changed in the rain and trudge across the moor to Lancaster. I’m sure we’ve all had them.

This particular Sunday was one of those. Well, it was for a while then it ended up being rather good. Me, Jase and Gaz turned up at the Cottage Café to collect Paz at about 9:00am and Paz was breakfasted and ready to show ‘us young ones’ what it’s like down Ease Gill.

We set off for Bull Farm in excited anticipation. Having not been there before, it was interesting to see the place after hearing so much about it.

The four of us changed in the wet, and made our way across the moor to the top of Lancaster Hole. There were a dozen or so other cavers at the entrance, so we rigged quickly and started to decend. This was not before we overheard one of the other cavers instructing his companion to ‘hold in the handle and feed the rope through. It’s dead easy. If anything goes wrong just let go of the handle’ . . . . . A fine time to learning the art of abseiling on a Stop !

We were soon down in Lancaster, making our way through Bridge Hall, Kath’s Way and Bill Taylors passage before reaching Montague East passage and the dark, foreboding expanses of Fall Pot. However, this was not our route as the Main Drain was high and had indeed claimed the life of a caver from Lancaster the previous weekend. Our trip was to explore the high level system around Montague (Western Extensions)t passage.

Paz set off up a mud slope which led to an entertaining ‘climb’ and squirm up a small aven (this aided by a short section of strategically placed ladder) which led in turn to a well decorated hands and knees sized passage (Montague Western Extensions).

After 10 minutes or so crawling a junction is reached, the left hand branch of which terminates a short distance away at two abandoned digs. Paz was adamant that this was the way. We eventually persuaded him that it was the other way and led off that way onto Waterfall Passage which is entered from a slope some 50ft above the stream. This stream was in full torrent so a high level traverse was opted for. After some time of slowly traversing above the flooded stream I was wondering just how deep it really was. This was answered as Paz appeared from round a corner up to just below his knees! There was no chance of being swept away after all ! (not by Paz anyway Ed). We all dropped to the stream and had a sporting time negotiating the various cascades and pools encountered before making our way back to the junction with Montague Western passage.

We then carried on up the passage to meet the resurgence sump from Bull Pot of the Witches (Wilf Taylors passage) which was definitely too deep to stand in as it made it’s way to the main drain.

On the return to Fall Pot area Paz again insisted that the ‘abandoned dig passage’ was the way on and again we persuaded him otherwise. He said it was 15 years since he was last here ! We said we’d never been before !

After returning back to the foot of the entrance shaft we got prusiking up the 100ft or so into the retreating daylight of the fog covered moor of Casterton Fell.

We must go caving with Paz again this was great and if not for foot and mouth we would have no doubt spent a considerable length of time in Lancaster Hole between the date of this trip and now . . . .

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Bar Pot - 18/11/2000

Written by RobEavis.

Report by Mike Salt
Cavers: Mike Salt (EPC), Steve Fellows

"Well", I said, "So long as you’ve still got the tooth, then what they will probably do is fit a titanium peg, drill into your gum and glue it back into place." A toothles Tony Revell just stood there supporting a painfully looking wry smile as he rummaged in his pocket. Producing what could only be described as a tooth complete with an old titanium peg stuck in it, he replied: "What, Something like this one?"

We were of course sat in a gloomy wet ingleton awaiting a caving trip. From the state of his face it was clear that caving would probably be a pretty bad idea. I turned to young Steve to re-think our options.

This was his first yorkshire experience and I wanted it to be a memorable one. It was still completely pissing it down so I thought it would be a pleasant afternoon to spend having a mooch around the gaping gill system. So we nicked some gear off Tony & pointed the car at Clapham.

My heart sank as we arrived at the usual parking place as there were no parking spaces left and that meant that we were probably going to end up "Knitting" at the entrance pitch to Bar pot.

We began to get changed in a layby at the other end of Clapham treating the locals to the sight of young Steve cursing at the prospect of getting his krackers wet in the downpoor.

With slightly less enthusiasm we took a good look at our surroundings and we set off on what I recall calling "a bloody good shortcut". About an hour later, young Steve was cursing again, but this time it was not because we were piss wet through, it was due to the fact that he hadn’t bought his gun! "I’m sure this is the way" I said as we upset about the 500th fat bird - we were in what could only be described as a large pheasant shoot.

I can hear water I said, no shit came the reply "It’s still fuckin raining!" I was, in fact refering to the river which I could hear rumbling away in the distance. So we left our feathered friends and set off down the bank. The river was big, the river was fast and the river was very, very wet. We walked along it for a while and found a reasonable place to cross. Our only saving grace was the old fence which ran across the breadth of the river.

After what seemed like an epic trying to get across, we rang ourselves out having slipped in a time or two and once again set off for our destination. About 500 yards upstream was the point which I decided would be a good time to start and distract young Steve’s attention as we were in sight of what turned out to be a dam fine footbridge. Trying to pursuade him that it was some kind of a mirage was no easy thing.

The resurgence to Ingleborough show cave was particuarly large and helped to remind us why exactly we were there. With our new found enthusiasm, we cheered up a little and started to enjoy the walk again up through the impressive Trow Gill. As we walked along i told stories of impressive climbing once done there by some Eldon oldie or other.

Turning the corner to the last few hundred yards, we saw a couple of cavers heading towards us. Upon enquiry regarding their trip we were informed that they hadnt been down and that they had been waiting up there for a couple of groups of students to get their arses in gear. "Turn back now" they advised as they trudged back down the moorland, To which Steve replied "No Chance!" - Oh well I thought, I suppose we’re here now.

Sure enough, we arrived at the entrance and were greeted by about 8 students shivering profusely huddled in the alcove next to the entrance. An hour or so later and we were sat at the top of the main pitch feeling Very pissed off watching some young lad scarring some girl half to death by showing her the squeeze & drop technique with her shiny new stop. Joking apart, this scared me half to death as she was clearly not enjoying herself, nor was she in any way safe. I de-tackled at the bottom of the pitch and we set off. I remember some lad calling out to Steve about "racing him to G/G main chamber", But before the sentence had finished, steve was out of sight shouting something along the lines of "Fuck off, we're Eldon you dipshit"

The chamber was impressive as ever and I gave a sigh of relief as I saw Steve’s jaw hit the floor in admiration - Thank god for that. The sound of the water dropping down was deafening and the draught almost took your breath away. The only downer was that the only light coming into the cave was the twinkle of the odd star peeping out from behind the rain sodden clouds. Ten minutes later we could hear the sound of voices shouting that "the arrow points this way!" This is where we decided to call it day as we had used their ropes to get down and didn’t like the idea of returning later to find that they had pulled their gear out. Standing at the bottom of the pitch I helped some lass put her SRT gear giving steve much amusement as I innocently helped her into her chest harness forgetting that she had a pair of tits - oh well, warmed the hands up anyway.

For me though, the highlite of the trip had to be laddering the old route which had conveniently been rigged (Poorly) by the students. Having myself being brought into caving through the modern use of SRT, I could only stand there and marvel at those who went before me who never even touched a hand jammer and still managed to explore the likes of much deeper & more awkward systems such as the likes of Nettle Pot, which to this day, remains one of the deepest in the country.

And although the day turned out the way it did, I couldn’t help but smile to myself as we drove back to Leek, I’m sure that we’ll both not forget Steves first trip to Yorkshire and at the very least, the day had given us something to bullshit about when we finally get to the pub.