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

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Team Twosome as it were with Luke bailing on us we decided to check out a lead which on paper sounded enticing. A possible continuation of a tube in the far end of Sidetrack Cave beyond the Flat Out Walk where we believe only a few people have proably been since discovery back in Sept 2002!

Rob and I wasted zero time (except for 20mins trying and succeeding in putting too small wellies on) dropping the quarry bench and quickly de-kitting to face the crawl that is The Escape Route. This seemed to pass fairly quickly to my surprise. Much quicker than when Luke and I had ventured down a few weeks ago maybe due to Luke's constant moaning... We reached the Litton Stroll and had a quick check around th area already knowing a possible connection with the passage beyond the Flat Out Walk. We noted a couple of places and progressed LEFT at the junction and ducked down LEFT again and crawled through the duck which was AWESOME! A passage on the right seems to take a good draught inwards and we continued forward to reach the Y - junction. From here we took the RIGHT branch which continues through some blockages at the base of small avens to eventually reach a small chamber with boulders everywhere from when the original explorers broke through.

Moose had described the next section well... A rift passage snakes off from here which requires a bendy back and would be perfect ig you were shaped like a Loch Ness Monster... (I dismissed this at first but it is actually a pretty bomber description) Once this passage has been negotiated it reaches the base of a 12m aven. The tube continues at floor level bit is heavily silted up. Rob climbed the aven and discover 6m of passage heading off at the top but no ways on. The draught seems to head up the aven. We returned back to the Y - junction and headed LEFT to where the passage silted up. Rob waited here whilst I headed back to the Litton Stroll - Escape Route junction to test for a vocal connection which was very clear band opposited the junction in a little hole dug out behind a large boulder in scree.

              

Once Rob had passed back through the duck we wasted little time in retreating to surface which was bloody freezing! We met our fellow Awesome team member at the Anchor for refreshments afterward.

Team Awesome assembled at the usual car park and after searching deep for some much needed psyche we kitted up and made our way over to Boxing Day Swallet. Skirting the river we eventually stumbled upon what we believed was the old way in to Sneshigh Swallet. We knew from COPD that the water had been diverted from this swallet in the 80's in to Boxing Day swallet so continued to follow the water downstream where we eventually met a large rotten lid where Rob could hear a waterfall - BINGO!

The guidebook marks this pothole with a massive warning about it being flood prone and anything but un-settled weather would be threatening. Having rained for the past two hours we though we'd at least find the cave and check out the old sump.

We had a couple of short lengths or rope, a few krabs, a few bolts, a sling and a spanner. I kitted up on surface and foolishly forgot to attach my chest harness and croll not realising until reaching the first pitch - Doh! We all clambered down the entrance climb which was an easy but exposed groove in the corner of the shaft. From here a small section of passage and a climb down leads to the original sump which is now a crawl through water which leads to 30m of awkward tiny 'Crabwalk' type passage to the head of the first pitch (8m) which is conveniently followed by the second pitch (10m). All of the pitches require bolts for spits, we could tell nobody had descended recently as the deviation chord on the first pitch was nicely calcited over but still usable. From the second pitch we took the dry traverse option (3m down) and kept away from the water. This led to an impressive part of cave, much like a typical Yorkshire pothole, clean, wet and dark everywhere...

Rob at the top of the first pitch

Rob about to rig the second pitch/traverse

Rob descending the third pitch

We dropped a further pitch (9m) and a further climb (2m) back under the pitch to the start of the start of the Blasted Ochre Rift (4m) in length where a small Ochre coloured inlet comes in from above. The passage now descends steeply to a small pool which flows over the fourth pitch (8m) but having run out of rope, bolts and krabs we had to turn around at this point and leave completion till the next visit. That being said we could've possibly seen the bottom sump pool from the pitch head marking the end of the cave.

We headed out with no issues. Luke feeling glad to have escaped with his life once again on another fabulous trip strung together by Team Awesome. We caught up with a shandy at The Anchor afterward for the monthly meet.

After Luke and I had our previous encounter up EG&PL (01/06) Team Awesome had another trip to start a dig in the bedding passage off Father Time, unfortunately on this trip Pool Chamber turned out to be sumped so we had a gander at The Real Thing and beyond the Muddy Duck where Rob was inserted into a freshly discovered crawl heading North where he (WE) discovered 10m of new passage!

We returned on this date minus young Luke and replaced by French Jeff (Wade). We made quick progress to the dig face a bit worried about the impending thunder storms above surface but I reassured them both that Pool Chamber doesn't act on food water. The dig appears to have only been fettled with and not properly dug probably with the Hollywood Bowl going at the same time. We all took 30min shifts at the dig face, pulling kibbles back and stacking further back in the passage. One Person digging whilst the other two had some serious bants! After we had gone full circle we made the decision to call it a day and left for The Anchor. We had progressed enough to reach what you could only just see before and with one more session we should be able to decide if its a short or long term project and what the passage looks to be doing/heading following the constriction we have reached.

We raced out to continue our awesome bants in the pub. 

 

Rob Eavis putting in a shift at the dig face 

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