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

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Rowter Xmas trip - 16/12/2017

Written by Jon Pemberton.

So after a late start arriving at Rowter Farm around 3pm we (we being Sam T, Andy Chapman and Dave Ottwell) kitted up in freezing temperatures whilst sorting out what ropes we'd need bottom (by bottom I mean top out Rowter Hole). All my three accompanying companion cavers (ACC) had not stepped foot beyond The Ice Cream trail or beyond the ginged shaft so this was going to be a classic trip. Knowing in the back of our minds that it was the Eldon Xmas piss up straight afterwards we still caved on the side of caution wanting to get out in time for a pint...

We dropped the entrance around 3:30pm and quickly made progress down the Ginged shaft ready to tackle the Badger extensions! Once through the Badger Choke stood atop of Two Left Wellies I was happy to turn around a get my ACC's expressions and this super find within one of our Derbyshire Caves. This truly is my favourite trip in Derbyshire! We quickly dropped the two pitches and whilst waiting in Decisions, Decisions had a quick drink ready to tackle the Ice Cream Trail. 

It had been a while since I had last been here and was sure that it wasn't as tight as people had made out. I managed to keep my harness on the whole way through chucking my metal work in front of me at times. The squeezes were negotiated by all not giving a second thought to if they'd but any harder on the way out. I was happy that all the climbs in the Ice Cream Trail have been left rigged with either hand-lines or a ladder which made out trip much easier, albeit the 35m rope which was dragged along for shits and giggles. We had now finally reached the breathtaking Crystal Orchasm!

Entry into this massive 100m+ rift/fault is quite fun and involves abseiling through a tight rift to then make a mid-rope change and start the long prussick up to Sunrise. This took some time with 4 people but was nice to reach the top and have a bite of SamT's twix and psyche oneself up for the long journey back out 2hrs and 30mins to get here, rigging. Abseiling down from Sunrise is a bit sketchy at times but nothing hectic. We used lots of caution when doing this to avoid killing one another.

At the end, Sunrise

 And there goes the journey out. Chrsytal Orchasm, Ice Cream Trail (slower), Decisions Decisions, Two Left Wellies, Badger Choke, Ginged Shaft, Entrance shaft... I was just happy to tick them off as they came and went. Reaching surface at 8:30pm. This trip really does give you a good run for your money. It beats you up and gives you that self satisfaction knowing that you have earned that pint! 

Unlucky for us by the time we had got changed back at the cars we were all freezing! Our windscreens had to be de-iced and by the time we reached the pub it was 9:40pm and we'd definitely missed any chance of some decent grub... We snacked on crisps and peanuts instead and quenched our thirst with some much needed beer in The George. Moving on to the Peaks and then back to the TSG. 

Note to self: Don't get smashed on an empty stomach...

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Absolution - 12/11/17

Written by Jon Pemberton.

Only Luke and I for this one. We met up at Titan quite early (9:30) and quickly got kitted up in freezing conditions and headed over to the entrance shaft. Luke made a complete faff unlocking the lid whilst I gawped, face slightly frozen. Soon after we quickly bobbed down the entrance shaft as the place was already rigged (thanks SUSS) quickly followed by the first pitch to the Event Horizon ledge. I've had not been down here for years so was quite nice to drop a decent pot for a change.

After the traverse over to the Streamway proper Luke de-kitted, my response being how much cave do we see to the pitch and whats at the top? He said there weren't much but I knew Rob would only have a go at us if at least one of us didn't head up the pitch for a look. We bimbled up the Streamway cleaning our kit en' route which is always a bonus. Finally getting to a crawly junction which was where I had turned around before some years ago. We headed right through a hands and knees crawl to a rather wet flat out crawl in water... This continues to reach a sump with a way up on the right. I shouted back to Luke, "Does it sump?" And after some blurted mumbles turns out that we had gone the wrong way - YAY!

A little further back we had missed an obvious right turn up a muddy passage which leads to a step up following the right wall. This leads to an impressive chamber with a sketchy knotted rope climb in the far corner. Once up this you follow your nose to a junction. Left eventually leads to Rob & Co. shored boulder choke. I had to agree with Luke on the sketchy scaff but it does the job so i'll stop complaining - not that I could've done better myself. The climb up through the choke is probably 1.5-2 body lengths to pop out in a rather impressive chamber! A clamber up back on yourself leads to absolution which is rather pretty whils various ways lead on from this complext chamber they all close down which leaves you with a rope hanging down from the roof.

This rope takes you up to The Crows Nest from where a crawling passage leads off through delicate formations also containing a stream. I reached a point where I'd have to take my SRT kit off to push a squeeze at floor level in water and thought 'Nah!' and headed back to rejoin my fellow Awesome caving colleague who was sat waiting at the bottom of the rope with his lamp switched off. We stumbled out from here, I fell down one of the bigger cascades, making our way back to surface 2hr 30min after descending.

On surface we pretty much legged it back over to our motors and made our way t' Anchor for a swift un after getting laughed at by some bikers whilst attempting to get changed up on the Titan track.

This is an Awesome shorter trip in the Peak and obviously should get a lot more travel than it does.

 

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Cripple Creek - 04/11/2017

Written by Jon Pemberton.

A Team Awesome away day!

With me fleeing the country in the not too far future we decided to organise a Team Awesome away weekend to get us away from the grit of Derbyshire exploration. Hummin' and Arrrrin' about what trips to do we eventually settle for Ireby Fell Cavern and the Cripple Creek round trip. Dave Gledhill had told me about this trp years ago, not too long after the connection had been completed and said it was a right bugger of a trip which sounded like fun to me.

We made the journey up t' Dales on Saturday morning and stopped for a quick bite to eat at Inglesport before making our way over to Masongill. Not wanting to use loads of rope and kinda hoping Ireby is always rigged (right?) we took the basics and headed up the hill for what would be Luke's Yorkshire Dale Caving debut. Entrance finding was not a problem and we were soon slithering down the entrance tube to the top of the entrance pitches (which were not rigged - FYI). Luke made a fantastic job rigging these pitches (inc. deviation) and we were soon bimbling along down the Upper Main Streamway passing the duck which was fairly low. On reachin Well pitch we found a rope so we had a dilema of either dragging a 30m rope through Cripple Creek or completing the round trip and walking back down to collect it from the top of the pitch which'd take roughly 20min. We decided on the first option and took our rope along for the trip.

Quick progress along the Lower Streamway and we were soon admiring Duke Street and how great it must have felt to discover this passage back in the day. We progressed forward until we reached a short rope hanging down from the roof. This Leads up to Skylight Passage and the other bypass to the Duke Street sump (let it be known as the much easier of the two bypasses). We had a quick bite to eat and set of up the rope and made swift progress along the crawl. This pops you out in the connection of Whirlpool crawl in Ireby II which was connected in December 2008. It's worth mentioning here that the Cripple Creek connection was created in February 2008 which meant a good 9 months of bastard long trips through Cripple Creek to dig the other side. The passage drops you down a climb into a passage which lead NE to the sump which connects to Notts Pot. SW takes you to the rather impressive Duke Street II. We followed this until a passage snakes off on your left to a series of pitches. It was from here where Dave G's description started...

  

His description sounded pretty vague and basically said just follow yer nose and if its not tight and squalid you've gone wrong! YUP... So we headed up the ropes and eventually found Jupiter Cavern (4x ropes up). From here stick right and traverse over a large hole in the floor (traverse line on right) from here a rope ladder climbs you up into a rift passage leading to a squeeze, after this the Cripple Creek connection is found by dropping down into a tight rift and then follow ye nose. Rob pushed through first a soon shouted back that it might not be the right way as it's pretty small! He squeezed through and shouted us to follow. The initial breakthrough squeeze is a short section of passage 2m long and approaced from this end its a 45% upward incline with gravity against you. I managed to sneak a quick picture of Luke here.

 

From here on we did just follow our noses up and down many a rope ladders and through some lovely awkward squeezes at roof level. We approached Numpty Rift in the same manner as everyone else and manouvered this at roof level with much struggle. When we finally arrived at Ramsays Kitchen (the only major junction to date) we were completely screwed! Dave had forgot to mention a prominent junction in his discription... We headed left knowing that's where we roughly needed to be heading to an aven with another ladder hanging down. We had all looked at the survey in Inglesport that morning and knew that there was only one junction not far after Cripple Creek (Ramsays Kitchen) and the next left would be our left to exit the cave. Now fully aware of how little we had moved up this passage and pretty exhausted we continued right along Turtle passage which conveniently someone had placed a small model Turtle only a bit of the way down. Once we saw this we knew we were on track and quite relieved as the thought of heading back through Cripple Creek was pretty grim.

We finally ended up back at the Upper Main Streamway Just below Pussy Pitch dead excited that we had managed to negotiate our way back here! We celebrated with some food and young Luke scoffed down 3x Wispa bars! We had picked up a large ULSA team at this point and made clear that we'd like to exit before this party - which we did. De-rigging was uneventful bar the idiot below me blowing my mind with sea shanty's! Once on surface we made our way back to Rob's motor in the dark. FYI it was freezing. Ready for a beer.

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