February 17th:

The Cavers entered Peak Cavern with the intention of squirming their way through into Speedwell. They managed this, unfortunately they didn’t get much further. Due to the recent snowmelt up on Rushup Edge, water levels in Speedwell Canal were very high - or at least this was the impression we got gawping up at the wall of water forcing its way out of the canal and down towards us through The Bung. Half-hearted attempts were made to climb the ladder, but the pummelling force of the water overhead made it near impossible to raise an arm up to the next rung, let alone climb it. With a column of white dominating the entirety of the mini shaft we decided against it, and headed back into Peak.

 

Not to be completely outdone we took in the sights of the Tourist Trip on the way out. Heading downstream first to Buxton Water Sump, then up to Far Sump, which was flowing. Back tracking through the crawls into Wigwam Aven and into Galena Chamber soon saw us return to Upper Gallery.  Andy and Ed then headed out (we found them later unknowingly scoffing down someone else's soup back at the TSG - they didn’t care). Mike, Rob and Ian took the opportunity to venture through into Moss Chamber. Ian got as far as The Eyehole before his chocolate diabetes kicked in and he had to have a quick picnic and snooze in the mud. Rob and Mike left him to nap and continued on into Moss Chamber - an eerily, beautiful place considering its history. Full of fantastic flowstone and tragic memories. We paid our respects to Neil, then headed back to collect Ian before he became Ian Moss - trapped in a collapse of Galaxy wrappers and squashed cheese sandwiches.

Team reunited, we made our escape before having a tough-guy-caver photoshoot back at the TSG. This was clearly because we were very photogenic and our portraits are bound to make or break the man’s photography degree. (Probably break it, Rob was smiling like he was having some kind of loving family portrait taken - not tough enough).

 We were then forced to have dinner in solitude as the walker’s had decided to go rogue and eat early - already tucking into their Steak & Ale Pie before our buttocks had tucked into clean underpants. In protest we headed for The George in Castleton and consumed a multi course liquid dinner instead. Such treachery will not be forgotten…