17th March 2019

Day two of the caving exploits was undertaken by a leaner caving team; ‘Atkins Caving Team’. The objective was to go underground at Wretched Rabbit and re-emerge at Lancaster Hole and as such the first requirement was to rig Lancaster Hole. Mike bravely dropped down and put the ascent rope in place and was able to confirm with 65% certainty that there was a 95% certainty that the rope was accessible from the bottom chamber. Following on from this, upon discovery that a vital part of the route description was still in the vicinity of the van, the team made a tactical return and then set off in the direction of Wretched Rabbit.

Sam’s primary responsibility was to commit the guidebook picture of the entrance hole to memory, however it became apparent that he had perhaps pinned too much attention to the garish colours of the photographed cavers’ kits to memory rather than more permanent geological land marks. Nonetheless the entrance was located, and the initial descent began.



Progress was quick with the team arriving at Stop Pot without event. The team decided on the wet route via main drain rather than dry on the basis of the water being lower than the top of a knee – an apparent caving SI unit of measure.

From Stop Pot, the team ascended the ladder in the direction of Fall Pot. The dry mud of the upper route proved particularly perilous for Robs ‘with the ‘hole of doom’ in his left welly’ (previously cited) spraying out small amounts of water, rendering the coefficient of friction between his boot and the dry mud near zero. In true Peppit fashion it was mentioned once then never discussed again. This was contrary to Sam who was sporting a mild cold* and let everybody know about it at every opportunity.

At Stake Pot, the team descended to the Main Drain with a view to taking this route, however the ‘Knee High’ rule failed them, as a second parameter was quickly discovered - ‘flow rate’. Mike was nearly washed away by the lower-than-knee-height-but-pretty-fast water, which was determined to be an unacceptable loss, as he had the remaining route descriptions. The team instead opted for the higher level route.

[caving, caving, caving]

With some searching, the Colonnades were found; an impressive collection of calcite pillars. Once satisfied that nature’s true beauty had been observed, the team progressed to the exit location – Lancaster Hole. A slightly flagging team responded with apparent indifference to the presence of the ropes, and quickly ascended. Rob was spooked by a lurking Rick at the cave entrance, a bat attacked Mike, and Sam managed to do 3 meters of rope walking which nobody saw.

Good day had by all.
 
*There is still some dispute around whether Sam really understands the meaning of the word, cold, due to his confusing and irregular use of the word.