[wcg logo]

Home Page

Back to Regional Index

Content and images
© WCG 2003-2015

Click images to enlarge
Last Changed: 26/1/2015

E-mail webmaster

Powered by Apache

Site driven by NetBSD

Trip to Calf Holes/Browgill Cave -- 20th Feb 2005

Group: Dennis, Paul, Dave

The weather was bright, clear and cold as we parked the van at High Birkwith Farm and changed into caving gear. There were a few other parked cars nearby and we wondered whether we would meet another party in the cave. There was very little snow about, but the wind was cold and when we reached the stile there was quite a bit of snow and ice around the waterfall.

No-one else was about and Dave rigged the pitch while Paul and Dennis donned SRT gear and we all abseiled down into the streamway.

There was quite a bit of snow in the plunge pool and Dave managed to get wet feet almost immediately by trying to photograph the waterfall from below.

We wandered down Hainsworth's passage heading for the contortion, Paul vainly attempting to stave off the inevitable trickle of icy water into his wellies.

After a few hundred yards we lost the stream (which carries on) and followed the LHS passage which gradually reduced in height till it is only a crawl. At this point there is a smallish opening and the entrance to the contortion lay a few feet further on in the floor. The sound of Browgill waterfall could be heard faintly...

Dave slipped through the contortion feet first and then waited & waited... Paul started to slip through and then noticed Dennis was having a bit of difficult getting his upper body through the opening leading to the contortion. After a struggle he gave up and trudged back to the entrance pitch to put on his 'up' gear. Paul slipped through the contortion and followed Dave to the waterfall which looked reasonably impressive.

Since we did not have a security rope and there was a lot of slippy rock around we walked a few feet back up the passage and took the upper crawl on the LHS to 'the staircase'. This still had a 'tat' handline and it didn't take long to descend and climb over the boulders to the waterfall.

After a few photos we headed back over the boulders and located the passage containing the stream. After a bit of crawling this opened out into a body height passage with daylight was visible in the distance and after a couple of hundred yards we were back out in daylight.

We climbed up over the moor and arrived back at calf holes to see Dennis just about to start up the rope. He managed to prussik up without any problems (his first attempt at going up a rope since he broke his arm) and so he had consolation that he may still manage to go caving (as long at they are big caves...).

We de-rigged and piled in the Van for a quick trip to valley entrance and a look at great Aven. Dennis stayed at the top of the ladder pitch while Paul and Dave climbed down. Dave managed to find the passage which looked like it would end in the right place but chickened out as it was longer than he remembered and also fairly wet. A minor detour missing the turnoff on the way back to the streamway wasted a few more minutes and when we arrived back at the ladder pitch Dennis had a good laugh to compensate for us mocking his girth earlier in the day!

Overall trip time about 2 hours for calf holes and about 1 hour for the valley entrance fiasco.