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Trip to Cave of the Liar -- 20th June 2012

Group: Paul, Mary, Dave

Having acquired a copy of the "Caves of Applecross and Kishorn" it seemed appropriate to head down to Applecross on a warm sunny day and have a mornings caving followed by a meal and liquid refreshment at the excellent Applecross Inn. Dave had contacted GSG for permission to visit the Cave of True Wonders and this had been granted (thank you GSG!). We planned to visit Cave of the Liar first and then do a quick visit to the other cave before changing and meeting up with the non-cavers for a meal at 14.00

Various delays meant that we didn't get to the lower entrance in the streambed till 10.30, but once there we headed along Jawbone Passage, a low and somewhat muddy crawl. After a short dogleg and more crawling Little Shale Street was reached and after a few more low sections we arrived at Boulder Chamber.

This chamber contained a lot of breakdown debris, but was roomy enough to stand up in. On the left was a low tube which the survey showed as Frustration Passage. Mary had a quick look, but didn't venture too far. There were a few formations on the walls and in a little alcove.

A bit further round the chamber wall was a tight hole in the floor which according to the survey was the way on. Mary, the club ferret, was sent to investigate, but returned fairly quickly and just reported it looked like a tight bedding plane crawl going nowhere. Dave was unconvinced, but decided to investigate other holes. A low crawl led to a low wide tube and after crawling over a large slab and round a bend the passage became walking height. It was clear the this was Great Shale Street and so after a quick explore returned to boulder chamber.

Back at the hole in the floor, Dave headed down and after crawling around a couple of bends and thrutching through a low section reached a tube which led to Balcony Chamber. Having called the other two down and admonished the ferret for not doing a proper job we climbed to the base of the chamber.

The continuation passage was found at the far side of the chamber, but to the left was a little grotto with some nice formations. There was a low slot joining the main passage, but this is very low (probably worse than the cheesepress in Alum Pot) and after a brief struggle Dave opted for the main passage. This starts low and gets lower requiring a careful wriggle over flowstone and through a 3" pool. There are formations to the side and great care is needed to avoid damage to them. Some of the formations are displaced as a result of rock movement.

After the pool the passage gained height and a short distance ahead was flowstone pot, with some excellent decorations in an alcove and the pot itself

Heading back along the passage was a low tube on the left. This was tight and led to a small cubby hole with barely enough room to crouch. There was an eyehole ahead which was too tight, to the left is what the guidebook describes as 'Metal Puzzle Squeeze' which looked almost impossible, but under the eyehole was a tight, awkward tube which we managed to squeeze through. The other side was a reasonable size chamber and this led to a low wide passage and thence straw chamber. Note: The squeeze exit into the chamber has a little yellow plastic flag near it which makes it obvious when you come to return.

Straw chamber was pretty amazing with some really long straws and a big fluted curtain in the roof, it's definitely worth the effort in the tight tube. After we had taken some photos and admired the formations we realised that time was passing, it was 13.30 and we still had a lot of cave to traverse to get out.

We managed to get back to daylight by 13.45, headed down to the car, changed and made it to the Inn just 15 minutes late. It's a shame we didn't have time to do the cave of True Wonders, but we will leave that for another day when we will be able to take our time.

A excellent trip which took about 3 hours.