Cliff Force

Posted by Swaledale Outdoor Club on 1999-07-31

Heading out for a trip down the muddy hole this time was Jamie, Andrew, an Essex Girl Davina and myself. It was a bright sunny day as it seems to always be when I go underground.

The entrance to the cave is a climb straight down and then a sharp right on a horizontal level. Jamie was leading....and smelling (acetylene)....and going quite fast. I went and took a wrong turning with Davina, who followed, we ended up perched above a hole in the floor in a blocked passage. Davina backed out much to Andrews amusement as she was wearing a mini skirt. We did warn her it is not the best caving wear but she was having none of it!

I was determined that day to remember some names of the parts of the caves to repeat in the pub. Ones like Room of Dangling Doom are good to recall. Jamie therefore gave me the guided tour and I did my best to remember. We passed the climb up to Sparshop level and carried on through shower chamber and fault chamber. The streamway is excellent as the bands of more resistant rock have left ‘shelves; along the sides which look great. We walked along the streamway only thigh deep in water to my relief and it never really got much deeper. Jamie managed to find the alternative route round the sump (Pete Rowe would be disappointed). We finished at the Room of Dangling Doom where we could see a quite fresh lump of non-dangling rock on the floor. Jamie leaned on a precarious one. This made Davina jump which smudged the lipstick she was re-applying. On the way back Andrew did some leading which meant we couldn’t smell Jamie and Davina had a new bum to look at - she’d had enough of mine.

After going underground a few times now I have got used to that extra inch of ‘skin’ above my head which I tended to hang quite a lot at first. I am now taking more time to look around which is great, with some parts of the cave being very interesting.

Overall a very enjoyable trip with a load of laughs. A quick stop at Tanhill completed the day. There was the usual stuff happening, you know, weddings, and sheep at the bar. Jamie and I were then tempted to a night out in Darlo where I have never seen so many people in all my life. Thanks to Jamie for leading, Cheers Davina for being Essex and funny. A special thanks to Andrew from Jamie and myself for his hospitality and transport.

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