Ireby Fell to Ireby 2 (27/05/09)

By Andy Chapman

Sam and Andy decided to head up to North Yorkshire for a mid-week sortie.
After observing the weather (continuous drizzle) and chatting to the Inglesport staff, a trip through Ireby Fell to Ireby 2 via the bubbles route was decided on.

They slid down the concrete tube, tackle bags in hand towards the first pitch. Sam and Andy both squeezed through the numerous tight sections, although it could be noticed that Andy slid through a great deal more easily than the huge bulk of Stringer.

The trip moved quickly due to the use of the in-situ digging ropes they had been given permission to use (thanks man in Inglesport!!) and after abseiling down some particularly enjoyable pitches, the team hit the main streamway and continued down to look at the terminal sump. Sam commented that it looked like P8 but more substantial.

After an excellent flapjack break, the pitch leading to the connection was ascended, followed by a comfortable slide along a mud lined tube for 150m and they arrived in Ireby 2.

Ireby 2 started off by freezing more personal parts of their anatomy, but Sam managed to avoid the worst by being that little bit taller. The water grew shallower, thank goodness, as they reached the main cave.

A junction was reached and it was decided to look to the right, to find the up pitch leading further into Ireby. The upstream pitch was found and Andy started to ascend, closely followed by Sam. However, this could have been described as too close when the ledge beneath Andy’s feet crumbled, sending a large block hurtling towards the face of the heroic Stringer. Only a subtle head movement prevented his certain doom and the projectile impacted his thigh. Many naughty words unsuitable for this article were shouted by both party members and Sam was heard to thank his lucky stars repeatedly.

A mildly damaged Sam and a fully fit Andy then decided to cut short the expedition and head out. Unfortunately, whilst in the connection, Andy’s tricep muscle popped, leaving him in a state similar to Sam.

Our two heroes made quick but agonising progress towards the entrance shaft, stopping every now and then to compare breakages and to moan comprehensively.

The surface was eventually gained and a quick but exceedingly painful walk was completed back to Andy’s car (which was still as broken as ever).

–This trip report brought to you by the wonders of wireless wizardry at the YSS where Sam is currently healing his leg muscles with miracle-cure whisky–