By Ellie

After driving down to the YSS on Friday evening with Tim, Tom1 and Chris the training started almost immediately as Rob2 set us a knot tying challenge; one piece of rope, a double fishermans, alpine butterfly, figure of 8 and a figure of 9. I got practising as two of the knots Id never really tied before, and then to try and get my speed up as everybody seems to be scarily fast at this. On my second attempt I manged just under a minute, whilst others did it in 20/30 seconds. Next was the blindfolded… I didn’t do to well at this one. Prizes were awarded for the fastest leader and trainee leader, and I also got some sour worms for trying, even though it was an epic fail!

Bit more relaxing and catching up with people and it was soon 1am and time for bed.

Twas an early morning for all. The little’uns were delegated breakfast duty and I helped cook the sausages. It was soon off to Ingleton to the climbing wall for the first training session of the weekend. But first H needed to secure some free climbing panels to the roof of her van.

That done, I learnt how to set up handlines, ladder rescue, and that its very hard to rescue someone mid rope on ascenders. Alot of information taken in, it was time for cake at bernies and then off to le cave!

We went down county and out wretched. Edd was the leader, I was the second and Bredan, Tim, H and Ben were the ‘freshers’. It was probably the most amusing trip I’ve been on…from Brendan wandering off and tangling himself up at pitch heads to, “im scaaared, its so high up”and “why is it so dark in heeeere?”…“you need to put your light on Tim”. About half way through we decided it was taking a long time so we acted a bit more normally and picked up pace a bit. After the big climbs which were fun but tiring, we were soon out, and a lovely view of the river and sunny dales awaited us.

On the way back I found a sheep jaw bone to hoard in my collection and received some weird looks from Brendan. We drove back home, and started the supper on as it was quite late.

Supper was interesting, a bolognase/stew which we only allowed 25 minutes to cook so turned into more of a soup with a side of mince and pasta. It was still tasty and nice and filling. Pudding of sticky toffee pudding, yum yum.

Just when we thought it was time to relax the quiz came out. 70 odd questions of caves, cavers, technical gear stuff me and Molly (LUSS)  knew very little about, so Ali answered most of the questions for our team. I did recognise Base camp chamber in giants though, so there was my contribution –shifty eyes-

A lovely fire alarm woke me up on Sunday morning, as the door was left open to the kitchen and smokeyness. Over breakfast we sorted out the hut fees and arranged trips, and then we were off in the lovely rain to our second cave of the weekend.

Brendan, Tim, Ben, Edd and me went to Sell Gill. A very very wet Sell Gill. So wet that the dry entrance looked as wet as the wet entrance usually does, and the wet entrance just looked like a death trap. Couple of people were ahead of us and quite slow, so we layed on the grass for a while, before descending. Whilst Edd rigged the second pitch we all went to explore an off shoot, before coming back and going down the next couple of pitches to the main chamber. Walking along a bit, we came to the bit where the wet entrance comes in. It was incredible! There was so much spray you couldnt open your eyes and look at it, and the noise was so thunderous.

We went down to the little tunnel bit which leads onto the final pitch, but there was so much water we decided not to go through and turned back. Ben and Brendan made themselves foam beard, and then out we prusiked.

The cake shop which we were all looking forward to was closed so we had cake in a cafe instead. Back to the YSS for a quick wee stop and then I went back to Sheffield with Brendan.

Fantastic weekend, very fun indeed