With me broken up from uni and not having any work ex, and Tom being graduated with nothing lined up for summer, we both have lots of free time for adventures, and this is some of what we have got up to so far…

Stoney Middleton extravaganza

On the 19th July, me, Tom1, Rosie and James decided to go down Merlin’s Mine and see if the connection through to Carlswalk was open, considering it had been very dry for a couple of weeks. We had a bit of an explore first, going the opposite way to the connection. Went through about 4 of the sumps which were dry, although getting wetter as we went on. Eventually got to the fifth/sixth and there would be no way to not get your whole body wet. Rosie and James went through- we heard lots of moaning and groaning whilst they were in the water. Me and Tom decided to wuss out and instead played with the mud.We then went to look at the connection. The first part was okay (well the water was freezing but we had air!) and we all got through, but then around the bend it sumped. A shame we couldn’t get through but still a good trip.

On the 20th July me and Tom decided to spend the day in Stoney and try and get a few of the small caves under out belts. We went to lay-by-pot first which was a quick one to do, lots of crawling of course. We then went and did Streaks pot, with the intention of doing a couple more small ones as we walked back up the hill. In streaks we went to look at lu blue sump and then tried to find the way out, which was tricky at first but we got there eventually. Although it was very dry, there was still a part of the streamway with quite a bit of water in, and crawling through this completely sapped out energy, and motivation to do anymore crawling. So once we got out we walked back to the car and went home.

JH

On the 28th July me and Tom went to JH. I rigged- it was fun, but nerve racking at one point (in the traverse below the wet alternative pitch before the final pitch of leviathan) where I was leaning back above the black abyss on a locked off rack, which never really feel locked off! We decided to leave it rigged so we could come back easily, so the trip was quite short- just under 4 hours I think. It had been a long time since I had done any long prusiking so I was a tad achey when we got out, but very good trip.

On the 4th August, me Tom1 and Tom S went back down JH. Nice to not have any tackle bags as we went through the cart gate, and we got to the bottom in good time. We went to have a look at Salmon’s cavern, but we had taken our SRT kits off at the bottom of leviathan not knowing we needed them, so when we got to a pitch up into the cavern we had to turn around. Not to worry though, because instead we went and showed Tom S the bottom of Titan which is as impressive as always. Heading back out, I tried my hand at rope walking, and we rescued a frog which was in the cart gate. It was nice to not feel achey at the top compared to the last weeks trip. One of the hardest parts of the trip was opening the lid at the top of the entrance shaft- it was so heavy! Once again, a very good trip was had, and looking forward to more caving.