This trip report is brought to you by Derbyshire Natural Hairstyling Ltd.  ‘Because mud is in our blood’.

Leaving the great city of Sheffield at approximately twenty five minutes past the hour of seven on the seventeenth of November, in the two thousandth and eleventh year of our lord, Brendan (Mackrill) and I went forth into the wilds of Derbyshire. Our aim, was one of great importance, to develop my skills with rope, so that I may too one day lead others where they have not gone before but many others have.

We climbed the hill after an uneventful change into kit although it must be noted that I made a cracking Radio 4 based joke about ‘Crossing Continents’ (it sounds like Cross Incontinence – pure comedy gold). Went via Oxlow to the top of the hill and popped down the entrance. The rigging went very smoothly as did my graceful descent, not getting stuck at all. Eventually we reached a point where we had to crawl. This, as many of you will know, is not an activity I am commonly associated with. Did some more caving blah, blah, blah.

All was still well by this point. Then the SRT kit came off in preparation for what I had been told was a tight squeeze… Somewhat of an understatement. I went in, thought ‘This is a bit snug’, went out, had a look. Went in again. Came out again. Went in again. Breathed in, not a good choice of action. Breathed out, came out again. Sent Brendan in to try and work out how to do it. He came out and said some words, not all of which were useful or appropriate for the situation. I went in again, came out again. I should point out that this went on for a while, all with either of us wearing helmets.  This resulted in very muddy hair. After 2 washes and a bath it’s still in there!

Retreating from the failure at Derbyshire hall we made steady progress out, quite literally soiling all of Brendan’s nice new rope. Nettle all things said and done is a t**t of a cave (as opposed to a b***h or other technical term). It comes highly recommended. We were out by 01.10 am and felt miserable!


Happy caving!