Cavers – We are what we believe we are – C.S.Lewis

I arrived at the lay-by for Oxlow cave at 6.30pm, Tom1, Rachael and Jethro hadn’t arrived yet. The lay-by was covered over by a snow drift I decided to go and see if the farmer would let us park in his yard. After 5mins of waiting for the other car they appeared and the farmer had allowed us to use his yard for our cars. After much wheel spinning and pushing in the snow we got Tom’s car onto the yard (if you want to drive in snow buy a Micra not a Focus). We got changed in the snow filled barn (avoiding the dog!) and headed along the road. The First obstacle (other than the dog) was the snow drift against the style to cross into the field.
We battled our way through the snow drift having many fun’s and snow fights. We began to head up the hill to Maskhill Mine. The hill is hard going to walk up at the best of time but covered in wellie deep snow was near impossible!

en route to a fun filled trip down maskhill

en route to a fun filled trip down maskhill

knee deep snow

 

 

We found the entrance and Jethro lead the way down to practise rigging. Tom and I had great fun leading by example by throwing snow down the entrance onto Jethro. We wear pleased when we all made it underground into the, by comparison, warm cave! Rachael’s turn to rig next, down past trebuchet corner (enjoying the bolting down Maskhill) meanwhile I got to play with my new camera. Jethro rigged down Murmuring Churn (this time he enjoyed the Maskhill bolting) we continued to switch who was rigging all the way to West Chamber. It was very enjoyable and they both did well with the rigging!IMGP0231
trip report 3
I offered to de-rig (knowing it meant I wouldn’t be waiting on the surface in the snow) and we headed out. Seen as I was the last to the surface I got my comeuppance this time it was my turn to get covered in snow. We sledged back down the hill on the tackle sacks and went back to the farm with Jethro diving head first into the snow drift! Its nights like this where you could have just stayed in our warm houses that you have the most fun.