By Chris Playfoot
This came about after having Nettle Pot planned for the Friday night and Steve getting a call off Glyn (TSG) seeing if he wanted to go down Winnats Head to tidy up some blast debris from a previous digging trip. After numerous phone calls going to answer phone on everyones behalf we eventually all got to know the change of plan and got the trip underway with me (Chris), Steve and Tom2. Glyns car was already at the farm suggesting he was already tidying / making the dig safe.
After entering the first chamber, a little squeeze down into the first boulder choke led to a few more squeezes and crawling, with god only knows how many tons of boulders above us. This was a sobering thought to say the least! Not to mention the warning at the boulder choke entrance about loose material. A bit of common sense and gentle testing of rocks and boulders before weighting them was all that was necessary to prevent impending doom.
Ha! Popping out into a huge chamber on the top of the boulder choke was fairly immense as it was totally unexpected. Another choke followed, with a squeeze down a rift that I slipped through easily, being a skinny bugger. After another interesting squeeze that I was warned was known to spit its occupant out down a fair drop, we arrived at the sump. To Steve’s obvious delight the way on to the pitches was through the fondly named ‘Sewer’ which involved some appreciative noises and wriggling through muddy water. ‘Fetid’ was used a fair amount.
This popped us out into the series of pitches which again would not be expected judging from the rest of the cave. After each heading up the first series of in situ pitches we saw Glyn and Jenny??? who were on their way back from tidying the dig leaving us with no work to do. The pitch series was a bit odd encountering waterfalls and the general feeling of the cave had totally altered from the boulder chokes. A seemingly odd cave to say the least. At the top of the pitches we had a bimble around, being careful to mind the pretty bits. We peeked up the shaft that had been dug and blasted which went up a considerable way, but decided there was no point in ascending it, as the blast ended in a larger boulder choke I think Glyn said? Possibly fairly close to the surface but hard to say at any rate.
We headed back down the pitches to the Sewer with FETID being shouted a lot again at how damp and unnecessary the crawl was. We seemed to shoot out of the cave in no time at all, making light work of the chokes with their squeezes and climbs.
Definitely an interesting, fun cave. Just don’t get lost in the chokes which I could imagine would be very easy…
Out in time for the a few pints in a Castleton watering hole with a few of the TSG as well!