by Edd

I hadn’t caved with UBSS for over a year so I thought I best show my face. I packed a spare Peachey & MUSCovite Ben to be sure I had fun trips  and we chugged up to the Dales in my new diesel car.

The first thing I discovered about my intrepid team was that Ben doesn’t really do navigating. Asking how long it would be until we left the Bradford sprawl was met with ‘I dunno where we are’ despite having the map. We got to the Bradford Hut though so it was OK.

My plan for Saturday was to finally go down Juniper Gulf after the New Year’s debacle (the bolts weren’t covered in snow this time). I rigged the first half-ish of the cave and Peachey the second. However Ben doesn’t believe in krabs. Git. All the traverses were a bit slow with old maillons as a result.

We were also using MUSC’s new 9mm that we’d collected that morning and it was a tad fast; Peachey had the foresight to use an extra breaking krab on the final 40m pitch but Ben & I had uncomfortable descents on slick Stops/Simples. We enjoyed the trip; it’s a nice little cave: alternating between traversing rifts and dropping pots.

I did have to dash out early to cancel the call-out and then head back into the fog to find the other two with my bottle of Dandelion & Burdock ( not trusting Ben to return despite having my map & compass).

We pottered down the first two pitches of Marble Steps on Sunday with Peachey & I sharing the rigging again. It was a fantastic cave and a pity we didn’t go any further into it. The second pitch is particularly impressive, opening up into a large hall-type bit. I’ll have to go back to do the whole cave next time I’m up there.

The entertainment on the return leg was provided by games of hide-and-seek with a Polo Estate while Peachey ran off to collect forgotten gear, keys, etc and by driving in circles when he wanted to get in. Ben & I didn’t tire of it. On the actual journey we detoured via Leeds to deposit Peachey and visited the squalor of his kitchen before getting confused by central Leed’s roads. After we found out which direction Halifax is in (the right direction) we escaped to Shef and all was good.

So I still haven’t caved with UBSS for over a year but I have caved with Dachstein bods again. Oh well.