This evening Will and I went off to his mum’s in Eyam with the aim of surveying Crackpot Cave and possibly Delph Upper Cave. We set off from his mum’s at 7pm, and told her that if we weren’t back by 11pm to call cave rescue because it shouldn’t take 4 hours to do less than 100m of caving – even if it is in Stoney Middleton.
Crackpot is situated just above and to the left of Eyamdale Shaft, we placed a GPS tag on a tree just outside the entrance. On the inside the cave forks, to the right the cave went on for 4m then ended, on the left there was a flat out squeezy crawl (this is Stoney Middleton after all!) the place was filled with spiders (Juvenile Meta menardi females) which made surveying a pain as you couldn’t squeeze past without disturbing them. I surveyed a leg as far as I could without crawling over the little darlings. Will then took my place, as he shepherded the spiders away fro m the passage a couple jumped into his beard, observing from the sidelines was hilarious as he repeated such lovable phrases as “AHHH GET OUT OF MY BEARD”, “NO THIS IS NOT THE TIME FOR YOU TO BE MATING” and “STOP HAVING SEX ON MY FACE”. Eventually once Will had free himself of the facially-promiscuous arachnids he managed to squeeze to the furthest reach of the cave which was blocked with an erratic stalagmite, planting a survey station on the formation he fired a leg which reached the very end of the cave, which calcited up to the roof 9m beyond his position – in a bedding plane too thin to explore.
– Surveyed to completion: 23.38m of cave
Delph Upper Cave
Due to the unpredicted shortness of Crackpot we had time to nip over to Eyam Delph, which is currently flowing quite deep in the bottom of the overgrown valley. We rushed up to the entrance – placed a GPS tag on a stump outside the entrance and went inside to survey. Those of you who remember the weekend in Stoney Middleton Will and I spent collecting spiders may remember that Delph Upper is the cave where Will met some absolutely gorgeous specimens of Meta menardi who also took a shine to falling on his face – Here’s a link to the report with a video of Will’s sampling in action.
Several metres inside the cave was a rabbit skeleton, minus the skull which was nowhere near the remains and had instead been placed in a crack in the rock just above the entrance for some deranged reason. Crawling over the bones, which made an unpleasant crunching sound, we surveyed along the cave. Will insisted that it had been mined for a hundred metres, so you can imagine my surprise when it finished in a rather boring looking dig about 20m in. We sketched out the survey and crawled back out, crunching over the bones once again.
– Surveyed to completion: 19.84m of cave
We got back to Will’s mum’s in a timely manner, left plenty of mess in her dining room – though not as much as their tapeworm-ridden cat which vomited all over the table and floor before it was thrown out of the house and proceeded to vomit on our wellies.
Trip date: Tuesday 24/11/15