Members present: Myself, Jethro Pryke, Corin Donne and Roderick Ramsdale-Capper
With the deluge that we experienced in Derbyshire from Storm Angus, the original trip to p8 was cancelled. This is because of the amount of water entering the cave meant it was probably a bit too sporting for novices. So, an alternative to this problem was a quick visit to suicide cave and Winnats head cave.
The evening started off with some quick SRT (for Corin and …) and rigging (for myself) training in suicide cave. Suicide cave hasn’t got much too it, not even very many bones, which I sort of expected with the cave. But I have been there now, no need to go again.
That was all over fairly quickly, so we then headed up to Winnats head cave. It was dry until we entered the first chamber where there was a stream entering and from that point on, it was a pretty wet trip. I always love slipping down through the boulders of this cave, but you always have to have that sense of awareness around you.
As we got into fox chamber, I was amazed to see that there was a reasonably large stream appearing from beneath the boulders. This is definitely something that I haven’t seen before in my many adventures in this place.
I always seem to get the way on wrong when in fox chamber, just because of the many holes. I know the general area, but there is still a great deal of uncertainty. This time we found it fairly quickly and were on our way fairly quickly. The vertical squeezes were a bit of a faff as there was a considerable amount of water dripping down them. But as always, I never have much of an issue with them and was soon at the bottom. It was just awkward helping Corin down the final vertical section as there was a waterfall that I had to try and shout over, as well as shield my eyes so I could see.
The water level in the sump was considerably higher when compared to previous encounters and thankfully this time there was no need for me to strip down. I had a quick look in the sewer, manage to get myself wedged on the way back and so I had a reasonable amount of water backing up behind me, which was slightly worrying. But, I shuffled about and got myself free and was thankfully out.
We then made haste to get out as there was only an hour till call out, so Rod and myself were at the front, and waited for the others in Fox Chamber. We had been waiting about 30 minutes and still no sign of Corin or Jethro, so we headed back down to them to make sure everything was alright with the squeeze. It turned out Corin was a bit too tall so struggled getting his legs up to brace himself. But he was soon out and we arrived back to Fox Chamber, the time being 12:40, 20 minutes from call out.
Off I rushed out of the cave trying to get back in time to cancel the call out. By the time, I got into the fresh night time air, my whole body was already aching from the body movements I had just done in order to get out quickly. The grass was wet so I had a big slide back down to the road which was fun and made it quicker to get down. I got back to the car at 12:58, which was very close timing and I think it was the quickest I have managed to get out of Winnats Head.
Overall, a brilliant trip and is one that I always love doing.
10/10 would cave again.