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Post-AGM trip into Bagshawe Cavern - Charley Cooley
Alan Brentnall had arranged access into the cave and led one team while Ali and I went ahead with Gordon. I had been a few times before so led us but allowed Gordon the opportunity to work out our location using his copy of the survey. It turned out to be a useful exercise and showed just how easy it is to get disoriented and while we may've seemed a bit mean it served a purpose and hopefully will help him achieve his accreditation.
We set off down the main staircase and had a look at the Dungeon pitch (sumped) before heading off down to the Hippodrome and a slip slide down the muddy slope. We found ourselves at the sump which was much higher than I had expected - I explained to the lads that during my previous visit 2 of us had crawled back up the Upstream sump for a good 50 foot, it had been that dry, today we couldn't even see any signs of that passage! We sat and listened to the water burping for a bit then headed back up the passage into the main chamber, heading west to take a peek at the Glory Hole passage and then up into another passage with a gate at the end - nice ceiling in here.
We headed out to the main passage via the higher left hand branch and it was here we ran into the second team on their way down to the sump. After a brief respite we headed back past the Dungeon to have a look at Calypso's Cave. We headed up the staircase and then Ali and I free-climbed up into the chamber to find evidence of digging. Back into the passage and we did a quick crawl round the bedding plane back to the Dungeon and then headed back towards the main staircase, en-route pausing to check out the helictites in the roof.
I then decided to swallow dive into a hole on the right-hand side which had another staircase in, though this one was covered in shingle and when I climbed up to the top and looked up and right I could see why - there were the remains of some stemples and rocks and debris had collapsed, shame as the next bit opened out again and would be worth a look, if the remaining hanging deads were removed first! So I returned covered in mud and headed out to get changed in the rain. Another enjoyable trip.