Wanderings in Gaping Gill by Gary Rhodes


Gaping Gill: Gary Rhodes and Abby Clarke (24th May 2005).  

It was noted in the meets list that Gaping Gill winch meet was on the agenda for the week so taking advantage of this, plus the fact that Bradford Pothole Club are a bloody good lot, unlike the bureaucratic jobs worth lot that have a (winch meet), Abby and myself wandered up. Its good not having to carry up bags full of string.

No point in rushing so we arrived about 2ish after having many stops and ice creams, a quick trip to the tent to report in, then off for play time.

Stream passage sounded good as a way in, so off we went and found it straight away. That’s a good start! Mind you I did cheat, as all I did was to follow a group of inconspicuously camouflaged cavers in bright yellow suits leaving a trail of sweat. Anyway, after taking pics for the afore mentioned party and giving them a head start, we tackled up with the obligatory S.R.T. bondage dance and swore never to eat pork pies again.

Stream passage is a fine trip in, good pitches with a few deviations, and we were soon down, with just a little bit of waiting for an ample nourished caver panting up the final pitch.

Next off to main chamber. Things were going fine but after a while it started to get rather muddy, not as I thought it should be. Abby pointed out that at some time in the past we had been here before on one of our lost wanderings. And maybe we should back-track and start again. Bollocks lets press on. After a further ten mins and now looking like a bog monster with my woolly jumper down to my knees with the weight of mud, off back we turned. It wasn’t long on the way back that we soon came across another party.

“ Is this the way on.”? Asked Abby.

“ Look, talking food, at last we wont starve!” Was the only reply we heard in our quick retreat.

After running away far enough we took a different way on which was a lot more pleasurable. Soon more people were met and fortunately turned out to be of the more humane nature. In fact they were good enough to point us to a passage that leads to sand caverns. However it was one that brought you to the top of a bloody great drop. Thanks….. Well needless to say we eventually got on to the main chamber for a drink and a butty break, or what was left of the battered mush.

Next off we went into mud hall. But this time it was to look for something. And behold we found it. A rope. A rope hanging out of the roof of blackness in mud hall. A rope leading up to Bradford’s latest play ground. CORKEYS. Most people say that it’s a good trip on the way in as it only gets better. But not us. We were going to leave by it. A fine climb out on string in the blackness of mud hall. Followed by ladder work through beautifully decorated passage ways. Honest! Don’t believe anybody that says there are lots of ever diminishing crawls, squeezing through tight rifts or banged out passages to cut you to shreds. It’s a cracking little trip. Well done B.P.C.

We were down for about five hours, and had a great time. The only down side was that the shop had shut by the time we walked past so no more ice-creams for us.