Birks Fell Cave by Gary & Abby

Birks Fell Cave: Alan Martin, Steve Warren, Peter Benn, Genevieve Thompson, Frank Longwill, Gary Rhodes and Abby Clarke (8th May 2005). 

Equipment: 1 ladder / lifeline – it was decided that because of the water levels inside the cave we would only get as far as the cascades so wouldn’t require all ?6 ladders.

Lovely April weather…

Bit of everything in this cave; hands and knees crawling, flat out crawling over pebbles, canal crawling, flat out crawling through water, walking, traversing, climbing, squeezing. Debris on the roof reminding us that this cave is not one to do when the weather is changeable…

Alan, Gary and Abby set off on their own after the first pitch. The way on was not hard to follow – just like the survey – a straight line. The passage ended in a choke so we split up to find the way through which was conspicuously signposted with a big arrow and the word IN above it which we all managed to miss…

Lovely grottos in roof and impressive formations.

Nice rift passage with some squeezes through boulders and traversing to avoid water. Lovely climb down cascade pitch and descent down small cascades

Got back to first pitch intending to climb ladder but encountered strong words from Mr President: “you’re not using the ladder, climb the waterfall!” which we faithfully did.

On returning to the car park the sky was blue, the sunlight warming. Some military ……was screaming directions to a marching ceremony in the church grounds – presumably to some hard of hearing individuals. Just got out of our over-suits when a big black cloud opened its sluice gates and it hailed and poured for fifteen minutes. We were glad we got out of the cave when we did.