Diccan/Alum Exchange by Ian Cummins

Diccan Pot & Alum Pot: Ric, Leif, Denis, Ian and Fay (24th May 2014).

In an age when society is apparently so risk-averse and the general populace deemed to be so ignorant that your favourite chunk of Lancashire cheese warns the unsuspecting consumer that the product contains milk, we should be grateful that we can still walk up to a piece of rock and climb it – stark naked if we wish – or descend dark holes in the ground that are full of potentially fatal hazards and are flushed with liberal amounts of freezing water.

Yes we can, with not a fluorescent jacket in sight, and even more remarkably we can meet a stranger from the other side of the world, exchange brief greetings over coffee and a Kit-Kat before descending together into one of Yorkshire’s great potholes!

Such is the wonder of the internet that even Aussie cavers read the WRPC website and visitor Ric Webber asked to fit in a trip during his European tour.  If you are only doing 1 Yorkshire Pothole, then descending Diccan and exiting Alum by the big pitch makes a trip to sum up the best of Dales caving, particularly if there is plenty of water.

The team of me, Ric, Leif, Denis and Fay divided to rig the exchange, with me rigging Diccan allowing Denis to follow Ric down.  Conditions were nicely wet and we were soon looking down the final pitch to see our mates’ lights shining up through the spray.  After taking in the fine view of daylight from the top of the cascades, I left Ric and Denis to exit up Alum and chased Fay and Leif back up Diccan, enjoying the big swings as I unclipped the deviations in the rift and the sprint up the top pitch in all the spray – fantastic stuff.

Wandering down to the top of Alum, Ric and Denis were pulling up their rope and we ambled down to the lane.  No snakes or killer spiders in this cave system thankfully, just a brilliant couple of hours’ sport.

Cheers Ric – hope you enjoyed it.