Sunset Hole by Nigel Easton

Sunset Hole: Jack Upsall, Nigel Easton & Phil Parker (May ‘17 / Sat Club Meet).

And then there were three. After meeting Jack in Inglesport the plan was to meet Phil in the layby past the Hill Inn. Umm problem number one, there were cars everywhere as we encountered the three peaks Pure Challenge. Once changed in to caving gear we set off and joined the many too many walkers passing a couple of CRO guys along the way doing some fund raising. As we passed through the final gate we turned right towards Sunset and left the walkers to head up Ingleborough, dark clouds were approaching threatening a storm.

We set off down the streamway, which always seems longer than I remember it each time I descend this cave, and came upon numerous deposits of foam indicating there had been very high water levels recently, with this in mind and the stormy looking weather on the surface we decided to rig the cascades. All went well but my Petzl Stop is a rather old version and not rated for use on 9mm rope so rigging and descending was both entertaining and exiting, nearly a case of burning rope. Then the final pitch. Umm problem number two, having tied numerous knots at the previous pitches on the way in I had a sudden memory block and failed to tie the final knot. The more I thought about it the worse it became, thankfully Jack came to rescue.

All safely down the pitch we decided it was time to head out. This pitch was rigged with 10mm rope and when prusiking it was like being on an elastic bungee rope. We exited in the same order as we entered, a case follow you follow me. The passage leading to Lower Sunset was noted as we passed by; we were down and out in two hours. Back on the surface there were still hundreds of walkers heading past on the three peaks, now in steadily falling rain.

An enjoyable and relaxed trip.