Gaping Gill - Sunday 17th May.
John Cooper, John Calvert, Matthew C., Matthew's friend Sam,
me, my friends Tim and Howard.
This started as St. Helen's Junior Chamber's visit to Gaping Gill as guests of B PC and Northern Boggarts. However, by the time we set off, the original St. Helens contingent of eight had shrunk to three. So we were glad to meet the others and make a proper Boggart trip of it after all.
We set off at a tremendous pace, to get to the winch before the queue started. We need not have worried: the rain came down, and the winch had only just started when we arrived. So we were among the first to go down.
BPC had done their best to divert the beck, but there had been so much rain overnight that there were three waterfalls instead of the usual two. The one coming down the Lateral Shaft was a real one, rather than the usual spray, and at one point, the cable passed right through it! That was good fun for us regulars with the right gear, but I won't speak for the others!
We went to Mud Hall, and admired the formations on the way. When we came back, BPC had turned the magnesium lights on, and the Main Chamber could be seen in all its grandeur. Then we stooped our way to Sand Cavern, Stalagmite Chamber, and Stream Chamber. There was more than the usual amount of water in the stream, and the waterfall was quite impressive. We thought about having a look at the Extension, but decided to go to Bar instead. I was disappointed because I didn't miss the way on our return, and so we didn't see some of the formations I'd found on previous trips!
We made our way to Bar, and I had a go at taking some pictures. I had the usual problems: the flash wouldn't fire when it was meant to, but there was a blinding flash, the moment I'd closed the shutter!
Afterwards we returned to Main Chamber for more photos and the ride back to the surface. It sounds rather
boring really, after some of our recent adventures (like
South Wales, for example!) doesn't it? St.
Helens Junior Chamber enjoyed the trip and
were very impressed with their first visit to a natural cave. They wish to thank the club and BPC for making it possible.