Bagshawe Cavern - Ann Soulsby

Sunday, 10 January, 2016

Present: Jules Barrett, Clive Westlake, Christine Wilson, Alan Brentnall & Ann Soulsby

Clive wanted to take some photos so Alan had arranged with Jules to be our guide into the Full Moon Series. We got changed in the car park and Alan decided to lock his keys inside his van! Plenty of time to get Alison out later with the spare keys. Jules explains that the series was discovered in 1999 but from the other end via the Cosmic Juice Extractor which was very delicate. The Eldon decided that an alternative route would be required to access the Full Moon Series so they began the Snakes Pyjamas project. This was the route we took today.

We made our way down the steps and given the amount of rain recently we were surprised that the water was not too high up the Dungeon. We headed off for the Hippodrome and carried onto the stream which was sumped. Jules left some markers and the plan was to head off to the Full Moon chamber and then send someone back to keep an eye on the water levels whilst Clive took his photos. Jules opened the gate we started the hands and knees crawl up the Snakes Pyjamas. After a short while the going becomes more awkward as the roof lowers to only allow flat out crawling. The route through the Snakes Pyjamas and Taylor's Way is marked with conservation tape and it's important that the correct route is followed. There are nice stalactites and cave pearls in this passage and it would be a shame for them to be damaged. Eventually a short section of particularly shattered rock leads into Full Moon Chamber. This is a large chamber with some excellent straws, stalagmites and flowstone.

Christine offered to go and keep an eye on the water while the rest of us helped Clive with his photos. We headed back out and Christine said that the water had actually dropped rather than gone up as we expected. Headed off out and up the punishing steps to find out we were locked in. Alan and Jules climbed out of the window to get the code to release us but in the meantime Christine managed to jemmy the lock with surprising ease. That done Alan phoned Alison and we all went down to Christine's house for cheese biscuits and tea while we waited for Alison to drop the keys off. An excellent trip.