Author Topic: Gaping in the Wet?  (Read 4697 times)

Offline jarvist

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Gaping in the Wet?
« on: November 11, 2010, 04:01:45 pm »
Looks to be a rather wet weekend - I was hoping I could pick your collective brains on the flood-response of the various Gaping Gill entrances.

Henslers Pot - NFTFH warns that a duck in the entrance becomes impassable, and Old Hensler's Crawl is unsafe (but obviously this can be avoided by not doing the round trip - is Hensler's Master Cave to Bar Pot ok when wet?)

Disappointment - NC2 warns that the duck sumps, but only in severe weather. If you can pass the duck, I assume the rest is ok?

Stream - can this be rigged dry? I remember the deviation on the main set of pitches, but can't remember whether there are also some optional ones for when it's very wet. If these are there, are they rather severe?

Flood (Wade's) + Bar - I imagine both would be fine, perhaps Bar even more so than Flood (drippy SE aven pitch)?

Rat Hole & Dihedral - ick, to be avoided I imagine...

Any other suggestions for interesting trips to do up there in the damp? (Christmas Pot?)

I always think of Gaping as being pretty flood safe, but I'm not sure whether that is the reality, or just because I've only walked up there when it's either fairly dry or snowed under!  :-\

Offline langcliffe

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Re: Gaping in the Wet?
« Reply #1 on: November 11, 2010, 04:14:08 pm »
Hensler's Pot - the duck does become a sump.
Hensler's Long Crawl - unsafe
New Hensler's - can fill up, but rarely. It does get very damp, but not for very far.
Corkie's - very wet, if not impassable
Dis - could be nasty in the wet bedding before the duck. The pitches will be OK
Stream - can do in surprisingly wet weather, but be prepared for a draughty place. Need to deviate well out on the penultimate pitch
Flood / Wades / OBJ - damp
Bar / SMP/ Stile - drippy
Rat Hole - keep out!
Dihedral - it's pretty intimidating when wet, and very damp.
Christmas Pot - Fine up as far as the drain pipe
Hurnell Moss Pot is probably OK

The Bar / Flood - New Hensler's - Mud Hensler's - Main Chamber - South Passage round is accessible in most weather.

Offline Pitlamp

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Re: Gaping in the Wet?
« Reply #2 on: November 11, 2010, 05:30:52 pm »
. . . not forgetting that in the 1980s the passage from Main Chamber to T-junction (where you either go to Bar or to Sand Cavern) was SUMPED for some time on one occasion. I'd not like to be anywhere near any of the Hensler's Crawls in such conditions.

Cat Hole Sike (flood overflow for Newby Moss) is raging as I type by the way.

Offline damian

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Re: Gaping in the Wet?
« Reply #3 on: November 11, 2010, 06:17:15 pm »
Disappointment - NC2 warns that the duck sumps, but only in severe weather. If you can pass the duck, I assume the rest is ok?

Going in via Marilyn bypasses the first two pitches and the ducks in Dis. You can then get down in fairly wet weather (but the last pitch has quite a lot of spray).

Offline Robert Scott

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Re: Gaping in the Wet?
« Reply #4 on: November 11, 2010, 08:47:24 pm »
Disappointment - NC2 warns that the duck sumps, but only in severe weather. If you can pass the duck, I assume the rest is ok?

Going in via Marilyn bypasses the first two pitches and the ducks in Dis. You can then get down in fairly wet weather (but the last pitch has quite a lot of spray).

Tut tut to John for omitting this excellent entrance

Offline kay

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Re: Gaping in the Wet?
« Reply #5 on: November 11, 2010, 10:57:05 pm »

I always think of Gaping as being pretty flood safe, but I'm not sure whether that is the reality, or just because I've only walked up there when it's either fairly dry or snowed under!  :-\

Try   :tease:

Offline Roger W

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Re: Gaping in the Wet?
« Reply #6 on: November 12, 2010, 10:02:23 am »
What's the blue thing that goes down the waterfall at about 12 seconds?  Is it a backpack getting washed in, or a caver going for a swim? 

I've heard of base jumping into big potholes, but waterfall diving looks as if it could be a really cool extreme sport!
"That, of course, is the dangerous part about caves:  you don't know how far they go back, sometimes... or what is waiting for you inside."   JRR Tolkein: "The Hobbit"

Offline kay

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Re: Gaping in the Wet?
« Reply #7 on: November 12, 2010, 10:09:49 am »
It looks like one of the drums that they carry equipment up there in. I know they ahead to retrieve a few things from the floor of the chamber, which by the time they were able to retrieve them had been buried under quite a few rocks. There's about 5 films on utube showing different views, include one with them trying to retrieve moveable objects from the flooded winch tent.

Offline jarvist

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Re: Gaping in the Wet?
« Reply #8 on: November 12, 2010, 04:46:34 pm »
Many thanks all - all very useful information.

I was unaware of Marilyn - looks like a lovely option to add to the repertoire!

I suspect we'll end up doing the classic Flood/Bar/Stream exchange, possibly with Marilyn / Dis / Hurnell Moss attempts on the side.

Offline Pitlamp

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Re: Gaping in the Wet?
« Reply #9 on: November 12, 2010, 05:53:24 pm »
Marylin is an interesting alternative but the last pitch needs considerable care to rig safely as the shaft is still chossy.

Offline jarvist

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Re: Gaping in the Wet?
« Reply #10 on: November 15, 2010, 02:18:18 am »
Pleased to report back that Marilyn is now fully P-bolted (+ 1 permanent stainless fixe thingy).

Rope lengths (36,29m) on Braemoor.co.uk were perfect, though instead of 2 fixed deviation slings on Niagara, there was a single in-situ hanger. Was an acceptable rig to deviate off this with a maillon + 8ft sling + krab to get the distance just right (it's a Z-shaped shaft, so you really need an earlier deviation pulling you into the rock). Didn't spot any other attachments, spits or otherwise, on the way down.
Niagara is still very loose - though you can sit securely in the continuing rift of Dis to avoid the ammo.

There was a nice flake (more obviously from below - about halfway down, climb along wall to the right about 3m) on the final pitch in Dis to rig a deviation from + pull clear of the spray.

New Hensler's was fine, Stream was mightily impressive but rigging was dry, Bar was merely drippy. SE passage pot looked very wet from below - quite glad we didn't attempt Flood!

Offline Fulk

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Re: Gaping in the Wet?
« Reply #11 on: November 15, 2010, 08:49:17 pm »
With regard to Pitlamp's post:
. . . not forgetting that in the 1980s the passage from Main Chamber to T-junction (where you either go to Bar or to Sand Cavern) was SUMPED for some time on one occasion. I'd not like to be anywhere near any of the Hensler's Crawls in such conditions.

Well, on Sunday June 6 1982 a severe thunderstorm hit Ingleborough. The following day I went down Bar Pot in order to take some pictures of Gaping Gill Main Chamber; as I was crawling along South-East Passage I became aware that something was ‘wrong’ – there was no draught. I didn’t think much of this until I reached the T-Junction with South Passage, where I could see that there was standing water in this ‘safe, easy, all-weather’ passage. I waded into the water and stopped when it got chest deep, from where I could see that the water reached the roof, confirming that it was sumped off – hence no draught. The passage is a phreatic tube about 2 m in diameter at this juncture.
The only source that I can think of for this rather murky-looking water is the Main Chamber, which must have over-flowed along South Passage. Given that this passage starts something like 7 m above the floor of the Main Chamber, this represents a hell of a lot of water sloshing round there – maybe 5 or 6 million gallons.

The water took a long time to go away; first of course the sump had to ‘break’, which took some time. After that, with the draught re-established, evaporation proceeded at a somewhat faster rate, but it still took a long time to dry out.

Incidentally, this year my wife and I de-rigged Flood Entrance Pot at the end of the CPC winch meet, in wet conditions. The last pitch was horribly wet and we certainly would not have chosen to do it had we not had to retrieve a krab and sling being used as a deviation (which meant that we couldn’t simply pull the rope up from the rebelay near the top). It was way past ‘excitingly wet’, bordering on dangerously wet. In spite of the fact that nowhere in the cave did we have to wade through ‘welly-deep’ water, my right-hand boot was half full from the stuff pouring down inside my suit.

So – even Flood Entrance gets unpleasantly wet (though if you were rigging it you’d presumably have the sense not to descend the last pitch under such conditions!).


Offline Robert Scott

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Re: Gaping in the Wet?
« Reply #12 on: November 15, 2010, 09:59:43 pm »
Marylin is an interesting alternative but the last pitch needs considerable care to rig safely as the shaft is still chossy.
For goodness sake John, it's Marilyn!

Offline Pitlamp

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Re: Gaping in the Wet?
« Reply #13 on: November 16, 2010, 01:29:13 pm »
Oops! My apologies. (I am, as they say, smothered in a cold at present and not thinking straight.)
Meanwhile I've been asked to post the following message by a caving friend who is not registered on this forum:

"Jarvist - the "P-bolting" of Marilyn is not yet finished but is a work in progress. Niagara Pitch still needs to be completed, plus a few tidying up jobs elsewhere. It is expected that the final bolts will be installed over the Christmas / New Year break (weather / hangovers permitting). Once done, an up to date rigging topo (including rope lengths) will be provided to the CNCC for inclusion in its next rigging topo. In the meantime John Gardner's website (braemoor.co.uk) provides a very good rigging guide, as indicated.

I'm glad you had a good trip.

Gordon Coldwell (CPC)"


Also, for Fulk, thanks for recounting that experience, which puts a date on it. It also jogged my memory that we later worked out (from various signs underground) that the bulk of the water had gone down the "D1 Dig" to the right at the beginning of Sand Caverns. This had been dug on and off for decades and shortly before that flood it was possible to get 30 metres into the passage. That flood completely refilled the dig - all those decades of effort were obliterated in just one flood event!

ALL caves demand respect in extreme conditions.

Offline damian

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Re: Gaping in the Wet?
« Reply #14 on: November 16, 2010, 03:28:18 pm »
Jarvist - the "P-bolting" of Marilyn is not yet finished but is a work in progress. Niagara Pitch still needs to be completed, plus a few tidying up jobs elsewhere.

You'll need 3 hangers in addition to the current eco anchors to rig to the bottom of Marilyn. You'll also need to look carefully under a ledge for the rebelay bolt above a dog leg in the entrance pitch.

Offline Pitlamp

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Re: Gaping in the Wet?
« Reply #15 on: April 21, 2021, 09:46:05 am »
Just to add a tiny bit more detail about the great GG flood which Fulk described, I came across a snippet in my caving diary today. On a trip via Bar Pot to Main Chamber on 22nd August 1982 (with Jim Rattray, Tony Bennet and Kevin, surname not recorded) we'd found "South passage waist deep! D1 Dig completely filled in!".

In his post of 15-11-2010 Fulk helpfully noted: "The water took a long time to go away; first of course the sump had to ‘break’, which took some time. After that, with the draught re-established, evaporation proceeded at a somewhat faster rate, but it still took a long time to dry out.".

So yes, it did take a long time for South Passage to dry up - it was still waist deep over 10 weeks later.

(Just to be absolutely clear, the section of passage still with waist deep water was that between T junction and Portcullis; this was where Fulk noted it to have been sumped on 7th June, the day after the storm in question.)
« Last Edit: April 21, 2021, 09:55:44 am by Pitlamp »

 

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