First caving trip post thing


I've been curious about caving for a while now having seen a lot of very muddy people around Stoney Middleton everytime we drove out to horseshoe to climb (I do trad as well, don't judge me). They had ropes and helmets and these things made by Petzl that were kinda like a grigi so it must be similar to climbing, I thought.

I had a bit of a search and TSG were the closest club to me that's for adults (sorry SUSS). Phil said to come down whenever you are free. I had a free day on Sunday, so I popped down to find a very busy chapel, turns out I had picked a day when they had three other clubs using it as a base. They promised me it's usually a lot tidier.

My original plan had just been to have a chat and see if it was something I wanted to do and if I felt comfortable going with them, but I did throw some clean clothes and a towel in my bag. After a bit of chatting and some tea Alistar and Luke asked I wanted to go on and trip into Peak Cavern. After the signing of some forms and a bit of searching a massive green PVC suit was found that was tall enough for me, however, it wasn't what you would call svelte. I don't think TSG get many 6'2 visitors.

Four of us headed out into the show cave Alistar, Luke, Anne and myself. We headed down the slide and quickly came across a few puddles where it became evident there was a hole in my wellie. I thought this is going to be a bit crap I'm going to have a wet foot. It turns out this isn't a problem in caving as all wellies have holes in them... right at the top where your legs stick out.

We went down to the upper gallery (I think) which felt a lot like scrambling in Snowdonia except in wellies in a cave. Towards surprise view along the stream way which was awesome to see we took quite a few little detours here to see various digs sumps and a bit of flowstone.

Eventually, we reached a deep section of water where the roof was only a few inches of the water. Luke showed me how to lie on your back and pull yourself through and warned me to take my time getting into the water as its cold, and it can be a bit of a shock, it bloody was. Mysteriously Anne and Alistar had disappeared at this point Luke went first leaving me on my own. I got into the water, and it wasn't too bad, but as I started to pull through, I also started to roll. I think the suit being rather big on me didn't help and the fact I couldn't see how far I had to go I did panic a little, but I was through quickly. After catching my breath, I realised Anne and Alistar were on the other side as well they were looking a lot dryer, turns out you can bypass that bit by a dry crawl.

After seeing a few more bits, we headed back, and I opted for the dry crawl instead. It didn't take long for me to feel "dry" and warm again the fury under suits work great. I think it was near squaws junction that we climbed up a short pitch using a rope with a load of alpine butterfly's. Up to now the route we took was relatively clean just wet this was about to change. We headed into a very muddy crawl passage which was somewhat fun, and I had to use muscles you don't usually.

Eventually, we made it back to Surprise view and started on our way out they offered me to take the lead which felt different as you don't have a light to follow and your picking your way through. After a little while, we stopped to wash our suits and then we were out back into the sun, Castleton and all the people. Then back the chapel for tea and medals, well mostly tea I don't think TSG give out medals.

I went expecting it to be like climbing but it's much more similar to winter mountaineering. Its wet, cold, tiring, pointless but gratifying and I can completely see why you all get hooked on it, except the diver's I still think you must be completely mad.

Thanks to all the TSG folks for taking me I will be back.


Active member
"Its wet, cold, tiring, pointless but gratifying and I can completely see why you all get hooked on it"

Exactly. Welcome to the wonderful world of caving :)

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Well-known member
Tseralo, you know where we are now, there's a fair few trips we can take you on. I'm glad we actually took you on a trip rather than taking you up to longcliffe, it is a silly place.

We could take you to some drier place next time. It could be the opposite, but will probably still be Tiring and Gratifying.

Oxlow would be good!

"Canary" will be happy he got a mention, as will "Ann".


Well-known member
You did the round trip taking in:
-Buxton water washing station,
-Mucky ducks (black swan siphon)
-Upper Gallery (ignoring Pickerings passage to Moss Chamber)
-Treasury Chamber (showing both Treasury sump and Fawlty towers, the start of the Long crawl to speedwell)
-Surprise view down to Main streamway
-Downstream to Buxton water and Tom Browns inlet (including the coral on the wall)
-back upstream to Squaws junction
-To Ink sump via the side passage and Lake sump (bypassed by dry crawl)
-Mainsteamway upstream to Far sump
-downstream to Knotted Handline upto...
-A right at window dig Junction via the monorail to pipes at the top of Squaws junction
-Up wigwam aven past the FLOPJACK bucket!
-down Galena Chamber and back round to the top of Surprise view.

Then a little navigation practice for you back to mucky ducks.