Musing on The Dales.

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George North

Guest
Whilst caving on Saturday it suddenly struck me what makes The Dales the finest caving ground in the country.

Now you may be thinking; is it Penyghent Pot? Is it Juniper Gulf? Is it Gaping Ghyll? Or is it perhaps Easegill - still the longest system in the country. All undoubtedly fascinating and magnificent places, but no! In my opinion it is none of these classic locations.

Surely it is the unsung heroes of the Northern Caves guide books that make the Dales truly great? The likes of Lower South Hill Cave, or Owl Pot, or Snool's Hole? Length - 350m, Depth - 22m, with a simple yet enticing description in Northern Caves 1 perhaps? Maybe with some brief details of some pleasing formations, or possibly an akward duck? To me these caves often provide the most interesting and rewarding trips - a glimmer of exploration provided by travelling off of the beaten track.

Hidden gems of the Dales - I salute you!
 

dunc

New member
Hidden gems of the Dales - I salute you!
:drink:
I'll join you in that salute, some of the lesser known and smaller holes are really quite good! Last mini-gem I did was Gaze Gill Cave.
 
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George North

Guest
some of the lesser known and smaller holes are really quite good!
Surely all caves are good :!:

I think most people just tend go for the glory of going down well known holes, with the idea that the less well known ones are all squalid shit holes. :wink:
never mind, at least I guess you'll never have to queue to get down Eden Sike cave (700m long - 4 lines of description), or Gaze Gill Cave I bet.
 

dunc

New member
Surely all caves are good
Generally yes, although I wouldn't go that far and say 'all' are good.
I've been in some miserable places over the years (and not just the lesser known ones either), although sometimes when I'm in a cave I say I'll never return again but once out I see it in a different light.. :?
 

Cumbrian Neil

New member
I'd have to say that Southerscales is a nice short trip that is miserable, yet worth doing purely for its proximity to the Hill Inn. But I haven't been to the Hill Inn since it changed hands... so I'm sure the slog to Black Shiver and Meregill is more appealing than the pub now.

:cry:

Cumbrian Neil.
 

pisshead

New member
when did it change hands?

we went quite recently - may ish, and it was good - they let us climb through the cartwheel, so they can't be that bad!

or has ownersip changed since then?
 

mudmonkey

New member
It changed hands a few years ago and went very posh for a while (so I hear - never went there before it changed hands but have heard the stories).

As has been noted elsewhere, they now realise that both cavers and posh diners are valuable customers. They therefore now seem to expect us to be all sensible until the people eating their (rather nice...) dinners have left. After which.... :bdays:
 

Cumbrian Neil

New member
It hasn't changed hands since you were there... but I remember the Hill Inn when they would have bands playing in the barn behind it (my personal favourite was the "Dead Dogs"). The mid-nineties was when it changed into the hands of some Morrocan bloke... it wasn't bad with him, but you couldn't sleep in the conservatory behind the fireplace. Change is okay, but I do miss being able to sleep behind that toasty wall in the dead of winter! It had changed hands again recently (within the last few years) and they were attempting to attract a better class of clientelle.

Cumbrian Neil.
 

ian mckenzie

New member
My first visit to the Hill Inn was in 1984; stayed in the railway boxcar round back and had a great time there, absolutely packed with cavers. About a decade later I was caving in Ireland with some Brits including someone who remembered me from 'the wheel'; guess they didn't get too many Canadians dropping in. Have been back a couple times since but it was quiet with not a caver in sight.
 

Cumbrian Neil

New member
I'm glad the wheels are still there (or at least they were in 2002 when I was last home). Sadly, even in my youth, my fat arse wasn't willing to slide through!! That's probably the same reason why I spent an hour stuck below the restriction in the entrance to Strans Gill wondering how the f$&k I would ever free myself! They used to have a great pint of Dent in the Hill Inn.

:cry:

Cumbrian Neil.
 
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