• Derbyshire Explorers Forum 2023 - Sat 30th September - It's On!

    The event is now being held at the Mechanics Institute in the centre of Eyam (opposite the church), still on Saturday 30th September, with doors opening at 15:00. Best bit is that there is a bar on site.

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Shuttleworth Lost Kit


New member
Hey everyone,

I did Shuttleworth yesterday with Bangor Student Caving Club and we have both lost and found some kit!

We have lost 2 Petzl Oval Ok carabiners and a Lyon 25mm slings (80 or 120cm, think it’s 80) probably on the way out across the moorland to Leck Fell Lane, but potentially left underground attached to a rebelay. If anyone comes across them it would be great to have them back! TIA

I also found an old caving belt and snapgate crab at the carpark in the mud by the wall. Well I think it’s meant to be a belt - it’s a ~15mm yellow webbing attached to a buckle the same style superavanti’s have, albeit much smaller and silver. The snap gate is 90s(?) style and produced by a company that sounds like one Frenchman in his shed. Hope that’s enough detail, can send pics of them in the morning if anyone wants

Trip wise, it was a great hungover Sunday bimble with the pitches still being pre-rigged.

Also want to say a big thank you to the NPC who we met on Saturday in Notts II for the massive help they gave my group in what would have otherwise been a much worse situation - turns out it was a dislocated kneecap 😬

Bangor Tackle Officer


New member
Very much a case of right place right time after a change of plan due to another group of Bangor students down Mayday!

Glad we could be of help! Hopefully the injury heels soon and we see you back underground in the Dales under better circumstances!

Did the gear you are missing definitely go missing on Sunday? We can check the NPC tacklestore to make sure it didn't end up getting mixed up with some of our kit on Saturday.


New member
Very much a case of right place right time after a change of plan due to another group of Bangor students down Mayday!

Glad we could be of help! Hopefully the injury heels soon and we see you back underground in the Dales under better circumstances!

Did the gear you are missing definitely go missing on Sunday? We can check the NPC tacklestore to make sure it didn't end up getting mixed up with some of our kit on Saturday.
I think it was on Sunday but I can’t be certain - I had a few beers when I got back that evening before I sorted out the kit so I didn’t really count it. If you could check that would be fantastic! Our crabs should have purple electrical tape on them if that helps

Luck was definitely on our side with you guys being there! Millie said she’ll be out of action for a few weeks but hopefully will be caving again before too long 🤞


New member
Millie said it's all good for me to share the tale - thought I would check with her first as the casualty

So the weekend just gone Bangor had 10 people staying at the BPC, with Todd Rye helping lead a trip on the Saturday too. Jonty and Todd lead a trip to Mayday on the Saturday which went really well by all accounts - we thought this would be the trip with issues with it being an ambitious trip and a few members first true SRT trip (one outside of a venue used for teaching SRT).

I'd never been in Notts II before but ended up leading a horizontal trip there as a non-SRT option. I'd heard lots of goof things about the system and had previously made myself a little A5 booklet of the CNCC descriptions for some trip plans that fell through that I had picked up from my parents earlier along with my other Dales descriptions. My trip planning was mostly left to the others because I popped round the hill first thing in the morning to see my family, grab an order from Inglesport, and visit the NMRS library.

In the end we got underground at 1pm. Things were going well, though I was glad I brought the Rig to give people more confidence on the first section of the ladders, and everyone got down nicely. On the final climb down we simply used the foot-looped rope down, being unaware of the easier, less-vertical, zig-zag route.

It was around here we were overtaken by 3 lovely NPC members we bumped into a few times along the way. As the day went on they were seemingly multiplying!

Anyway, we had a lovely wander upstream along the streamway, spotting the massive and awe-inspiring formations above, before turning round at the muddy area and heading for the downstream sump (this is what I had a description for at short notice but we'll be returning for the inlets). We didn't make it to the sump. The description made it sound like only a short distance away from the entrance/exit but after 15-20 mins I decided we should turn round, being aware of how slow we might be up the climbs.

We made it to the first climb out, the one I knew would take us the longest, being unaware until much later of the slightly easier option. Here Millie said her knee had started to hurt a little and I was like 'ok, we'll take is slow, we're on the way out so it should be fine' or words to that general effect. As the next most experience caver she went up first to vocal coach people from the top while I helped from the bottom. Well, that was the plan. On the bit before you're even in reaching distance of the rope Millie was really struggling and when she was past it I followed her and could see she was in agony (eyes welling up). After some contemplation I realised Millie was going to be incredibly slow out in this state and decided to send the other 3 up ahead, and work on getting them out the cave first to avoid them potentially getting hypothermia. I think around this time I asked Millie for where she was at on the pain scale and she said "8". My internal reaction was "oh f***."

I gave the others the group spare lamp, batteries, and reminded them where my car keys were stashed and sent them up (I had my own spare lamp and batteries for Millie and I). We struggled to get anyone up the rope loops for a bit until I realised someone had re-tied them to be really uneven steps at one point. I told them that if they didn't want to progress any further at a point that if they wait I will catch up with them and help them out before coming back for Millie. In hindsight a better plan would have been to just take them out and and return for Millie with rescue but this was my first experience in this kind of situation, and leave Millie with the shelter and candles etc.

After that people slowly starting getting past it. It was around here 8-10 pf the NPC caught us up and offered us help which I gladly accepted! The first member of theirs up took Flo, Liz, and Julia out for me while I stayed with Millie. The rest of us then wedged ourselves in the rift and made a load of tiny steps out of our bodies for Millie to walk up (she couldn't bend her bad knee very much at all). Pain relief was administered sometime just before this. Will be adding cocodamol to the club's first aid kits now though!

It was slow progress but Millie was slowly pulled, pushed, and walked out the climbs and shaft. The Rig and rope I left at the top and the hauling kit I carried came in handy for those at the tope to help safe-guard her as she climbed.

I think it is worth just emphasising quite how much effort everyone put in, it was physically very demanding, requiring strength, a good pain tolerance, and ability to battle the cold from the rescuers and even more so from Millie. It was a massive team effort and it wouldn't have been possible without the serendipity of the NPC being there! It was quite an experience having so many people in the shaft and also bridging and wedging yourself at height with such a drop below you. I know at one point I had Millie's weight, was standing with one foot on someone else, who was leaning on another!

If it weren't otherwise, I think I'd have had 3 freshers in my car on the surface and Millie and I at the bottom, slowly going hypothermic as we awaited rescue. I'm very glad the NPC decided to bail from Mayday having seen a load of students ahead of them 😂

The next day I drove Millie to Lancaster A&E to discover that we actually needed to go to the Morecambe Urgent Care Centre, drop her off there, and then retuned to the BPC to do Shuttleworth. (The others did Great Douk). The end report was that Millie had dislocated her patella on the first super initial climb, and that it was relocated during the rescue, hence the increase in speed part-way through. Her other knee has also suffered some minor damage and she'll be out of action for 6 weeks.

In the end we were back in Bangor for 2am! It was a looong weekend!


Active member
Three of us NPC folks involved were at the CNCC Committee Meeting that morning, while the others were planning a trip for us all afterwards.

We emerged from the meeting to a message saying that they were off to rig Mayday Hole, and that the three of us were to follow behind and form the derigging team. It was tipping down with rain and nothing about the walk up to Mayday appealed, so I was DELIGHTED to hear that another group (Bangor as it transpired) were on their way up to Mayday too, so our team bailed to avoid overcrowding.

So thank you to Bangor for saving us from that ordeal (and I hope your team had fun in Mayday) :)

An Inglesport lunch later and the NPC Notts II plan was conceived instead; It was pre-pandemic when I was last down there.

We had a very enjoyable trip (Notts II seems even better every time I go), with an unexpected additional bit of excitement at the end as explained above. Had it not been for this excitement, we would have been back at Greenclose by 6pm and peaked far too soon on the drinking.

It was great to meet you (albeit in not the best circumstances for Millie). It was also great to see Bangor doing well, having enough enthusiastic people to allow two good trips to happen in parallel, and making the most of a rather wet day. What happened could have happened to anyone, and it was not for lack of good planning, experience or determination from your side.

Hopefully see you up in The Dales again soon!

Ian Ball

Well-known member
blimey! well done Millie and get well soon. A dislocated patella when caving sounds like it could easily be a stretcher job.

Thanks for the tale :)


Well-known member
Aidan - I was asked by our Chairperson to check whether the lost items found their way into our NPC tackle store; 'fraid I drew a blank when I went over for a look yesterday. At least that narrows the search down a bit.

Millie - I hope you're already well on the mend and looking forward to getting back in action sooner rather than later!


New member
I wrote this for the CHECC Competition on UKC but it can go on here too because it will be quite entertaining to have two first hand accounts on this thread, maybe it will revive it, I am curious to find out everyone names so I can add people on Facebook as well as to what you guys call a D ring.

Notts II- Not II be underestimated


Everyone was in high spirits, with lots of cave psyche, we danced to ABBA and ate breakfast together in the hut, excited to all explore a new cave (recommended by Todd who joined us for the weekend at BPC). There had been many chats about what was going on as it was the Saturday (and most eventful day) of the trip, it had been decided we were going to split into two groups comprised of Jonty, Lydia, Jana, Colin and Todd who were going to do Mayday, and the rest of us (Aidan, Liz, Julia, Flo and me) decided to take a shorter, easier bimble underground due to it being the first away trip for the Austrian Delegation of Bangor, as well as Flo’s first ever trip. Oh boy did he pick a good one!

The “Mayday group” had left before us, and had already made their way to the cave before we made it underground. Getting below the surface at 13:00 we were off to a slightly later start than we wanted but still with plenty of time (call out was at 20:00) we slowly made our way down the 50m of scaffold and ladder climbs. Next through a rift, down a ladder, down another short scaffold climb, the 2M rope section and another short easy free climb.

Aidan had climbed down first to assist from below while I was manning the top of the climb, first to get down was Flo (being a giant of 6,4 it was definitely a lot easier for him than the rest of us!) then Liz quickly followed by Julia, there were some nerves but this was handled really well by all parties. When it was my time to climb down I heard voices come from the distance and out of no where appeared a light. Coming from the section behind us came a few members from NPC. We had a quick laugh, a chat and discovered that Bangor are old friends of MUSC while 2 members of their party literally leaped across over the top of the climb very skilfully much to my surprise. They then headed off and we said our goodbyes.

After all of Bangor had gotten down we decided to go and look at some pretties, on the way there we then heard a familiar noise and realised we had met back up with NPC at a cross section, we had another chat and they mentioned to us that this was their “plan 3 cave” of the day. They went to Mayday and saw a big group of student cavers and instead decided to come to Notts, Aidan and me then had a giggle as we told a member of NPC, who we would later find out was called Matt, that the group that they had seen was the other half of Bangor. I certainly found it ironic that they were here because of us and now kept being stuck behind us in Notts. We later found out that this could not have been better and was much to our advantage. We said our goodbyes again and continued to the pretties.

Ducking up and down, walking side to side, and climbing through the stream way was definitely worth seeing the amazing formations that were hanging on the ceiling and the walls of the cave. We followed the stream way till it reached Critical thigh depth. No one was brave enough or psyched enough for any deeper water as me and Aidan were worried about people getting cold. We decided we would make a run for the Downstream sump, as the survey made it sound quite close, and then make our swift exit.

After about 25 minutes of walking down a passage towards the sump I started to feel an ache in my knee, which was very strange. I was just about to say to Aidan that I wasn’t feeling the sump check out as it seemed to be taking forever but then yet again we found NPC, except this time there weren’t the few of them, there were tonnes! A couple more had joined their party making it maybe 8 or 10 people possibly more, I think we all lost count. Aidan then had the same idea as me and Bangor turned around- sumpless.

It felt like forever walking back to the crossroads and my psyche was slowly reducing knowing it would take a while for everyone to get up those two climbs. The surface never felt so far away.
While taking a quick break I told Aidan I was in a bit of discomfort and we made a few jokes. It was decided I would go first up the climbs this time to help the club from above. I walked up to the small free climb and began to climb it, only my knee wasn’t bending very well and it was actually very painful to get up. In the end I needed a boost from Aidan.

Finally making it to my sworn enemy of a climb I began to make my way up. Aidan had come up to my left during this time. I put my left foot in the loop and starting climbing, and then the right. At that moment an incredible pain went through my knee and I fell onto Aidan who had jumped in to brace me when he had heard my yelp and swearing. I couldn’t weight my leg. I looked up at Aidan, who looked back at me and I could read him like a book. He could definitely read me too, with eyes welling up and an 8/10 on the pain scale we both had the familiar thought of “we’re fucked”. Great minds think alike.

I hopped behind where I was standing for Aidan to get the rest of the group up, I was cold and so was everyone else. It felt like an eternity to get everyone up. Flo had gone up first and slipped down 3 times, next it was Liz and Julia was having a little bit of a hard time (honestly so was the rest of us). I could see the cogs in Aidans brain turning, I couldn’t climb out, we couldn’t haul me, we needed to get the rest of the group out and in warm dry clothes. I was just about to say to Aidan to leave me with a foil blanket as I wasn’t going anywhere, anytime soon. Or so I thought! When all of a sudden NPC had caught back up to us, thank god! I had never been so ecstatic in my life.

With the help of NPC all of our members were taken on their way out of the cave back to Aidan’s car. It was now just the two of us (Aidan and myself) with the majority of NPC.
The situation was explained and a plan was formed. A human ladder was to be made for the climb and then I could potentially be hauled out of the later sections when we arrived there.

I started placing my left food on Matts knee, then standing on poor Rachel’s shoulders (who was very lovely and I still feel bad about that) as two others were pulling me from above to get me to the scaffold bar. As my right leg was still out of order it was tough work for all involved. While resting my right leg was grabbed and moved into a foot hold. I shrieked, the searing pain was back and I slipped down the wall. After about what felt like 30 minutes and 50 “you got this Millie” chants from Aidan I was up on top of the climb.
I had Matt moving my left foot and taking all of my weight to assist me up the next climb which was very wet. At this point I could tell everyone standing below me was freezing and I started to feel really bad. My knee felt like it had been completely smashed in but my only goal was to keep moving to we could all get out.

After some time being dragged we arrived near an area where I had to “crawl” before the scaffold, my version of this was to lay on my side and drag my body along just to try and get some movement in. It was a slow pace. By this point I was able to slightly weight my leg. I was also
starting to rip into Aidan for his last 2 hours of motivation sounding like a broken record. I laugh but I don’t know what I would have done if he wasn’t there to listen to my bullshit about wanting to “127 hours” myself, my logic being No knee cap, No Problem. Most importantly he was keeping me calm.

When we got to the scaffold climb It was me and Matt for the first two or three ladders, I say me and Matt, it was mostly Matt. Then some lads on the surface had sent down a hauling device. Which was then attached onto my empty SRT kit. This then sparked a debate once NPC had heard me and Aidan call it a “D ring” what they called it now I cannot remember but im sure I find out when I buy the 10+ pints I’ve promised.
This was to my great amusent as some of the lads above hollered down some funny yet crude age related jabs at the NPC members below me, Matt and Aidan. I so want all of Bangor to cave still like that when we’re graduated, the amount of insults I’ll have by then will be immense.

At 19:40 we finally made it out, since having been assisted at least 15:40 by NPC’s lucky appearance, it was definitely a long long trip.
I made it back up to the car and got changed as Aidan rounded up the gear, we were then made aware that the Mayday group had returned to BPC. They arrived expecting dinner and yet the easier trip had all the… “fun”. It was 21:45 before we made it back to the hut, and it was a great welcome. Jana the absolute darling and the rest of the gang had brought cake and wine when they found out from the other parts of the Austrian delegation that things had gone horribly wrong. We ate cake and everyone grimaced at my misshaped knee as I got it out to inspect while I was taking lots of painkillers.

As it was an hours drive to the hospital I went the next morning, I had some x rays and it turns out my knee had dislocated while being underground, it had then been partially relocated while on the rope climb and then sorted out and relocated the rest in Morecambe urgent care - where I spent 14 hours of my day before being collected for the drive back up to Bangor.


- The cake and wine, definitely hit a spot, all I can say is “Thank god they did Mayday”.