TRIP REPORTS - what have you been down to? > Sporting Trips in The UK

The quest of the adventurous mars bar

(1/2) > >>

Earlier this year i discovered the joys of Carlswalk cave. We got through porth crawl and a couple of us managed the climb up clog passage, but it became clear the trip was getting a bit too much for some and we made out way home.

This cave has been in my mind for sometime and so a friend and i headed up to stoney middleton on a dreary tuesday. I had checked around and the consensus is "Don't worry Carlswalk doesn't flood"

we slipped down the gin entrance and straight down in to the stooped passages. I love the smell of a cave and the warm still air, getting into a cave fills me with a sense of adventure and excitement. we set off towards the dynamite series, stooping and crawling along the first passage, yes the pools of water were higher than normal, but nothing to write home about. there was a sense of familiarity in the cave and it is the first time i have properly navigated in a cave. normally i have been following along and trying to look at the survey but never the lead of the group. i wouldnt say i was the leader today as it was just me and my friend, but i navigated and lead the way. Finally no longer feeling like a novice caver im feeling pretty proud of myself.

we pass along north west passage quickly, left away from cockle passage and towards the big dig junction.
im crawling along the black matting to the junction.

"er Alex, we may have a problem" i call back
"oh, how so?" came the reply.
i climbed down into the next passage up to my chest in water. last time we were her,e there was barely a trickle on the floor. Alex came into sight and was just gob smacked when he saw me in the water. we both started giggling, this was mental. he joined me and we headed right towards a feature that i call the acme tunnel.

last time we were here, there was a small tunnel held up with precarious wooden planks. as you slide through you are very conscious not to knock anything. as it came into view it was clear that it was impassable. there was an air gap of around 4 inches, more worryingly there was quite a strong flow of water, so as i stood by the opening i could feel the power of the water pushing against me.

we spent ages just bobbing in the water in amazement. i got the camera out and we took some snaps. as i waded away from the tunnel to get a pic of alex i heard him excitedly shriek
i span around to see 3 mars bars floating away from me from my open bag. i launched at the water like an ungraceful michael phelps and grabbed 2 of them as the furthest one picked up speed and we watched it say "see ya" and disappeared through the tunnel.

well, that mars bar is now on a quest of discovery, i guess its a new way of die testing a stream. once the floods go down we shall go on a treasure hunt.

we headed back to cockle passage, had a poke around some digs and then tried to get to dynamite from the other end. that sumped out very quickly and we realised we werent going to do the trip that we had planned. We headed to stalactite passage and the roar of water was exceptional, being careful not to trip we picked out way as far along as we could. just before rift sump the passage sumped out. So we sat there, turned off our lights and just sat in the dark listening to the booming noise down in rift sump. we sat for some time in blackness and just enjoyed being present to where we were.

spinning around we decided to poke our heads into every bit of passage that we could to make the most of our trip. we played in a few digs and added our efforts to them and then whizzed our to eyam dale shaft. that was cool to look upwards too.

we then discovered our own potential dig site. the area we were in didnt look like it had been accessed before and we put the first footprints down. this was exciting. it may not go anywhere, but this is why  got into caving, that potential for exploration and discovery. we plan to survey and push our new bit soon.

It then got me wondering. what is the most upto date survey as the best i can find is 1983.

so not the original planned trip, but one hell of a good one


Hi Ben,

I was intrigued by your comment 'the area we were in didnt look like it had been accessed before and we put the first footprints down.'

Of course, there's always potential for new discoveries in any cave . . . but given the popularity of Carlswark (which I admit I don't know very well), I wonder if the reason that here were no footprints is that the floor in that section of passage had been smooothed over, somehow, by the large amounts of water that had evidently been flowing throug there?


--- Quote from: benshannon on November 14, 2019, 02:40:49 pm ---pic

--- End quote ---

Haha that's class Ben. You couldn't get through?

We slid into a small slot and it opened into a small chamber. There were no footprints or disturbance of any kind and didn't look like an area that doesn't get wet. Obviously as you say it's a popular cave and potentially has been discovered before, but there was no bit on the survey. We are going to go and survey it for ourselves. 😁


[0] Message Index

[#] Next page

Main Menu

Forum Home Help Search
Go to full version