Yorkshire Subterranean Society



Taking in the Three Peaks



Purpose built SRT wall

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Starting Handle Hole (19 November 2023) 23 Nov 2023 19:06 #21571

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  • dchadwick
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Having been rained off Leck Fell the previous day, we thought we would have another go.
TC had suggested Starting Handle Hole for the meets list this year, but it did not happen on its designated date, so we thought we would give it a go.
We arrived on Leck fell to see another group changing, they were heading to Lost John's, a trip we did not fancy with the ground saturated and more rain forecast.
After a swift change, the hardy team undertook the long, arduous walk to the cave. The navigation was successful and we were soon underground.
This cave is rigged on spits, something I have not done for quite a while. It certainly reduces the rigging speed.
TC has helped by putting little white keepers in all the spits, which makes them easier to find and helps keep the water out.
The first pitch was on a fixed bolt & scaffolding bar (with an improvised deviation part way down).
The second pitch was backed up with a couple of natruals before a pair of spits.
The third pitch (which I think should have been a climb according to Northern Caves) had 3 spits & 2 bolts with a line between the bolts.
I did not fit to the head of the fourth pitch, so Stuart took the lead for a 2 bolt traverse to Y hang (on spits) with an in situ deviation.
He reported that there were a few down climbs and a fifth pitch (which made me think the third pitch was not in Northern Caves).
Having got as far as we could we made our way out. Stu found that derigging with spits and keepers is quite slow!

It was quite a short trip, if you discount the arduous walk to & from the cave.
I think it will be worth another visit with a bit more string and maybe a topo.

Team: Ros, Paul, Stu & Dave.
Time: About 2 hours.

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Last edit: Post by dchadwick.

Starting Handle Hole (19 November 2023) 23 Nov 2023 21:29 #21572

  • tonycredland
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I have the topo and they are in the write up in the Craven Record. Meg Stark and myself did about nine trips cleaning the cave and re anchoring (adding spits to what was there: it is an excellent training cave for spits, and doesn't warrant the expense of resin anchors).
The early climb can still be climbed but I rigged the insitu line (clip short cows tail to guide you) because the stack of deads isn't very stable and is held up by rotten timber. Safer to srt the whole thing and stay off the deads.
There is a strenuous climb before the last pitch and the last pitch is worth doing.
Going to the bitter end is somewhat horrible !!

I met Alex a few weeks back on Leck. He was going Rough Pot and SHH, a good combination as they are close together and both short. I used resin anchors in RP because it was pretty virgin at the pitch heads.'re

SHH tends to collect frogs. We rescued about a dozen, so take a suitable container with you when you do this cave.

Before I placed the entrance anchor I abseiled off the tow ball on the van, which I parked almost in the pot!! Walk in measured in single digit meters, or seconds!
The following user(s) said Thank You: stuartw

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Starting Handle Hole (19 November 2023) 27 Nov 2023 09:02 #21577

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Which issue of the Record is it in?
Alternatively can you share your article with the YSS newsletter - I'm guessing that another rope of 20m or so would work for your newly bolted pitches which bypass the shuttered up climbs. Then the others are as described in Northern caves.
Well done with all the work tidying up and the nylon bolts seem to be keeping the spits clean between uses, nice idea.


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Starting Handle Hole (19 November 2023) 27 Nov 2023 10:02 #21578

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Articles that may be of interest, in the Craven Record:

Starting Handle Hole.
Part 1, 141
Part2, 142
Part3, 143
And CNCC newsletter number 11.

Rough Pot
Issue 140 article, 145 topos by Meg, from my sketches. Introduction to Rough Pot in issue 138 in the Christmas caving article.

Jean Pot, issue 122

Grey Wife Hole, issue 131 (meets list next year please!)

The Mohole, issue 150

I haven't been inspired to write of late. I need a new project to get stuck into.

I have no objection to sharing the article s with YSS, but wonder is it good form to publish what has been in other journals??

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There are many club organised caving weekends, with a mixture of easy and difficult caving.  Over the past few years we have given lots of people the opportunity to experience caving with our "Try Caving" events.  These are quite popular and quite a few people have subsequently joined the club. We have YSS members caving most weekends so it is easy for new cavers to tag onto the easier caving trips and find people to help with more training.


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