Friday, 9 February 2007

The mighty Titan

Manage to wangle a sneak trip down the UK's (relatively) newly unearthed biggest cave. By biggest I mean the biggest vertical drop in a single cavern. Titan beats it's nearest rival Gaping Ghyll by a waping 44m and resoundingly steals the flag from the dales cavers.

This isn't my pic BTW, I didn't want to risk my camera getting wet.

The top of the cave is a big scoop in the middle of a field with a bunch of scaffold over a gated shaft. The locked gate leads to the first abseil pitch which is a 2m by 40m tunnel dug straight down into the solid rock of the hill by the digging team. Going down this you get a real insight into the vast amount of effort, ingenuity and resource this dig must have taken. This shaft leaves you at the junction of a stooping passage. One branch leads to the site of further explorations, the other way lead for about 15m through a small muddy pool to a window into the main chamber. Pearing over the lip of the pool you are faced with the dizzying view seen in the picture above. Photos do not do the place justice, this thing is massive and very gob smacking. To discover something of this grandeur is on a par with stumbling upon Malham Cove, it really is that spectacular. If these rock faces were exposed outside they would be the best limestone crag in the country. Huge flakes, arete and sheets of flowstone all around.

From the pool the bottom is two abseils away, one of 80m to a slopey ledge know as the event horizon and one of 65m from here to the boulder choked floor. Strangley I found an un-opened sachet of brown sauce at the event horizon and an un-open sachet of red source at the floor, what can it all mean?

We lingered for a while at the bottom watching the waterfall cascade down the back of the chamber. After a cup of coffee (cheers Mr Crome) and a slug of sloe gin (cheers Mr Beekeeper), we set about the huge jumaring slog back up. With two on a rope to save time this is a very strenuous and uncomfortable business!

Exited the cave to a perfect clear night and frosted fields. A good trip all round. If you get a chance go take a look it's one of the peak's most impressive sights! I'm keen to go back but this time do a long trip either finishing up Titan or preferable going down the big one and popping out of JH, Peak or Speedwell.


dobbin said...

are any of the boulders worth looking at?

bonjoy said...

I tell you what, i've seen some mind blowing lines in caves. One day I might venture down with a pad and a lamp, who knows. Unfortunately it's often wet underground.