Saturday, 18 May 2019

Deep under Devon

18-19 May, 2019

Team: Lel Davies, Sally Fielden, Duncan Hornby, Iain Miller, Simon Protheroe, Ariana Richards, Lee Smith, Blanca Usuga, Sam Usuga, Claire Vivian

It's always good fun having a weekend away in Devon. The caves may not be the length of South Wales, but there is more than enough to keep you occupied - we've been back several times now and haven't even got around to seeing the mines in the area yet, so still plenty of scope for future visits. This weekend was in introduction to Devon for Sally, Ariana, Lee, Blanca and Sam. We stayed at the DSS hut in Buckfastleigh and where better to begin caving in the area than a visit to Baker's Pit? With pretty formations as well as some technically challenging moves, this is a great intro to the area and you can even walk there from the hut.

Like a puppet on a string! Simon walks Blanca through Buckfastleigh 

Saturday: Baker's Pit

Our first challenge that day was routefinding. What I remembered as a straightforward route down to the Judge, turned out to be not in the least straightforward. I think we explored practically every nook and cranny of the cave before eventually hitting upon the Judge. With a large group, you kept on seeing people pop out around every corner in the upper series just exploring the area. Good fun! We even came across some lovely cave pearls and formations as we looked around. It was well worth an explore.

Cave Pearls in Baker's Pit

Duncan sliding down Dutch Oven tunnel

Blanca and the Judge

The team at the entrance
Blanca and her son, Sam. It was Sam's first caving trip. 
Lots of firsts on this trip! It was Sam's first caving trip. Sally joined us on her first away caving meet. Ariana and Lee had explored Devon caves for the first time. Brilliant! Great to see so many people get involved and go caving.

Trip time: 4 hours

Sunday: Pridamsleigh Cavern

This has a surprisingly large entrance and the chamber you go into is about the size of a school hall. Good fun for novice cavers here and those who enjoy sliding about in mud. We went down to the Lake (which was found to be around an astounding 100 foot deep when dived by cave divers) and had fun playing in the Wormhole. Great fun for a nice gentle Sunday trip before we all had to drive home. Fully recommended! 

The whole caving team at Pridamsleigh entrance
Crawling around.
Sam near the Lake

Sam exiting the Wormhole with Lee's assistance
Prid Lake (Photo by Cambrian Caving Council)
Simon in the Wormhole
How to get clean after Pridamsleigh!
Trip time: 2.5 hours

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