Sunday, 11 June 2017

Mossdale Exploration Group

The cogs have been in motion for some time now, no more so than recently. I am very protective of my efforts and investments, and the way I see it; nobody got me here but me! Which also partly translates to; nobody will be getting a free ride either... Although the organisation may never reach full official status, and it's members will be few, the very act of the group and it's continued existence certainly will.


Copyright
© Simon Beck, 2017. The copyright for this article and photographs remains with the author. It should not be reproduced without permission.

The Lure of Black Edge


Copyright
© Simon Beck, 2017. The copyright for this article and photographs remains with the author. It should not be reproduced without permission.

Thursday, 16 March 2017

The Mossdale Connection

Twelve years since my first trip down Mossdale. Even though I've clocked up a respectable number of visits, somewhere in the 30s, it's only recently that I've felt I'm really getting started with the place. The inevitable shift appears to have been made, from sport to exploration.. The past few years worth of visits have all been memorable and noteworthy, some of them were downright strange. My partner on at least one of these will testify to that. Mossdale Caverns as been with me for what seems a long time. Looking back it appears to have largely governed my course. Coincidences relating to my life both in and out of caving appear intertwined with Mossdale, as if the place as always transcended that boundary. I will attempt to write a piece about these events one day. But for now I will just refer to it as The Mossdale Connection.


Copyright
© Simon Beck, 2017. The copyright for this article and photographs remains with the author. It should not be reproduced without permission.

Sunday, 12 February 2017

The other Adele

A must read for anybody considering taking up potholing. And for the veteran, a reminder that we all experienced something similar at one time or another..

http://ukcaving.com/board/index.php?topic=21570.0

Monday, 30 January 2017

WRPC MEET 28/01 - Bar Pot - Gaping Gill

Over the last half decade or so I've probably only attended a small handful of official club related meets. I was reminded of this today as the experience felt rather alien and I seriously racked my brain to remember the last time...

I was also reminded how isolated we are in the Wharfedale region where meeting other cavers is usually a rare occurrence. In the space of ten minutes in Clapham I'd bumped into just about everybody.

Sunday, 22 January 2017

Formidable

2017AD

Not much of a report really and more of a 'new year start as I mean to go on'  type of thing.
After the overdue nature of my previous two pieces I'm going to try and keep my online logs up to date.

Recent activity with Ian (Cummins) has felt reminiscent of those bitter winter affairs of past, spent down some three peaks test piece.

The 2017 opener down Meregill Hole was like an ice cold wake up. Meregill's defences were under siege from the elements that day. The noise alone was enough to make me feel unwelcome. It was an experience that blew the cobwebs off my nervous system for sure. Ian did a great job of rigging in the face of such hostility, sometimes feet from falling water and no doubt wondering what the return would be like. I looked on mainly in awe at the situation and hoping like hell he wasn't continuing purely for my sake. We turned around at the base of the fifth and final big pitch feeling we'd seen enough. The de-rig was initially rather intimidating but for the most part still a good distance, just. If only we'd had a camera with us that day.

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Langstroth Pot - Straw chamber & Goat Inlet - Article & Photos

The photos below were taken over the course of two trips during the spring of 2016. The first of these, a trip to photograph the beautifully well decorated inlet leading to straw chamber was undertaken rather impulsively one evening during very dry conditions. Had I known plans to visit Mossdale with Alex Ritchie the following evening would definitely be going ahead I would have given this trip a miss. Mossdale had featured heavily that month.But the weather felt close to breaking, so I decided to get something done (then and there) just in case...
Although, documented by Alex and myself elsewhere our trip that following evening must surely have been a record breaker in terms of us reaching the end of Mossdale and back in-between 'Home and Away' and 'Eastenders'...

Thursday, 13 October 2016

Mossdale Caverns - High Level Mud Caverns

With a body still tender from Langcliffe Pot three weeks earlier I wasn't wrong to predict I'd be in pain throughout the entirety of this outing. The hike to the scar alone was enough of a slog.
Huge amounts of fresh sand, shifted cobbles and froth in significant quantities were the usual reminders of the destructive reign recent storms have had.

Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Mossdale Caverns - Photos

After going through all my Mossdale photographs this is a collection of the best ones. The vast majority of them i'm afraid were blurry and unusable. I was carrying the camera unprotected inside my wetsuit jacket on all these trips, with nothing dry to wipe the lens - it surprises me any of them came out good.

Sunday, 24 July 2016

Langcliffe Pot - via Oddmire

Today's trip was only my third time beyond Nemesis, yet I couldn't shake the feeling I'd been there more often. I've obviously spent a great deal of subconscious time in there.
When ever I see Great Whernside either in passing or from afar, I always struggle to place Langcliffe Pot within that hillside. Like Mossdale, there is a mysterious, incomprehensible element to those environments. This begins to fade the moment you exit, leaving an indelible sense of other-worldliness.

Saturday, 9 April 2016

Rowten Pot - Pull through

I seldom leave Wharfedale for caving these days and it's been an age since I did a three peaks classic. My increased bias towards the Mossdale'esque type caving venues means I spend a lot less time on ropes as well so I wouldn't usually be interested in a conventional trip down places like Rowten Pot. I do have a long held affinity for through trips though and Rowten's is one of the finest examples in the Dales.

Monday, 8 February 2016

Marathon Obsession (Mossdale Caverns article)

I have but two choices, to carry on or turn around, both offer torment but only one attainment. There is no where to hide from this crushing environment, no calling time-out. Every hard fought inch must be recaptured and the further one goes the deeper-in one gets. The mind reigns in this physically repressed environment, one moment it is your friend the next your foe, your motivation and all your worst fears. Vanity and wealth count for absolutely nothing here, past experience and the fortitude gained are the only currency. These dour devoid confines rarely offer friendship but under the right circumstances are the only friend one needs. The greatest of satisfaction can be had through the existence of a simple hard earned end. Escape from the pressures of society can be achieved through the blinkered like reality that ensues. Loosening the grip your existence has on you can be a liberating thing but to truly succeed one must be willing to go all the way. Dangling a leg over the side is a common virtue, and satisfy's the masses. To abandon the program completely is one thing but returning later is another.... It becomes addictive and then just necessary..

Thursday, 14 January 2016

Langstroth Pot - Through Trip - New Year (Solo)

My first lonesome trip of the New Year. The variable weather had forced me to cancel this one several times over the past week. I'd been here the previous evening, but after kitting up and heading for the entrance I realised I'd forgotten my Primary Light's (Fenix) battery. I made up for this absent mindedness by getting an early start, I was still against the clock though due to a scheduled Climbing Wall session later that day and supposed poor weather arriving at Lunchtime.

Dowbergill Passage Christmas Solo (Dow Cave - Providence Pot)

I've ended up doing the traverse of Dowbergill Passage many times this past year, most of these trips have been for sport, to keep fit and maintain an edge and usually be done at a very quick pace. Today's trip was a pleasant change from the norm and was used to tie up some loose ends and attempt some photography.

Saturday, 21 November 2015

Cherry Tree Hole - Far North - Solo

Icy roads and a bitter gale almost forced me to reconsider doing this one. I'd foolishly brought very little warm gear for the overland trip to and fro, but decided I would just have to suffer.

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Treading Water

Some of us will forever be governed by the sensations we have long sought, collected and experienced throughout our lives. Some of these sensations are so addictive that we never break free of the need to continually pursue them. Because without such stimulus life becomes a listless struggle, just merely existing.
For a while now I have felt the frustration that comes with not pushing myself enough, or more the fact I am not pursuing the one activity that I feel challenges me.

Sunday, 29 March 2015

Notes on Session

I think it was sometime in 2013 when I first started this Blog. I was getting pretty lazy with my journals at the time and felt it was time I made more of an effort to document my stuff online. No sooner had I registered for the blog I lost interest or more just couldn't be arsed with it.

Monday, 16 March 2015

Season in the Abyss

Published recently - February 2015 - on Ukcaving.com. The article is heavily censored especially when taking my original vision for the piece in to consideration, it would have upset a few people for sure....

34 going on 30 - (Dowbergill Passage article)

Another recent Ukcaving.com article from November 2014.. Although I could expand on the majority of individual themes related to the subject of Dowbergill in this piece, I am still pretty satisfied with it as it is.    

Losing myself (with Sid) in Langstrothdale

I still remember how I really enjoyed writing this piece. I also remember cursing myself at the time for not writing a lot more about my adventures in the past than I did. This article was published on Ukcaving.com February 2014. I've made some corrections, added a few bits and altered a few of the sentences. Even from memory if I rewrote this now it would be far longer than the original. .

Southerscales Pot through trip: The Logistics of Caving with Diving

Originally posted on Ukcaving.com October 2012. All I have to say about this piece is; it still does a great job of reminding me how good a day that was. The period that followed this day was another one of those significant junctures in my life, where with hindsight I appeared to have made the wrong decision. Fortunately things did eventually come right and I have recently managed to redeem the foolish decision I made some weeks after this.

Return of the Wet Rubber Fetish

This article was originally posted on ukcaving.com in November of 2011. I have made some corrections to this piece, so it does differ slightly from the original.

King Pot

This was the first article i wrote after returning from London during the summer of 2010 it was published on Ukcaving.com in August of that year. This version differs slightly from the original, but not by much, I've made some corrections to the grammar and altered a few bits.

A Premature Epitaph or maybe not

This was a significant piece for me, posted on  Ukcaving.com April 2010 . I could probably write more than just an article, no doubt a book, about what followed. With hindsight what was I thinking allowing such impulses to govern my life. I made a big mistake leaving London like I did at the time, but I think I made an even greater mistake leaving the Dales in the first place. However hard our past decisions are to live with I guess we live and learn and just hope we've become better people as a result.

One More Hit

A Ukcaving.com piece from May of 2008. I don't know why I've kept hold of this one, not a great piece, but it did precede what turned out to be a great year. It was also an early attempt to articulate my motives behind these kind of trips...

The Best Medicine or Maybe Not (Old Mossdale Caverns trip report)

Another old article posted on Ukcaving in 2007. This was one of my first online trip reports. The spelling, punctuation and layout of the original version of this article was so terrible that I've made some corrections to the version below. 
The subject of Mossdale Caverns online when I originally posted this piece, was a delicate and controversial one. Most people were against anyone visiting the place. Those with the most averse opinion tended to be those who'd never visited the cave. 
But even then, I came to the conclusion that most of those people were just jealous and pissed off with someone who thought nothing of soloing hard caves making a name for himself, by apparently blowing his own trumpet online. 
I have since those early days tended to speak my mind uncensored, however unpalatable, to those who consider themselves spokespeople for the caving community....