Duncan Sike Cave

B. Smith

Saturday 14th May, 1966 found Greenclose almost deserted as most members had gone south to the C.R.G. Conference.

Having recently been instructed by Brian Heys to survey a cave he had discovered on Whernside, Gordon Batty, Bob Hart, Geoff Benn and Bernard Smith set off to look for it.

We parked the cars at Stone House in Dentdale and set off for a shooting hut "somewhere towards the summit of Whernside".

To everyone's surprise we arrived at the shooting hut and it wasn't long before we had located a sizeable sink with a fairly large passage leading off. We struggled into caving clothes, recalibrated the survey rope and set off, only to find that the passage tightened up immeidately. All was not lost however, as Gordon soon disappeared down a neighbouring hole where he discoverd a lone bat. This decidedly deterred Bob but he bravely pressed on. The entrance was a crawl in a dry passage to a tight fissure about a foot wide with a flor of liquid mud. This was not encouraging. On emerging from the squeeze we found ourselves in a sizeable stream passage with a choice of going up or down stream. We went downstream but were soon stopped by a low wet crawl. Gordon investigated and pronounced it impassable.

Upstream was more entertaining. The passage shape changed to a keyhole shape and was well decorated, one column being particularly striking. However our hopes of meeting daylight at the sink were soon dashed when the roof lowered and presented us with a wet crawl in a one foot high passage appearing to become lower. We decided to call it a day as far as exploration was concerned and surveyed on the way out.

We emerged into sunshine with thoughts of the Sportsman's and Youngers ales. But it was not to be. We were dragged off to a "good dig" by Gordon. Here we were set to labour for many a long, dark hour until entrance was gained (by Gordon) to a low passage. After 20 ft. he was stopped by a boulder which blocked the passage, but a way could be seen beyond it. Not having any suitable digging tackle, we retired for the day.

1966 survey, 20k gif

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