Grove Academy Cave adventures!

26th April 2018

 The students of Grove academy went on a series of caving adventures!!!

Here are the accounts from Mr Turner!!!

Dow Cave

Weather conditions dictated that our first trip would be in Dow Cave. This is a beginners cave but we managed to ‘spice it up’ a little by including a selection of crawls, squeezes and a look along the legendary Dowbergill Passage (we got as far as the duck- a short section with limited air space where you have to get very wet indeed). Water temperatures were Baltic as this was snowmelt from Great Whernside, so even with a wetsuit the ‘o- zone’ was frequently reached!!


The students also entertained themselves by sculpting various models from cave clay and rounded off the day with the obligatory madness…in this case sliding down cascades outside the cave…(we’re hard on this course!!!)


Our second trip explored the delights of Long Churn and Alum Pot on the slopes of Ingleborough. This is probably the best beginners cave system in the country and it didn’t disappoint.


After a quick look down Alum Pot we continued to middle entrance and then descended down through ‘double shuffle’ and ‘plank pool’ to St Pauls Chamber.  An army group coming the other way fell in plank pool (6ft deep) but our elite team had no problems traversing the icy depths.


After a series of down climbs we dropped into the cheese press chamber where some of us took on the most famous squeeze in British Caving. The cheese press is 5 metres long and 22cm high at its lowest point. It represents a real psychological test and a serious challenge for anyone (we have no photos which always tells you something!)


From there we continued up baptistery crawl, ducked down into the font and exited via Dr Banisters Hand basin, (a water chute requiring a hand line)


For some of us this wasn’t enough, they took on the challenge of Wilsons Cave which emerges in a low crawl through water. As last week, this was snowmelt from the surrounding hills and lovely and warm. This cave is quite unique as there are skylights above the passage where you can look out into the open. The rest of the group took great delight in finding these and pouring their ‘wellie water’ onto those below….lovely.




I am continuously impressed by the resilience, good humour and positive attitude of this group, they are working at a level that most active adults would struggle to match.