Jude, Peter W, Larry, Nigel
After an exciting drive to Cromford during Storm Ciara, through flooded roads strewn with branches, 4 of us met at the Old Tor Cafe, then drove in convoy to Brightgate. After collecting the keys from the farmer, we headed up the hill in the gale, then kitted up before walking down the hill to the shaft.
Larry rigged up the descent and then we all lowered down, following Nigel into a shallow pool of water. This was my first SRT trip so was grateful to be loaned the kit.
Larry, Pete and I then went exploring for a couple of hours into many narrow passages and found lots of natural features (many taped off to protect them) and plenty of squeezes and water underfoot. We found one potential digging site worth further exploration.
When we returned to the pool below the shaft there was a raging torrent of water to negotiate to get to the rope, and by then it was well over knee-level.
Soaking wet with boots full of water and covered in mud we then slogged back up the hill and checked out the entrance to Brightgate Cave before getting dry by the cars and warming up with tea and cake at the Fountain Tearooms in Bonsall.
My route home was blocked by a fallen tree on the Via Gellia so I had to turn round and find another route north.