Waterwheel Swallet - Wed 18 Jan 2023

Andy Sparrow, David Cooke, Ian Tiley, Lawrence Wilson, Paul James, Peter Sanders, Rich Nurse, Seán Tidey, Will Puddy

A freezing night on the Mendips with snow having fallen earlier in the day. What better cave than the legendarily chilly Whaterwheel Swallet.

Due to ongoing works in the reserve car park we parked at the Charterhouse Centre, having had a conversation with the centre manager earlier in the day she allowed us to get changed in centrally heated luxury.

Having skated down the road we entered the nicely warm cave and followed down to the stream way. Usually going last means a little more airspace in the canal, sadly not this time as the feeder stream was topping it up as fast as it was sloshed over the dams at the end.

At the pitch head a number of different methods were employed to get to the lake; ladder, chain, free climbing the rift and using the traverse. After a swim and visiting the end of the cave it was back up the pitch by various methods.

Having negotiated the canals again, we lugged our now heavy and wet selves back to the surface where the temperature had plummeted. Crunched our way back to the centre where the luxury of heating was appreciated by all.

A somewhat nervous and slow drive found us at the Riverside, Cheddar where football was being shown at full volume from the newly installed screens. Thankfully it finished after 10 minutes and we could have a chat and look at some of Cookies “holiday snaps” of caving in India.

A fun evening with a great team, I have messaged Charterhouse and thanked them for their hospitality

— Lawrence Wilson 19/01/2023

Last modified: 07 Feb 2023 00:14