Chris Castle, Rachel Sparrow
It was a wild and stormy night. Once in Fairy Quarry car park it eased off and we splashed our way to the cave. After the traditional flailing about to undo the lock we got in. Oh dear. My ancient body had trouble doing anything. Moves I would have done easily a few years ago have become difficult.
Still, we forged on along the entrance passage called Pool Passage, which had become wet and the whole place was very muddy. We passed Hobgoblin Hole, a desperately tight connection to the surface. I'd looked at the quarry end a few times and it looked awful. From inside the cave it looked worse. Things were getting very wet and the way on from where we were, Gour End, is JW Passage which looked like a long duck so knowing we couldn't get much further before turning back, we turned back from where we was to.
At the start of Pool Passage is a climb up to the large Erratic Passage and the other entrances. I'm sorry to say we both bottled the climb; it was wet and we both suffered a lack of confidence. Pathetic, it looks easy enough. We intend to return with a short rope.
The return along Pool Passage was a bit of a struggle but we got out in one piece.
Balch Cave isn't a bad short trip for younger members, i.e.those under 70.
— Chris Castle 12/04/2023