LYNDS CAVE – 20 April 2018
Another stream-way cave with a waterfall to climb up. Garry assured us that the waterfall was do-able – “all you have to do is traddle the top where the water flows over, and there are lots of foot and hand holds”. I stressed all night worried about a bloody 20m waterfall that I’d have to climb – whilst trying to avoid getting wet. In hindsight I should have asked how high the waterfall was.
The participant numbers were falling, neither Murray or Cathi were up for another cold wet cave, so they stayed behind to do washing for the rest of us. We all had a dinner date that night at the pub, so left the cabin at 8am and were at the entrance to the cave at 9.15.
First we had to cross the bridge over the Mersey River, then walk about a k downstream, then wade back across the River again.
And then a swim over the deepest part. David W-C had said that the river had changed “a bit”, since the 2016 floods. Apparently before you could just wade across without the swim.
Garry inside the opening of the cave just before the gate.
And here’s the waterfall that I stressed about all the night before, should have asked what height it was! It still wasn’t easy to get to but Garry was right, lots of foot and hand holds.
Mel preparing to climb up the waterfall.
The stream-way just above it. Not even 50m into the cave and I’m thinking this is my favourite one yet!
Setting up the flashes for the first photo shoot.
My photo without the assistance of the flashes.
And with the aid of the flashes – the ones that the guys took were even better than this.
From a different angle and closer.
Similar one of Garry with his light on, sometimes you take them with the light on and other times not.
Making our way upstream, this is just near a huge flow stone, probably about 5m high and 20m long, that was cracked in many places and had “fallen” maybe 50cm. Apparently this happened during an earthquake some years ago (records indicate none higher than 6.5 since 1950, so not sure when it would have been).
More nice sections with formations.
Our next photoshoot, this one was slightly too far away for me to get a really good shot.
We actually walked up this flow stone and around the back of it to access the stream-way again.
We didn’t go far until we got to a rock pile.
We climbed up it and then down into a small cavern arriving here at about 12 noon.
It was at this point that we hit a bit of a problem. Apparently David W-C had told Garry that he’d been there just recently and the 2016 floods had “changed everything” and he couldn’t find the way through. As Garry recalled it, just beyond where Mel is sitting there was a small crawl for a few metres and then a walk, probably knee deep in the water. Garry and Andrew went off and initially couldn’t find a way through, the floods had well and truly changed the route.
Mel and I sat and waited, and waited, and waited. Then we heard a crash of a rock. And waited, and waited. By this time, almost half an hour has passed and I was getting worried that something had gone wrong, and then we saw a light in the water, someone was coming back. Garry appeared and said he’d found a way through, the 2016 floods had definitely changed the route, moving rocks in the rock pile, one can only imagine the force of the water that would move rocks of this size. Garry explained that the route wasn’t easy and questioned if we wanted to do it … OF COURSE!
Little did we know that there were two very small squeezes between rocks and then a section where it was almost a duck-under, my head was on the side and my ear was in the water as we crawled along. Finally we were out the other side, wasn’t looking forward to returning the same way!
On the other side of the rock pile, there was a few hundred metres of stream-way again before we got to the Lime Tree – our destination / turnaround point.
This is a really strange formation called the Lime Tree, a straw that had wiggly bits growing out the side of it. the additional straw that you see on an angle had been hanging down from the ceiling but had at some point fallen off, it’s just leaning against the Lime Tree now. We set up the flashes and started the photo shoot, as I was so close, I got some good shots.
A section of the roof (either before or after the rock pile) that we back lit with head torches, straws are amazing.
We made it back through the rock pile with no issues and had a quick lunch, it’s about 2.30 by now. Garry determined that if he was leading any trips in this cave for the Conference (coming up in January 2019), he wouldn’t be taking people past the rock pile, there’s no way if something went wrong on the other side and someone had to be rescued, that they would be able to get an injured person out through the rock pile.
We’re back at the rimstone formation now and decided that we’d do a photo shoot at the “Sharks Teeth”. Because this is a “clean area” we scrubbed off the bottom of our shoes before going to the Sharks Teeth.
They looked more like dragon’s teeth to me. One of my shots from piggy-backing off the flashes.
Garry in the sharks teeth.
Once we packed up all the flashes, it was a quick trip back to the beginning and the waterfall.
Andrew coming down.
Garry took a couple of videos of the waterfall and wanted Andrew to get under the fall for a shot, I was in the pool opposite Andrew. I was tempted to go under myself and have Garry do a shot but the water was cold and I’d talked myself out of that idea by the time we got to the pool.
Melissa negotiating her way around the pool.
Out of the cave at 3.40pm, Garry said the river water would be like a warm bath after the cave – no, it wasn’t, but still good to be out when the sun was shining. I actually didn’t take the same route as the guys and ended up swimming against the current.
I have to say that Lynds was my favourite cave of all the ones we did, it was really pretty, sporty with its climbs and squeezes and being able to walk upright for most of the way was a bonus, and the waterfall was fun!