Thursday, 27 May 2021

Thundering Mouse Retreat Short

My first attempt at a short fictional piece. I've years worth of notes and ideas but this is the first I've actually committed to completing.

Tuesday, 20 April 2021

Mossdale Sessions 95 - 96 Youtube Video Link

Will begin writing the back-log of Sessions up after a couple more sessions. Or maybe I'll wait till I get to a hundred. 

© Simon Beck, 2021. The copyright for this article and photographs, remains with the author. It should not be reproduced without permission.

Monday, 5 April 2021

Mossdale Session 94 Youtube Video Link

© Simon Beck, 2021. The copyright for this article and photographs, remains with the author. It should not be reproduced without permission.

Saturday, 3 April 2021

Mossdale Session 93 Youtube Video Link

© Simon Beck, 2021. The copyright for this article and photographs, remains with the author. It should not be reproduced without permission.

Wednesday, 3 February 2021

Preceding the Session

Another long overdue piece with the odd addition to come no doubt. Took me weeks of thinking about it before I finally sat down at the computer, not to mention numerous attempts over the past four years. It's been a few paragraphs a day, for weeks, while I jogged my memory and searched through notes. Usually by this point I wouldn't have bothered, but feel it was a very productive period, one I never fully documented, and rather crucial to what followed in 2017.

Mossdale Sessions 1 & 2 are still to complete, and should follow soon.    


If I had to summarise this one in a few words it'd be, 'what a year!'

Was one of the most productive years I'd had up to that point caving on the flanks of Great Whernside. The majority of it done with Ian Cummins. It was probably the most attention those caves had received for decades as well.

Eight visits were made to Mossdale Caverns, five to Langcliffe Pot and four to Swarthgill Hole. Activity was also on going at Howgill Nick. The Mossdale visits were pretty well documented, via the blog and elsewhere, but the rest were not, especially the main Langcliffe trip which I really regret now. A few of the Swarthgill Hole trips were written up by Ian, and photographed/videoed by myself over the course of the visits. 

Saturday, 16 May 2020

Mossdale Session 85 Youtube video

Session 85's Youtube offering, and my  first underground outing in a few months. The write-up should follow soon. Would actually like to get a few sessions behind me, and some progress made before I do any writing again, though that will all depend on the weather.
I was in a crap mood throughout this entire session and far from arsed regarding the filming. So please excuse another rubbish video. The fact I got something done is a definite positive, the past two months have been enduring.

© Simon Beck, 2020. The copyright for this article and photographs, remains with the author. It should not be reproduced without permission.

Tuesday, 24 March 2020

Mossdale Sessions 83 - 84 Youtube clips

Still in the process, or yet to complete the written side of Sessions 82 - 84, but here are a couple of video offerings from 83 & 84. Although I've been considering Vlogging the sessions for sometime, it wasn't until session 83 that I decided to give it a go. I know they're pretty crap but I'm hoping to add more content and substance to them as I go.

Mossdale Session 83 -

Mossdale Session 84 -

© Simon Beck, 2020. The copyright for this article and photographs, remains with the author. It should not be reproduced without permission.

Sunday, 11 June 2017

Mossdale Exploration Group

The cogs have been in motion for some time now, no more so than recently. I am very protective of my efforts and investments, and the way I see it; nobody got me here but me! Which also partly translates to; nobody will be getting a free ride either... Although the organisation may never reach full official status, and it's members will be few, the very act of the group and it's continued existence certainly will.

© Simon Beck, 2017. The copyright for this article and photographs remains with the author. It should not be reproduced without permission.

Thursday, 16 March 2017

The Mossdale Connection

Twelve years since my first trip down Mossdale. Even though I've clocked up a respectable number of visits, somewhere in the 30s, it's only recently that I've felt I'm really getting started with the place. The inevitable shift appears to have been made, from sport to exploration.. The past few years worth of visits have all been memorable and noteworthy, some of them were downright strange. My partner on at least one of these will testify to that. Mossdale Caverns has been with me for what seems a long time. Looking back it appears to have largely governed my course. Coincidences relating to my life both in and out of caving appear intertwined with Mossdale, as if the place has always transcended that boundary. I will attempt to write a piece about these events one day. But for now I will just refer to it as The Mossdale Connection.

© Simon Beck, 2017. The copyright for this article and photographs remains with the author. It should not be reproduced without permission.

Monday, 30 January 2017

WRPC MEET 28/01 - Bar Pot - Gaping Gill

Over the last half decade or so I've probably only attended a small handful of official club related meets. I was reminded of this today as the experience felt rather alien and I seriously racked my brain to remember the last time...

I was also reminded how isolated we are in the Wharfedale region where meeting other cavers is usually a rare occurrence. In the space of ten minutes in Clapham I'd bumped into just about everybody.

Sunday, 22 January 2017


Not much of a report really and more of a 'new year start as I mean to go on'  type of thing.
After the overdue nature of my previous two pieces I'm going to try and keep my online logs up to date.

Recent activity with Ian (Cummins) has felt reminiscent of those bitter winter affairs of past, spent down some three peaks test piece.

The 2017 opener down Meregill Hole was like an ice cold wake up. Meregill's defences were under siege from the elements that day. The noise alone was enough to make me feel unwelcome. It was an experience that blew the cobwebs off my nervous system for sure. Ian did a great job of rigging in the face of such hostility, sometimes feet from falling water and no doubt wondering what the return would be like. I looked on mainly in awe at the situation and hoping like hell he wasn't continuing purely for my sake. We turned around at the base of the fifth and final big pitch feeling we'd seen enough. The de-rig was initially rather intimidating but for the most part still a good distance, just. If only we'd had a camera with us that day.

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Langstroth Pot - Straw chamber & Goat Inlet - Article & Photos

The photos below were taken over the course of two trips during the spring of 2016. The first of these, a trip to photograph the beautifully well decorated inlet leading to straw chamber was undertaken rather impulsively one evening during very dry conditions. Had I known plans to visit Mossdale with Alex Ritchie the following evening would definitely be going ahead I would have given this trip a miss. Mossdale had featured heavily that month.But the weather felt close to breaking, so I decided to get something done (then and there) just in case...
Although, documented by Alex and myself elsewhere our trip that following evening must surely have been a record breaker in terms of us reaching the end of Mossdale and back in-between 'Home and Away' and 'Eastenders'...

Thursday, 13 October 2016

Mossdale Caverns - High Level Mud Caverns

With a body still tender from Langcliffe Pot three weeks earlier I wasn't wrong to predict I'd be in pain throughout the entirety of this outing. The hike to the scar alone was enough of a slog.
Huge amounts of fresh sand, shifted cobbles and froth in significant quantities were the usual reminders of the destructive reign recent storms have had.

Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Mossdale Caverns - Photos

After going through all my Mossdale photographs this is a collection of the best ones. The vast majority of them i'm afraid were blurry and unusable. I was carrying the camera unprotected inside my wetsuit jacket on all these trips, with nothing dry to wipe the lens - it surprises me any of them came out good.

Sunday, 24 July 2016

Langcliffe Pot - via Oddmire

Today's trip was only my third time beyond Nemesis, yet I couldn't shake the feeling I'd been there more often. I've obviously spent a great deal of subconscious time in there.
When ever I see Great Whernside either in passing or from afar, I always struggle to place Langcliffe Pot within that hillside. Like Mossdale, there is a mysterious, incomprehensible element to those environments. This begins to fade the moment you exit, leaving an indelible sense of other-worldliness.

Saturday, 9 April 2016

Rowten Pot - Pull through

I seldom leave Wharfedale for caving these days and it's been an age since I did a three peaks classic. My increased bias towards the Mossdale'esque type caving venues means I spend a lot less time on ropes as well so I wouldn't usually be interested in a conventional trip down places like Rowten Pot. I do have a long held affinity for through trips though and Rowten's is one of the finest examples in the Dales.

Monday, 8 February 2016

Marathon Obsession

I've only two choices, carry on or turn around, both offer torment but only one attainment. There is no where to hide from this crushing environment, no calling time-out. Every hard fought inch must be retraced and the further one goes the deeper-in one gets. The mind reigns in this physically repressed environment, one moment it is your friend the next your foe, your motivation and all your worst fears. Vanity and wealth count for absolutely nothing here, past experience and the fortitude gained are the only currency. These dour devoid confines rarely offer friendship but under the right circumstances are the only friend one needs. The greatest of satisfaction can be had through the existence of a simple hard earned end. Escape from the pressures of society can be achieved through the blinkered like reality that ensues. Loosening the grip your existence has on you can be a liberating thing but to truly succeed one must be willing to go all the way. Dangling a leg over the side is a common virtue and satisfy's the masses. To abandon the program completely is one thing but returning later is another.... Pushing yourself ever further becomes addictive and then just necessary..

Thursday, 14 January 2016

Langstroth Pot - Through Trip - New Year (Solo)

My first lonesome trip of the New Year. The variable weather had forced me to cancel this one several times over the past week. I'd been here the previous evening, but after kitting up and heading for the entrance I realised I'd forgotten my Primary Light's (Fenix) battery. I made up for this absent mindedness by getting an early start, I was still against the clock though due to a scheduled Climbing Wall session later that day and supposed poor weather arriving at Lunchtime.

Dowbergill Passage Christmas Solo (Dow Cave - Providence Pot)

I've ended up doing the traverse of Dowbergill Passage many times this past year, most of these trips have been for sport, to keep fit and maintain an edge and usually be done at a very quick pace. Today's trip was a pleasant change from the norm and was used to tie up some loose ends and attempt some photography.

Saturday, 21 November 2015

Cherry Tree Hole - Far North - Solo

Icy roads and a bitter gale almost forced me to reconsider doing this one. I'd foolishly brought very little warm gear for the overland trip to and fro, but decided I would just have to suffer.

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Treading Water

Some of us will forever be governed by the sensations we have long sought, collected and experienced throughout our lives. Some of these sensations are so addictive that we never break free of the need to continually pursue them. Because without such stimulus life becomes a listless struggle, just merely existing.
For a while now I have felt the frustration that comes with not pushing myself enough, or more the fact I am not pursuing the one activity that I feel challenges me.

Sunday, 29 March 2015

Notes on Session

I think it was sometime in 2013 when I first started this Blog. I was getting pretty lazy with my journals at the time and felt it was time I made more of an effort to document my stuff online. No sooner had I registered for the blog I lost interest or more just couldn't be arsed with it.

Monday, 16 March 2015

Season in the Abyss

Re-edited August 2018 by the author, with only a few of the additions left out from the original. I was never happy with how cluttered this one felt, and I've been meaning to get round to sorting it for a long time. I never was any good at the editing/proofreading side of things, but feel it now reads a little better. Some of this article makes me cringe, but most of it is still right on. I'm a very different person now to the one who wrote this fact, and felt the need to preserve that mindset, so haven't tampered with it in that way. Of the few bits added, all came from my original notes for the piece.

One thing I really only touched on in this article, was how lost I'd felt over the previous five years, especially towards Caving and other outdoor activities. Aspects of my old self and the drive I once had were beginning to return during this period. Something I'd concluded was lost forever. These outings were very instrumental in what followed over the next few years. So much so they may never of happened.  

Posted - February 2015 - on The article was heavily censored and still is, especially when taking my original vision for the piece in to consideration, it would have upset a few people for sure....

Losing myself (with Sid) in Langstrothdale

I still remember how I really enjoyed writing this piece. I also remember cursing myself at the time for not writing a lot more about my experiences in the past than I did. Originally posted on UKCaving Feb 2014.

Southerscales Pot through trip: The Logistics of Caving with Diving

Originally posted on October 2012. All I have to say about this piece is; it still does a great job of reminding me how good a day that was. The period that followed this day was another one of those significant junctures in my life, where with hindsight I appeared to have made the wrong decision. Fortunately things did eventually come right and I have recently managed to redeem the foolish decision I made some weeks after this.

Return of the Wet Rubber Fetish

This article was originally posted on in November of 2011. I have made some corrections to this piece, so it does differ slightly from the original.

King Pot

This was the first article i wrote after returning from London during the summer of 2010 it was originally posted on in August of that year.

One More Hit

A piece from May of 2008. I don't know why I've kept hold of this one, not a great piece, but it did precede what turned out to be a great year. It was also an early attempt to articulate my motives behind these kind of trips...

The Best Medicine or Maybe Not (Old Mossdale Caverns trip report)

Another old article posted on Ukcaving in 2007. This was one of my first online trip reports. The spelling, punctuation and layout of the original version of this article was so terrible that I've made some corrections to the version below. 
The subject of Mossdale Caverns online when I originally posted this piece, was a delicate and controversial one. Most people were against anyone visiting the place. Those with the most averse opinion tended to be those who'd never visited the cave. 
But even then, I came to the conclusion that most of those people were just jealous and pissed off with someone who thought nothing of soloing hard caves making a name for himself, by apparently blowing his own trumpet online. 
I have since those early days tended to speak my mind uncensored, however unpalatable, to those who consider themselves spokespeople for the caving community....