I had a free Saturday and put a call out for an activity with someone. Robin answered and despite it being perfect climbing weather he suggested caving and New Goyden. Our last trip down was in 2018 and on that occasion, a few meters into the cave Robin's headlamp broke and had the rest of that trip using shared light from me and a small secondary light he had. So I guess he just wanted to see it properly!
After breakfast at How Stean Gorge cafe we parked up next to the farm. It was 11:10 when we left the cars and walked down the path beside the dry riverbed until we found an entrance with a wooden top (now identified as Thrope Pot), but backtracked a short distance where New Goyden entrance was found in a small opening on the right hand side bank under a large tree
I'd rigged last time we were here, so this time Robin rigged and I followed
Once at the bottom we ventured upstream to the sump which last time we were here was just around the corner. Not so. This time the water was low enough that there was an air-gap large enough to get through which allowed us to go all the way to the upstream sump
After returning we explored the South Avens, finding a passage that led to the surface and the wooden cover. After a short snack break we decided to go down the rigged New Goyden rather than crawling through Thrope Pot
Once in the main streamway we went downstream, exploring the main inlet sump before picking our way through a boulder choke on to the left of the streamway and coming out into the Planetarium.
We walked out the top right exit and explored the passages to the downstream sump, making our way back to the Planetarium on the main passage. We then explored the Hardy Pools Passage but decided against a decending a pitch using an in-situ rope as there would have been considerable rope-rub - we guessed it might be something for a dive project we'd seen signs of in other parts of the cave
After finding our way out of the planetarium all that was left was to head back to the surface. As Robin had rigged I de-rigged and we got to the surface by 3pm.
Once changed we headed to the Bridge Inn for a drink and snack
Another very pleasent trip