Titan – Peak through trip
Saturday, 4 March 2006
An excellent trip taking in the delights of Titan and the White River series. The usual faff meant that we didn’t get underground until about 12.45. The 45m entrance pitch leads to a very short section of stooping passage, coming into Titan shaft 136m above the floor….eeeek!
I quickly set off rigging, and was soon on my way down the first 71m section to the event horizon. The top part of the titan is HUGE!!!! Unfortunately, I only had my LED’s working on my lamp, so could only really make out the odd feature here and there popping out of the blackness…Quickly reached the event horizon, and then a short steep slope leads to a Y-hang re-belay for the last 55m. This re-belay is cluttered with rope, and so extra care is needed not to get tangled up.
Wasn’t long before everyone was down! The view of cavers descending the shaft from the bottom is quite spectacular (and scary, as it is only then you realise how ‘effing high up one was only a few minutes ago!)
The way on was quickly identified, and we made steady progress to the bottom of JH. We took a little detour in the large AI passage, and followed this to a large sump pool. From the bottom of JH, a slope leads up and then down an iron ladder to reach the Speedwell streamway (unfamiliar territory for me). Easy progress (but slightly chilly in places as the water level creeps up your body) leads to the whirlpool, where someone has very kindly installed an excellent traverse line to keep you dry waist-up! Then the bung-hole, a refreshing ladder climb of 6m through the middle of a waterfall….Excellent!
Block Hall was soon found, and so began the 75m(ish) prussik up to the white river series, in a fine aven! The white river series was superb! Mike Cooper and I took a quick detour up to Heaven to see the excellent formations, before carrying on down the Kingdom. The best bit being the river of white calcite encountered close to the end. Never seen anything like it before!
Soon reached the top of the Ventilator, where we did a pull-through down to the trenches – a nice, muddy crawl that eventually leads to another iron ladder down to treasury gate. Easy progress in mostly large passages soon has us at the entrance to Peak at around 9.30pm. Slightly longer trip than anticipated mainly due to route-finding and detours.
We exited to a cold, snowy night! We all jumped into Mike Cooper’s car and drove back up to Rowter Farm………Oh no, the trip (unfortunately) wasn’t over yet!
Me and Mike C then headed back over to Titan to de-rig. I set off down first, and quickly made it back down to the event horizon and de-rigged and pulled up the lower section. Then, back up the 71m
pitch (stopping quite regularly to take in the surroundings…….or was it to gasp for air!!) to the top where a hauling system was set-up and Mike C did sterling work in hauling up the tacklebag.
Wasn’t long though before we were back at the entrance though, to be greeted by a blizzard at midnight. A brisk walk back through the horizontal snow soon saw us back at the farm, where a quick, chilly change (on derbyshire’s very own equivalent to Leck Fell) followed….and then the hot aches as frozen fingers start to warm up again. Brrr!
It then took around 2.5hrs to drive back to Leeds because of the recent snowfall, but reached home at around 3.45am.
Fantastic trip in one of the best cave systems!!! Definitely recommended!! Thanks everyone!!