Saturday, 27 January 2007
Trapdoor offers a fine day out to anyone there is a series of short pitches initially connected by routes through poised blocks and loose passageways, this improves beyond the Stripper, the 3rd squeeze. A short pitch that became a climb after the passage below it was blasted. The short blasted crawl leads to the head of Electron Pitch. Immediately followed by Megatron, a large shaft that gives a fine hang to the floor. A splendid view can be gained by climbing the steep mud slope that forms the floor. Unfortunately the walls here have a slightly friable nature. On this occasion a trip to the bottom of They Think It’s All Over an alternative pitch was in order. A pendulum half way down Electron Pitch to the start of a short section of ascending side passage which requires a large swing to reach. A wriggle past a delicate formation leads to the head of a further pitch down.
The pitch down is narrow at first but quickly opens up to large rift floored by a steep loose slope to a re-belay chock stone where anything dislodged tends to lead to small cascades of rock trundling down the slope. Some unorthodox rigging and manoeuvres are required to make the descent. A floor of clean washed boulders and a wall of mud, that is likely to connect to the foot of Megatron, indicates the end. There is a risk of being hit by debris so caution is required, possibly to the extent of one person on the rope and de-rigging before the next person makes the descent. This unnerving pitch has a safe ledge which can be reached by scrambling to the top of the loose slope whilst roped. It was noted on the way out that a bolt had appeared 5m down the pitch, which would vastly improve the hang.
From the safe ledge it is possible to continue upstream to a series of up and down climbs. At the foot of the first down climb is a rift to small chamber with tiny stream way leading off. This was entered by Mr A and after some coaxing Mr C but the tales of grandeur and fine pretties failed to convince Mr B.
This is a fine trip to a alternative part of Trapdoor and worthy of the effort but care should be taken.