Wednesday, 19 December 2007
As it has been quite dry recently, I suggested an evening trip down this classic East Kingsdale Grade V. Tom hadn’t done it before, and I still had the final pitch to do as on both occasions I’ve been there (once via vesper and once via spec), we didn’t have the rope to do it.
Arrived in kingsdale on a rather nippy winters night at around 6.30pm. A quick cigarette in the comfort of tom’s car provided the necessary internal warmth to cope with changing in the sub-zero temperatures.
A quick walk saw us up at the entrance for around 7.15ish. It was nice to get underground. Yet again, the entrance was littered with bones and skulls, with one positioned high up on a ledge for dramatic effect…..an omen of things to come.
Soon at splutter crawl, once again passed with relative ease, except for the tacklebag drawcord being slightly too short. Then the very enjoyable head-dive down the 2m drop at the end…love that bit!
Soon down second pitch and into the horizontal stuff. The water levels were low and the low wet crawl not too wet, and we were soon at Dodd’s pitch. This is a superb, albeit loose, 37m pitch. I wasn’t overly inspired by the flake deviation about half way down, but it held….
Then another short, loose pitch and the Great Rubble Heap. We proceeded down this one at a time to avoid kicking massive boulders on to each other, although I think we both secretly wanted to…
The last pitch is found at the base of this, and has an awkward section about 3m down. I decided to handline the pitch, which is fairly straightforward although one has to be careful as the pitch bells out beneath the squeeze. Tom followed with descender mounted above head on short cowstail.
After spending a few moments to admire the beautiful sump pool, we set off out.
Good progress saw us back at the second pitch in double-quick time. We decided to pull the bags back through splutter crawl, which is easily done as floor of crawl is very flat. Tom complained that I forgot to put a krab on my tacklebag…….I don’t know, its all moaning with that boy! 🙂
Back on the surface for around 11.30pm, after a very enjoyable trip of just over 4hrs. Excellent, varied trip and ideal for an evenings jaunt!