Thursday, 20 December 2007
A fine cave with the entrance in a shallow shallow ~6m from wall with rift in base and tube into bedding at one end. Mr C went first bagless and some fine rigging saw the rope fixed. Millipede crawl was followed but with low water levels it was unclear where the canal ended. Mr C continued rigging with the only apparently good SRT belay having been kicked down the pitch some time ago. Mr C was heard to say “this is a ladder trip” and indeed it is! two short pitches with great belay a short distance back from the pitch head. So ladderless the Mr C placed a sling over a tiny ~ 1-1.5 inch high knob of rock that’s no thicker than your thumb and was almost completely obscured by the sling place over it.
The handsome rift leading to the climb into President’s Passage was located and the climb admired. Down stream the West Inlet was passed. If you know there is a water slide and are told that it’s totally disappointing then it can be quite pleasing. The sump was ticked and the West Inlet followed to the suicidal point. Then the rift passing over the passage was climbed into, initially leading to the White Way and Zoology Pot. Then the other direction (West Passage) to finally reach a chamber with low bedding and a strong draft coming out a choked rift on the left with boulders needing capping.
It is clear why the freshers of Mr J Cooper’ infamous trip did not return, “exposure is more than likely for anyone not at the peak of fitness” and that was only in “mild” flood conditions (ULSA Journal, 1969).