Titan on ladder
Friday, 24 October 2008 – Saturday, 25 October 2008

The idea of doing Titan on ladder has cropped up on many a drunken night over the last few years, the idea being then lost in a haze of drunkeness and the inevitable hangover. However, Wayne Sheldon was organising a Derbyshire weekend for the CPC and so this seemed like a good opportunity to go and have some fun, especially as it still hadn’t been done…..something that i found a bit suprising really. I emailed Dave Nixon to enquire about getting the key to do this, the reply was along the lines of “yes, okay…..but make sure i’m offshore when you do it!”
With the date set, it was forgotten about until last week when Wayne called me enquiring about how preparations were going…….ahh, yes, will start sorting it out, i replied. Unfortunately, I had been trying to finish my f***ing MSc, but this provided a very welcome distraction.

Sorting the ladders proved to be an easy task……..all of the ULSA ones, plus some from the CPC for the entrance shaft, which at 45m was still a reasonable pitch in itself. So, with some ropes for self-lining, a team sorted and various other bits and pieces we were ready! Oh, yes, and one session of press-ups…….yes, that will do. Ahem!

Aside:

Si: Hi mike, i’ve been practising by pullups and did two in a row yesterday evening, so I can probably do ‘down’ and ‘up’.”

An excellent quote from Mr Jepps! 🙂

End of aside:

I met Tom in Castleton at around midday on friday after getting the key. We decided to ease into the day gently and went for a swift pint (in the form of two halves……seemed less harmful!). After chatting to wayne, we drove up and carried the 23 or so ladders, 200m of rope etc over to the entrance and set about opening the entrance shaft up.

It wasn’t long before the others arrived and after setting up the ladders on the entrance shaft and lowering all the kit down, tom and I went down to rig the top part of titan while the others got changed.
A choice of bolts at the pitch head required a little thought to get the best hang for the ladder and ropes, which we would be using for self-lining. Once sorted, the ladders were lowered in place and the others caught up. I set off down and waited at the event horizon for Dave and Tom to arrive so that we could set up the lower pitch. The ladder was anchored to the bolt at the top of the slope, and the ladder lowered down…..once again, this was straightforward except for a couple of knobs of rock on the ledge which the ladder kept catching on. The rope was rigged as per SRT route for self-lining.

As it turned out, we had actually been too efficient, having brought more ladders than we needed. Ahh well, better safe than sorry.
Arriving at the bottom and staring up at the ladders disappearing into the distance brought with it the realisation “Ohhhhhhhhhhh bugger!”

Mr Ottewell was first to climb the first 55m pitch, and set off with shouts of encouragement from below. It wasn’t long before the call of “ladder free” was heard and I set off up. It wasn’t long before a rest was required…..trying to work out a good, comfortable pace was tricky. Arriving at the re-belay, chest jammer was transferred across and a short climb up the slope brought me to Dave who was enjoying a rest before the next 70m climb.

Dave then set off while I waited for Tom to arrive. As it turned out, the timing worked really well, with Dave arriving at the top of titan as tom arrived at the event horizon. I then set off up the ladders to the top of Titan. This climb was far nicer than the lower pitch below the event horizon…..less drippy, friendlier and more impressive. An awesome climb and several rests later saw me at the top when an ecstatic dave was waiting.

Tom then followed and i dangled over the edge to take some piccies of tom and si. Once Si was at the top, dave and I headed to the entrance shaft for the final 45m climb to the surface while tom and si waited for Sam Allshorn to shoot up the pitch.

Oh how ironic it was that we had too many ladders in the Titan shaft, but were around 8ft short on the entrance ladder…..not too worry, a short climb up allowed the ladder to be gained. The entrance shaft is deceptive on ladder just as it is on rope….those who have done it will know what i’m getting at. Its hard to believe its around the Sam Allshorne size as the final pitch in Juniper when you stand at
the bottom staring up at the circular patch of daylight.

Once Dave was up I followed him up. Although, obviously, not as impressive as Titan, this was still an enjoyable climb and I was soon back on the surface after what was a brilliant trip! Certainly more satisfying than on rope, and the sight of 140m or so of ladder hanging down titan is certainly a memorable one!

Dave and I headed back to the cars while the others came up. Once back at the TSG, dave and I headed t’pub for many celebratory pints while si, Sam Allshorn and tom headed back to leeds….

The next morning, John, Neville, Clive Westlake, Ann Soulsby and Elaine Hill went in. John and Neville wanted to do the climb while Clive took some piccies. Tom, Marcus and I headed in around mid-afternoon to de-rig. We met dave at the cars. He’d been down to the event horizon to pick up the excess ladders we didn’t use.

We arrived at the event horizon to find that the lower pitch had been de-rigged. D’oh! So we lowered the ladders back down so that Marcus could do the climb. The others headed up Titan while tom and I waited for Marcus to arrive.

The de-rig went rather smoothly…..three being a good number to get the gear up Titan and back to the bottom of the entrance shaft. The gear was then hauled up and we were all back on the surface by around 7ish. The entrance was locked up and we headed back to the TSG. After returning the key to Gt Huxlow, I joined the others in t’pub for more beer!!!! 🙂
A fantastic and successful weekend! Thanks to everyone who turned up and helped! It was great fun!! Also thanks to Dave Nixon for the key and removing the ropes in Titan so they wouldn’t get in the way!

Golandrinas anyone????

Images
Spot the mistake!
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Posted: 27 October 2008
Before that ladders go down
Posted by: Sam Allshorn
Size: 90kb
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Height: 450 pixels
Posted: 27 October 2008
Tom on the up
Posted by: Sam Allshorn
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Posted: 27 October 2008
Si on the up
Posted by: Sam Allshorn
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Posted: 27 October 2008
Sam Allshorn on the up
Posted by: Sam Allshorn
Size: 78kb
Width: 600 pixels
Height: 450 pixels
Posted: 27 October 2008