Roaring, Sunset and walkies
Saturday, 20 September 2014 – Sunday, 21 September 2014

After a successful International Freshers Fair, it was decided that we would not be leaving until Saturday rather than Friday as proposed. I awoke to much action, and decided to ignore it and eat my breakfast. Peachey and I set off for the dales at about half 10 after picking up Emily, with the others off shopping. The plan was to get some ladder practice in and have a recce of some of the trips we would be doing with freshers in Semester 1.

Roadside at Chapel-le-Dale, we did a refresher on pulley jammer systems and how to make a sit harness from a belay belt and a sling (keeps you high when youre tied in to the ladder, more so than using just a conventional sit harness without a chest harness). We set off to find Roaring, and found it after a while (dont let Peachey navigate using the book). Brendan stomped off to rig the first pitch, under Peacheys supervision. The cave was extremely dry, so it was possible to free climb the first pitch using the (usually) wet route (to the right past some pretty bits). However, there was clear evidence of flooding almost to the roof in a lot of parts of the cave, which apparently responds very quickly to wet weather. I rigged the next pitch. Ladders are quite fun. The next bit of passage was quite sporting and scaffold with some pretty bits. We arrived at the third pitch, which was more of a nice climb really. By this time, Emily was quite tired and didnt fancy one of the squeezy bits (no caving for almost 5 months makes returning to form quite hard!) and Peachey was a bit worried about the weather going to shit and trapping us in there, so we headed out. When Nat was on the way out, I tried to pull his welly off as he climbed the 2nd ladder, and he got very cross. When we surfaced, a divide in the party was apparent: Nat, Peachey and Emily had had enough of caving for one day, but Mike, Nathan and Brendan and I were still keen for more, so the former set off to cook tea while the latter went off to do Sunset. Sunset is really nice, watery stomping with some climbs and pools and a fun final ladder pitch which Nathan rigged. Once at the bottom, I followed a bedding plane crawl that went nowhere, then me and Mike went up quite an awkward climb with a dubious rope ladder hanging off a scaff bar which we used as little as possible. This continues for quite some way through a couple of boulder chokes until a final chamber. When we got back Brendan and Nathan attempted to haul me and failed miserably. I am fat. We were out by half 7. We got to the farm at around 9 and ate nice chili courtesy of the three bailers. Becka and Julian were there along with Dinny, Andy Chapman and more, and we stayed up conversing into the early hours of the morning.

I awoke slightly hungover. Only Nathan and Brendan were up, so we started getting breakfast sorted. It turned out that no one was really very keen for caving, due to it being really nice and sunny and lots of people coming down with a cold. Brendan was still keen and went on a photography trip down Lancaster with a man called Bill. The rest of us went for a nice walk in the sun and looked at some collapsed holes over Barbondale way. On arriving back, Sam Allshorn had arrived in his van happy after his holidays and we had a nice chat about CRoW, P bolts and more. Back in Leeds at 8, we headed off to Nazams and then the Chemic, and then 9 Beamsley where Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas provided entertainment. Good trip, thanks to Peachey and Brendan for driving and to the Red Rose for having us.