Tatham Wife; An Early Start
Saturday, 15 November 2014
An early start (HALF SEVEN!!!) saw us set off to the dales after packing ropes the night before; Matt and I were heading to rig, with one of us being distinctly more alert than the other, (everyone was boring and went to home to sleep). We arrived at Inglesport sometime after 9 (the time I should have been getting up at) and proceeded to fill up, at this point the day started to look up; the largest breakfast that was available was consumed.
We arrived at the lay-by and the weather was a bit overcast. Disturbingly keen to go and check it out at Matt was dressed and kitted up before Id even got my undersuit on With the knowledge of a healthy forecast we set forth following a slightly diverted route we arrived at the ‘obvious shakehole and set forth.
As I had the first bag I went first and proceeded until the first (rope) climb; this was rigged off 2 P-bolts with an asymmetrical y-hang. The stream is followed down twisting canyon which is 24m by the time the first pitch. Arriving at the pitch I didn’t spot the bolts and it was only when I got near(ish) the edge and saw the relatively big drop that I realised it was the pitch (competence yay). I proceeded to rig with relative swiftness (considering how much sleep Id had i.e.. it was slow). I put some deviations in of varying effectiveness and continued to the second pitch with a walk down a slope. After a rebelay round a natural with insitu tat. A brief traverse and then a y-hang; a couple of meters down is a bolt (for a deviation not a rebelayzzzzzzzzzz) a ledge is then reached and a few more meters sees you down on the ground.
The pitchs were sporting and quite exciting with thought provoking rigging required to keep you out of the worst of the water; despite this I ended up piss wet through (mainly due to incompetence).
The way on to the third pitch involves a crawl along the bottom of a hading fault plane (much of the cave seems to be developed along such planes).
After a while stooped walking passage returns and one is quickly at the top of the third pitch. A ~10m drop sees you at the top of (normal?) fault plane. This is descended with the aid of a hand- line (but could be abseiled on if needed). After a few minutes you arrive at the duck. Not having been here I dont know what its normally like but it seemed quite full. Both Matt and I looked at the climb that bypassed it; however it looked a bit scary and we didnt have any spare ropes. Biting the bullet we divested ourselves of our SRT kits and Matt went first; I followed, however due to leaving the tackle on the other side Matt had to go back and get it.
Thus equipped we headed on to the 4th and final pitch; making use of some helpfully placed chock-stones high up in the rift avoiding the tighter section at the bottom. This was rigged off some weirdly placed bolts (a traverse line followed by 1 high bolt with a deviation just below the level of the traverse line) and we continued on to the bottom; with Matt needing to be back in Leeds we decided we couldn’t be bothered to go along the crawl to the sump.
We made swift progress through the cave meeting Brendans group at the entrance (fortunately for them as they were down 1 helmet). Walked down the hill using an actual footpath and arrived back in Leeds at a disturbingly early time (it wasnt even dark).
Time Underground 3 hours, thoroughly enjoyable trip down a sporting classic. Would definitely recommend.