Rowten Pot
Saturday, 29 November 2014

The Friday saw a great event take place when Rowan Scott (CPC, sick mind) arrived with his van in time for some interesting tomato soup from the Waitrose Skip and some fried vegetables. We arrived at training to find few people present; Rowan completed the 80m prussic in short time in spite of his 18 mile run earlier in the day and Brendan categorically failed to perform a mid-rope rescue, his current obsession. We went to the pub, Strawbs and home soon after with Caroline and her giggling, mad form in tow. The phrase get a grip was duly assigned, with many variants to follow.

We got up at a reasonable hour and Caroline was still pistian fukt, so Rowan transported her to her house to reflect on her antigrip actions and collate her caving gear and then Nat to the chapel. I arrived to involve myself in the packing of ropes and overall faff. Rowan, Antigripera Mechanism and myself departed for the dales, with detours to Beamsley for Rowan to have a shit and to Ilkley to visit John and Margaret Scott and see Rowans bike. We arrived in the thief to partake in food and looking at technical performance clothing. Rowan, kill the body and the head will die and myself drove to Kingsdale, where Rowan managed to get his van totally pistian fukt in the ditch. After applying a 5:1 hauling rig about Matts car, and burning out the clutch on Matts car trying to tow him out, we left it there abandoned and went caving, with Matt, Sarah and Lyndie off to Swinsto, Rowan and Nathan off to Simpsons, and Nat, Dan, Antigrip and me down Rowten.

It took us a little while to locate the entrance, which is surprising because its fucking huge. It took us a little while longer to find out where to start rigging. We were doing the main Gully route, which we eventually found. I was rigging for the day, so got to work. It was an error to not have the 80m rope used to rig the first 2 sections in a tackle sack, because it flapped all over the place and was generally a twat. Some of the bolting was also not what I would have expected. It took me a little while to get into the swing of things and fuck about with the twatty rope, but once wed gone passed the initial pitch to the side of the main waterfall I started to pick up the pace a bit. My first bowline on a bight of the day looked slightly odd for some reason (though it did hold and Im pretty sure I tied it properly), so after that I stuck to the classic fig8 alpine butterfly combo.

After the second pitch, Antigrip decided she could not get a grip and continue so Nat escorted her out of the cave, leaving me and Dan to see how far we could get. We persevered to the bottom of the main hang, after I had missed a rebelay bolt round the corner and fucked off straight down to the bottom with high rope rub potential, realised that no one would be so stupid as to rig this as a main hang and come back up. Once at the bottom of the main hang, we had a quick break and then continued. We had rigged the third pitch before the main shaft using a 10 for the first traverse and 20 for the proceeding drop and traverse to the main shaft. We had a 40 and a 30 remaining. After lobbing a sling onto a bolt above a slightly tricky climb, Dan and I continued to the next pitch. I rigged this reasonably efficiently, though we only just had enough rope to get down on (abseil to the bottom and then swing onto a ledge to derig your descender, then climb down from there). We wondered along the bottom streamway for a bit until we reached the sumps. This meant we had got to the bottom without using 30m worth of rope. Odd. We turned round at about quarter to 7 to derig. This process was surprisingly painless and efficient, with us out on the surface by 8:15. Back to the car, and Rowan had driven off to the Harts Head with the others and my dry clothes. We arrived there in due course. I got changed, we sorted gear and then we fucked off, back in Leeds for 11:30.

Overall, an excellent day out and a fine trip. Thanks to Nat for organising and getting a grip on Antigrip.