Grotte du Lancot
Monday, 31 August 2015
It was the day after Gouffre des Ordons (really cool chamber with lots of pretties) and we were going home the day after. We wanted to end the trip with a cool cave so we looked through the beautiful waterfalls section of the guidebook. Once our beautiful waterfall cave was selected we headed off, with me and Rachel in Joes van. Continuing a running theme Joe tried to convince Rachel (unsuccessfully?) that her and Luke were meant to be.
We arrived at the parking spot and it was hot, fucking hot; because of this we decided not to walk up the hill in neoprene, Rachel nearly wore slutty shorts up the hill (but decided it would be to inappropriate) whilst I headed up the hill in a pair of (appropriate???) grimey, horrible, slightly revealing grey pants instead.
It was a beautiful walk through the woods and I was enjoying the fantastic views as a slight breeze flowed (all) around me. My enjoyment was swiftly curtailed as we came across some small children and I had to scurry past slightly embarrassed, helmet protecting my dignity.
We came to the exit supposedly an impressive waterfall into a small lake. There was no waterfall but there was a scummy puddle, carrying on along the path a bit we came to the expected fixed rope(s). Slightly fucked fixed ropeoh goodas the lightest member Joe buzzed up to belay us from the other insitu rope whilst we prussicked up. The rebelay krab was one of the oldest and oddest karabiners Ive ever seen. Just as I came to the top a shit ton of rocks fell down from above me and Joe. I shat myself. The team beneath us shouted at us. At this point Joe told me the rope around the tree was not backed up. Pure unhappiness.
I continued up along the ropes (which had become a sort of sloping traverse line) and got happier as the adrenaline kicked in. The vegetated ropes and shit rocks were scary but the most annoying thing was the constant falling over on the shitty steep soil covered slope. By this point Ems was just about coming up the pitch whilst it continued to rain rocks.
After ~50m of fixed ropes I came to a scarp with a rather odd traverse line going right, it seemed to disappear into a tree. Thinking that enterprising use had been made of a natural I set along. Unfortunately this was not the case; a tree had just fallen onto the traverse. Thus I unclipped myself and shuffled along on my bum yelling back to Ems that we should probably rig our own traverse.
Mostly done, me and Ems were stood by the entrance fine tuning the rigging (read chopping out shit insitu rope so you could actually use the hangers), and as we were doing this another shit ton of rocks fell down pretty close. I shat myself again. Simultaneously we lept into the entrance, me with knife in hand nearly stabbing Ems. We sat in the entrance and waited for everyone else to come up. The caving could begin.
After a brief crawl we entered the Gallery Dalton, a pretty uninspiring, dull place (like namesake?) with the only item of interest being a discarded tie. After some confusion, the way on was scouted by Joe, up more (decidedly better) fixed rope and through various muddy crawls into a large chamber.
The way on here was down a rift rigged with fucked insitu rope, I knotted off one fucked bit and put my descender on beneath the missing piece of rope (hurrah for long long cowstails). I abseiled into a LAKE. MY NEOPRENE WAS NOT IN VAIN (in reality it was as you could avoid getting wet). A boring traverse to avoid the water led to the head of a pitch equipped with steel wire. Pull through arranged we abseiled down into an impressive chamber (still no waterfallsGRR) with a large telegraph pole propped up against the pitch.
A cool traverse along the head of a rift led us through several bats to the final pull through down next to the smelly puddle. An excitement filled trip but pretty disappointing in dry weather. We came back to the where Holly had left her clothes to find that someone had gone through all her stuff. We headed to the supermarket where the local soldiers tried to make friends with Rachel.