Tied up in Notts
Saturday, 12 November 2016
Typhon and myself arrived at chapel fashionably late as always. Caving was very nearly called off altogether when designated rigger Zoe decided to not wake up but perseverance prevailed and Luke kindly volunteered himself.
Rigging team set off first across the fell while Mike delivered an unusually horizontal SRT crash course to the new people with Natalie providing rebelay anchor and Rob standing in as a waterfall.
We eventually set off to catch up to the others, Mike demonstrating that he didn’t actually know where the entrance was, orchestrating a body search-type formation to locate the cave entrance, rather than simply going towards the huge shakehole with stream gushing down it.
At the bottom of the entrance pitch I had a nosy in the small passage that goes above and behind the main way on which looked particularly uninviting due to the large volume of water going down it. I returned to the bottom of the entrance to find that the sheer sight of the wet crawling passage beyond the pitch had made Natalie physically sick and was decorating the entrance with puddles of vomit. I convinced her to continue down the second pitch but after some deliberation she turned back, probably for the best. Continuing down the next few pitches there were a few instances of VERY UNCONVENTIONAL RIGGING, courtesy of Luke. My favourite example was a sling wrapped halfway round a column, completed with rethreaded figure of 8, see Fig1.
We got to the bottom of the last pitch without encountering the group who were supposed to have rigged the left route. Rather than wait around we headed back up the ropes where I ran into Mike, Katey and Ash. Turns out they backed off after realizing the left route was too wet and Kayla had got stuck in a waterfall and so headed back to the van. Continued with Ben Snowball up the pitches with little faff. The climb out of the entrance is quite fun and surprisingly easy; I caught Typhon cheating by prussiking up to the first rebelay. Back at the van we were greeted with another puddle of sick (beans on toast I think). Rob had apparently found true joy in solo caving, unhindered by social interactions, venturing into Notts II while he waited for everyone to return. Got changed and waited for the others who arrived back after not too long carrying all the tackle sacks we tactically left behind. Back in Leeds went to Nazaams for curry. Good trip, if a little bit wet and cold. It was good to see everyone competently doing SRT and no major fuck ups, I’m sure Mike was quietly disappointed that he didn’t have to haul anyone. Get well soon Natalie.
Fig. 1: Stangroomian Efficiency
Posted by: George Breley
Width: 195 pixels
Height: 166 pixels
Posted: 13 November 2016