Saturday, 10 December 2016
After a much later departure than anticipated, we pulled up at the dump at around 1pm. Soon after this, Typhon revealed that he had forgotten his helmet and SRT kit from the chapel yesterday after having forgotten his clothes when leaving for the chapel to get said helmet and SRT kit from the chapel the day before. Ben Wright seemed not at all surprised at the lack of organisations of the ‘ULSA retards’, having pulled up at the dump after reporting that Keld Head was ‘pumping brown’. Expecting the in situ ropes that I forgot to stash last time on the first, second and third pitches to be pretty trashed, we set off up the hill, myself with all my kit and two of the six ft scaff bars, which was quite heavy and did not help my hangover. Rowan also had two scaff bars, while George and Typhon had one each. Our efforts to recruit passing three peakers as porters proved to be in vain and we were underground at around 3pm.
The entrance crawl, with 4 SRT kits in a bag and two scaff poles, was not so fun. The rope for twin falls pitch was still completely safe, which was a surprise. Then Easy Passage was a nice relief from the entrance. The rest of the in situ ropes were all in good nick as well, jolly good! The Rift proved to be slightly entertaining, with many poles getting stuck beneath us on pitches. We attached the poles by tying gash rope through the middles and then clipping them to our cowstails. Soon (not that soon) the turnoff to the Hunt Pot Inlet was reached. We concluded that we really need to check the connection. If the digging is to commence in the left hand corner looking forward into the chamber, some cross bracing from the bedding that you crawl under to get into the chamber will act as a good base followed by a series of uprights which will get higher as the digging progresses. Stacking on the right hand side will be easy to do, and capping off some of the flakes on the left would make the area easier to work in.
Then we headed out, much more quickly without the scaff. I removed a lot of the in situ maillons (only 3 are left: 1 at the start of the 3rd pitch and 2 on the 1st pitch, meaning that a team going in will need to take 10 karabiners for rigging). Back at the dump getting changed at half 10. I wish I had worn 2 pairs of kneepads. Still waiting for that dry spell’¦