Peterson to Mistral: clash of the SUSS lighting clans
Saturday, 31 December 2016
I arrived at the Dump at half 10 after catching the early train to Horton. This proved to be in vain as Black Jewishman and co were not yet roused, though it was entertaining to see Dan Workman being bullied into going running by Emma Battensby. After meat consumption by SUSS and celery consumption by me we set off for Petersons with Death Grips going as normal.
When we were almost at the parking spot on Leck Fell I realised I had forgotten my helmet and light, leading me to use my bobble hat with a pixa 3, much to Black Jewishmans discomfort. He was also disgruntled at my very lightweight SRT setup, which was to pay off in due course. When we were over halfway to the entrance Black Jewishman released a cry of anguish, for we had failed to set a callout. He ran off back to the car to speak with Rachel Vixen regarding this while we pressed on over the pleasant fell landscape.
Soon we were at the entrance, after initially mistaking it for the nearby Smokey Hole, and down the slippery entrance pitches into Roly Poly Passage. The entrance pitches could be easily free climbed if undertaking a pullthrough, though they would be hard to get up due to their slippery nature, and we had a bit of trouble pulling down one of the ropes so it may be worth just treating them as free climbs if undertaking the pullthrough trip. Roly Poly passage was negotiated without much bother, despite Jregs loud thrutching and grunting, and soon we were above the 3rd pitch (there is a handline to help with the skydive down). The third pitch is also free climbable easily and was pre rigged. we crossed the traverse (which really isn’t that exposed) and went up the climb into Svengeland. The 7m pitch at the end of the boulder slope was also rigged, as was the 20m pitch down into the Hall of the Mountain King. This pitch had quite an entertaining deviation, which was a rusted shut screwgate with a broken hinge, so the gate in effect opened upside down! The fast muddy rope was quite fun on an Italian hitch.
At the bottom the excellent sculptures of multi-organed beings were seen and then a swift uneventful exit was had out of Mistral.Overall only around 2.5 hours underground, which was rather pleasant. My sling harness and lack of helmet made for a very lightweight descent, and was in fact rather advantageous in Roly Poly passage as I didn’t get my helmet caught (though a couple if times I did nearly lose my light and hat down the t slot!).
Soon back at the hut and boozing before a great night at the Helwith, then the Cottage, then the Dump again. New Years Day dawned cold, crisp and beautiful and a lovely afternoon walk up Penyghent was had, with a detour made to Hunt Pot, Botch’s favourite cave.
An excellent couple of days, thanks to all, but particularly Rachel for giving me a lift home.