Boxhead – Lyle Cavern Round trip
Sunday, 5 February 2017

The day started well when Brendan forgot to bring any food for breakfast as he had promised to do the night before, having already eaten at Quarry Mount. He also forgot his kneepads and Nathan wished to change his bobbins at the prospect of 80m of 8mm rope to descend, meaning that a trip to Inglesport was inevitable. Further delays occurred when George waited until we wanted to leave Inglesport to have a poo. we did depart significantly before the Lost Johns trip though, who looked doomed to be trapped there for at least another hour and a half.

The rigging was easy until the Kendal Flyover started, along with the 8mm. the CNCC rigging topo fails to describe this area well, and the rope felt very thin making me feel very vulnerable with all the sharp flakes around. I couldn’t find the rebelay bolts so I went back up and sent George down to find them with his rude nora. He found them but couldn’t get to them so sent me back down. At this point it was about 50:50 whether we continued or bailed but I carried on down and found a way of working the highest angle deviation possible from one of the new IC bolts so that the descent could be continued closer to the rift with no rub. I was then able to walk across to the rebelay bolts on ledges and rig the rebelay without any rub. Success! Then I carried on down to another ledge where there was a pair of IC bolts which I think were meant for a rebelay. I thought we were going to run out of krabs so I used my prussic and whistle to rig another deviation. This fear was unfounded however as a number of the P bolts proved unnecessary so we ended up with a karabiner surplus.

After this 3 hour delay, we went on and checked if the Tube was dry enough to pass. This was the case by some margin, and a slightly thinner person than I could have passed it over the top (I think I might have been able to do it with my oversuit off). We then continued along the round trip, my neck now in some considerable pain in light of me being dropped on my head while crowd surfing at a gig the night before. The Cresta Run was easily reached after the muddy climb down and we headed on through the wet wriggle in the streamway to reach the turn left up the crawling size inlet after Nathan sent me down an earlier much smaller and much, much muddier tube under false pretensions.

The fascinating free climb up to the Lyle Cavern Upper series was intriguing, alluring, enticing, esoteric, gregarious and slippery. We continued along the nice marching passage until the Lyle Cavern pitch, which had an excellent pool of water at its head to kick down onto the descending caver. I made sure I was the last man down. On the downside, the pitch was pre-rigged meaning that I had carried 50m of rope for nothing. At the bottom Richard popped out from Groundsheet Junction and ran with us to the bottom of Lost Johns, where we met Katey, John, Typhon and the young male of the troupe, Silverback Stangroom, who had recently seen off a rival male challenging his supremacy in the form of Sam Allshorn . We then headed back out via the Tube, with Brendan derigging the whole cave and even removing the 2nd in situ deviation tat on the Kendal Flyover, which will also affect the main pitch rigging. Overall, 6 hours underground, 3 of which were spent pranging about rope at the start.
A superb trip which I would highly recommend. It was a good introduction to 8mm rigging and I look forward to more. Many thanks to Brendan for driving.


Who’s is the 8mm rope?

Sam Allshorn

Monday, 06 February 2017

George bought it from the inglesport sale not too long ago.

Wob Rotson

Tuesday, 07 February 2017

silverback rivalry
Posted by: Wob Rotson
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Posted: 07 February 2017
Rigging topo for our trip
Posted by: Wob Rotson
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Posted: 10 February 2017