The Slow Group Down Lost Johns
Sunday, 5 February 2017
Wanting to get a good trip in, and feeling more confident in my rigging skills, I decided to rig the dome route with Caroline. Underground ahead of the others we set off down the stream way. Assuming the obvious traverse would be considerably obvious we carried on past some drops only later to realize we had missed the traverse. Upon retracing our steps we found the traverse and pranged about the heavy tackle sacks potentially killing us. As we reached the first pitch we began hearing voices in the passage way.
I began to quickly rig the first pitch as the others mocked us for being the slow group. I second guess the description that said it could be rigged from a one bolt wonder, but ultimately went for it not wanting to hold the group up. Upon exiting, we notice the pitched had been re-rigged with a second bolt around the corner eliminating the deviation as well as the one bolt wonder. When we got to Cathedral I started rigging the traverse which was backed up to a seemingly useless thread (useless because the bolts start before the traverse). I tied a bowline, then asked Caroline to double check it as
I continues with the rest of the traverse. Caroline said it was wrong and retied it, and when Alice got there she said it was still wrong and retied it again’¦
When we got to Dome it was Caroline’s turn to rig. Having no 25 meter rope in Chapel, a 22m rope was brought instead. The previous pitch had called for a 30m rope but a 37m rope had been used with only 2m of excess rope to spare. We began to prang and opted to miss out the first bolt of the traverse. The second bolt was just out of comfortable reach. Insert more pranging. We then realized she could clip into the first bolt and rig from there. Problem solved. Caroline and I discussed how much nicer it was to rig without the pressures of boyfriends telling you that you are shit and slow. Caroline began rigging and I heard some discussion from the pitch above and decided to check it out. The was some discussion on how to do the deviation which was soon sorted out and I gave Kayla instructions on how to help anyone else who was struggling as Caroline was shouting for me. I had run off with the sling she needed for the deviation. The pitch was tightly rigged but we had just enough rope for the bottom.
Caroline and I waited at dome junction for 15 min, 2 of which Sam Allshorn was there, before he decided going out knots 2 would be quicker than waiting for the rest of the group to descend. We could hear them in the passage and we shouted at them but they didn’t respond. When we gave up waiting, I drew arrows at the junction and pissed off down the rest of the cave. Who’s the slow group now?
We ran into Sam Allshorn at the top of the final pitch where he informed us that he didn’t know where the centipede group was or who was going to derig. He then asked us if we had a pulley and traction as he suspected he would be hauling the slow group. Caroline and I didn’t hang about at the bottom of final because we didn’t want to get derigged on. When I got to the bottom of centipede the now very slow group was just getting to the top of the pitch. Sam Allshorn followed them out while Alice and I discussed derigging and Caroline caught up. Alice went down to catch up with the others and Caroline and I headed out. It was the perfect trip with no queuing at pitches, no derigging and a much increased confidence in my rigging ability.