Crescent Pot (re)surveying
Saturday, 18 November 2017
Chaotic planning resulted in me heading up to the Dales on Saturday to do Crescent; despite a lot of effort Becka couldn’t be persuaded by her secondary option of King. I managed to get a last minute a lift with Mike (the person I live with) up to Kingsdale and thus avoided the train (yay) but unfortunately arrived ~40 minutes late resulting in a grumbly Becka. The thickness (or lack of), of the rope I’d brought generated some further slight grumbles. Efficient packing and wetsuiting up over we headed up to Braida Garth and on up the hill. After a few minutes (<10) of looking; slightly distracted by the hoard of dogs running all over on west Kingsdale, we found the entrance and I started rigging down, it was at this point I realised that drinks with colleagues the previous night had effected me more than I’d though, ah well…I carried on after some avoidable rigging faff.
The third ‘pitch’ was quickly gained and is a truly magnificent bit of walling; how I imagine the foundations for the great wall of china would look like if you unearthed them. [No rope required as you can just clamber down huge steps]. After various climbs, crawls and pitches, we arrived at the 4th and 5th pitch, both awkward with bags. The 6th pitch follows shortly afterwards and rubbed slightly at the top (the last down/first up can alleviate this for others by clipping into the pitch rope (leaning back slightly and acting as a deviation). Both the 6th and (I think) also the 5th had some deviation bolts that didn’t seem to change the hang of the rope particularly, although we could have been being incompetent, although it didn’t seem like it (no more than usual anyway).
The surveying began just before the head of the 7th (handline rigged of a stumpy stal) and as usual with Becka, I wasn’t given any time to put on my extra layers (thin neoprene top) but did manage to get my neoprene gloves on before any delay was noticed. I was furnished with some particularly shite tippex which eventually fell out of my neoprene cuff and floated downstream leaving me with alternative methods (a light coloured rock) to mark survey stations. Becka seemed to be having issues with seeing (something to do with contacts (or lack of), normally an issue when doing book; less when the passage is <1 m wide.
97 m, a lot of lying in cold water and only one leg over 10 m (97 m took ~35 legs) later we arrived at a distinctive formation, discussion ensued about whether this was a suitable place to stop surveying as I was quite chilly. I was sent ahead to see where the small climb down was, a certain amount of crawling (there and back) and I arrived back to a chilled Becka and Phillip who whilst I had gone had also got quite cold. It was decided we’d end here and head back out, with me resolving to come back with some better/less holey neoprene.
Despite allegedly training for (not?) Russia Becka refused to carry both tackle sacks (and they were small by continental standards…) on the way out leaving me with one. Because I’m a moron I managed to get my bag a bit stuck at the top of the 5th resulting in unnecessary faff, once I’d resolved this I headed up the 4th. having learnt my lesson I waited for others and we passed bags through the most awkward section at the top of the 4th following Becka’s advice regarding doing this section with a bag (“don’t!”). More plodding later saw us at a tight,little climb up where Becka thrashed about for a few minutes before eventually succumbing and having to take her SRT kit off, and thus making Phillip take his off too. The crawl below the 3rd got a bit tedious after a bit but it was over soon enough and we were up and out onto the top of the fell.