Becka and I were itching to get back down Notts 2 to carry on the Parallel Universe survey. Saturday dawned with a fairly late start by Becka’s standards (10?) (the night before had consisted of much excitement and flaming kettles) and we were off with some faffage at Inglesport to buy gloves.
A quick commute saw us reach previous progress and we started up the slightly intimidating climb that we’d been thinking about putting a handline in for. After deciding we couldn’t be bothered to do anything with the climb we started surveying with the struggle to keep Becka’s disto clean immense. Progress was fairly swift with minor negative progress made when Becka rubbed a station out with her arse, after this I made my stations (especially numbered ones) exceptionally obvious.
After last time (https://ulsa.org.uk/2017/11/25/1111/) we were curious as to what exciting rigging we’d encounter this time. We weren’t disappointed with some more fantastic in-situ ladders, one rigged off a natural that required a minder loop to ensure the main loop didn’t fall off. Further excitement was had upon inspection of the fixed gear in Darkness Visible Rift, a mix of heavily corroded hangers, karabiners and quickdraws (rope rigged for SRT). Becka proved that they were safe by shockloading them but even with this knowledge they are still pretty terrifying and could do with coming out; the spacing off bolts, about 40 cm apart at the end of the traverse emphasised the ridiculousness of it all. Having been teased with this sillyness we went down a rather boring (sensibly) bolted pitch and finished surveying that section, Becka had to lay down in a muddy duck to realise it didn’t look like it went and that we weren’t going down it; after all that it turns out the sods had a dig beyond it and we’re probably going to have to go through anyway, hurrah.
I was pretty fucked by this point (a combination of slight illness and lack of sleep) so put my foot down, after a brief discussion Becka acquiesced looking rather disappointed (she later admitted she hadn’t brought enough survey paper to carry on much further anyway) and we were allowed back to the surface with ~100 m in the book. We’re looking at finishing it off the next time we’re down there, hopefully sorting a trip some of the original explorers to see if there’s any potential leads that haven’t been pushed to conclusion. It’s a cracking little trip off the beaten path in Notts II (described almost in its entirety in the new Northern Caves) and worth an evening trip to poke around at the very least! Currently all up, horizontal and down gear is in there but most of it would do with coming out as it’s in varying states of scary.
The intimidating climb (just before nice for Shorties) was passed without much difficulty on the way back (just as well as we hadn’t put anything on it) with a helter skelter like bridging against opposite walls (arse on one wall, feet on the other) required, we’d made it look a lot harder than it need it to be!
Swift progress was made back to the surface where the weather was fabulous.
Current progress, the next trip will be down the darkness visible rift