After some quality nerding in Liverpool, myself and Lydia returned to Aston St where we rendezvous’d with Louise. After managing to persuade her not to drive to Catterick to visit Lil Tony for an overuit exchange, we headed off toward the dales in the pissing rain. The bins provided, with the man in Kirby politely asking us to leave after Louise spilt yoghurt everywhere. We soon arrived at the NPC where Louise was intimidated by a middle-aged woman and panicked herself into lying unnecassarily, apparently a common occurrence. We planned to visit Large Pot the next day, with the aim to go to Rift Pot and back. Packing was done the night before like adults do, which is not surprising given that Lydia is actually 26, and everyone else is 23, apart from Adam Metcalf who is the oldest person I know (actual age unknown).

We were at the cave entrance for half 10, very efficient. Louise tried to take 20m of 8mm rope with her for some insane reason but this was thankfully prevented. Underground to avoid the rain, and Lydia was rigging the 2nd pitch. I take full blame for the following series of events. Although I had been here before, I couldn’t remember whether I had gone through the 2nd pitch head first or feet first, so I told Lydia it probably didn’t matter and she went rigging head first. I waited some time, hearing a lot of effort and some small squeals from the pitch head, then ‘my welly is off but I’m through!’ I then followed head first, and also made it through after inserting my knee into my own head and pushing my leg through a gap with both arms. Louise was already in the passage just behind, also head first, and didn’t fancy reversing. I continued to the bottom and then Louise began to sound quite distressed at the top, announcing that she was stuck. After some discussion, I went back up and pushed her back out of the squeeze. She informed us that she would not be going further that day and that she would happily wait in the car and read a book for a few hours, so Lyds and I continued.

Since we now probably wouldn’t have enough time to go through to Rift Pot since I hadn’t tried this before and didn’t know the way, I suggested we could have a look at the Red Herring Series with the rope we had left over (I had overestimated what was needed for the 2nd and 3rd pitches, a 45m rope for both is plenty). So we did, and it was quite wet. I added an extra deviation part way down the 4th pitch which improved the hang though it was still wet. We ran out of rope at the bottom of the 6th pitch (and the pitch was likely too wet to pass safely anyway) so we turned back and then made our way to the head of Colossus, which involves traversing quite a drafty series of passages and getting quite muddy. Lydia rigged Colossus, then we had a quick run around Necropolis before heading out. Back at the car for 5pm, then at Louise’s insistence we drove to Catterick for a 5 second visit to Lil Tony’s front garden, then back to Leeds. Very good couple of days with the good friends.