After a subdued night of BPOTW and failing to light the fire, we woke up at 8:30, forgetting that the clocks had changed. A faff free but slow morning saw us at Lancaster hole at 12:45, Hannah rigged quickly, leaving the pitch as a free hang. Due to the efficiency and forward thinking on Friday after training, I left my tackle sack with my SRT kit and all of the descriptions in chapel, these failed to make it to the car when all the rope was packed so a harness relay was completed so that we could all descend.
Quick caving lead to all of us overheating, stripping off all excess layers and continuing to fall pot topless. This continued for the majority of the trip until the streamway was reached after stop pot.
The majority of the trip was fairly straight forward and efficient, an hour and twenty after rigging at the surface, we had reached stake pot. Wandering on, we passed Bob’s Boss and the trident before ogling at the Painter’s Pallet for a while.
Barely any time later we had reached oxbow corner, with confusion about where we should be heading next. In the end it turned out we were heading the correct way anyway and slid down some muddy ramps into Oakes Cavern. More efficiency lead us to Main Line Terminus, where we left the tackle sack and took the right fork through passage lined with straws, in the end it looked like the straws would keep continuing forever so we headed back towards Stop Pot. More confusion about the way on ensued, purely over how to negotiate the boulders.
After a second snack break, the window to four ways chamber was located before we took a detour to straw chamber, at the top of which two light bulbs in a rusty tin of spam was found which created a new game: Don’t break the lightbulbs. This made the following climbs back to four ways chamber and through Wretched Rabbit more interesting.
Another detour took us down to Eureka Junction to show Michael and Hannah the main drain again, before we finally made our retreat to the surface. A small bottle was found on the way out in a low section of the stream bed that we walked past (we now know it contains carbide).
A couple of drips were located on the way out, showing our “desperation for hydration” as Hannah so eloquently put it. On the climbs out we commented on the new footholds, which we didn’t use and wandered back down a very dry Ease Gill to de-rig Lancaster. Underground time: 5hours