Uploaded on behalf of Hannah:
A late start to the day saw us set off from BPF at 13:00 and finally get underground around 13:30. I greatly enjoyed the meanders at the beginning of county before the short pitch. Once I had rigged the pitch, we managed to all get down by ferrying an SRT kit. After vetoing an unpleasant looking steep climb down to the streamway, Alice showed us a traverse above which led to a gentler descent into the stream. Whilst going down stream, we took careful note of confusion corner for the way out. We left the stream just before Spout Hall and headed to Battle of Britain Chamber, which was eventually reached after a little confusion on my part with the route finding. We found the ladder at the start of the Manchester bypass and continued on to Brown and Smelly Chamber, which thankfully did not live up to its name. A mallion was donated to the handline on the climb out of this chamber as the current one was looking very sad.
Spangle passage felt longer than the “several minutes” given in the description and the small chambers along the way gave welcome respite from the sideways squeezing. I must admit I was very grateful Alice had offered to take the tackle sack for this section. Once Old English Chamber was reached, a drink and removal of layers was needed before another short crawl. After this a well decorated passage (in which we could walk!!) led to main line terminus. From here we had a quick jaunt to carrot chamber and sat for a while to admire the view before heading back. I was happy with my route-finding practice as I managed to get us down without too many wrong turns and I have also developed a technique for remembering routes which revolves around remembering all the places I went face first… and I shouldn’t have.
The trip out was much quicker than coming as we were all rather desperate for a piss! Alice continued her conservation mission of the weekend, creating another collection of rubbish throughout the trip. In the process, a new game was born, Don’t Drop the Disintegrated Glove; this involved some creative thinking for getting it up the pitch. On reaching the streamway, we went down for a quick look at poetic justice (looks gross!!) and then headed out. The steep climb that was avoided on the way in was attempted on the way back out and with effective use of the ‘beached whale’ technique I successfully got up. The climbs out were less effort than anticipated, which is always a nice surprise, and the surface was reached at 18:15. A brisk walk across the fell got us back to BPF before 19:00.