With 7 in attendance, the groups were split, due to time constraints etc. Dan, Scaife and Carol headed off down Heron for a quick trip while the rest of us (Alex, Chris Sharman, Chris Kelly and Don) decided to go down cup-cake, surely a piece of cake?
The first half of the cave, although a bit thrutchy and a bit muddy in places is really nice cave and well decorated and quite easy for me to rig. Once down the 20-odd meter pitch, the cave requires some more technical skills with some interesting climbs and thrutches up rifts but nothing too hard. Then you arrive in a large chamber series the bottom of which is a few meters from Shower-bath inlet in Notts 2.
But after a couple of up pitches with in-situ rope, the cave began to show it’s teeth. Some thrutchy crawls and easy squeezes leads onto a short pitch/climb which I rigged. At the bottom is a tight rift that you might fit down. What does fit down is a nearly empty tackle bag which Sharman, who though he had clipped it onto him (it’s a constricted pitch head) decided to instead sling the bag carelessly down the pitch and straight down the rift, below, which is several meters deep.
We contemplated climbing down to get the bag, but getting a man trapped would be a far worse position. In the end I decided the best bet was to go fishing. Luckily the pitch rope was longer than was needed for the pitch and reached the floor of the rift. I needed a snap gate with no resistance to hook it with but we did not have one. In the end Shaman found some old bang wire which he then tied around the gate to keep the crab open, with a barrel knot tied onto the end to hold the crab in place. After a while I managed to hook the bag’s strap and pulled it out nervously. (stop sniggering, Don)
That ate up quite a bit of time and the sheer horrid, tight wet and extreme muddiness of the remaining passage ate up alot more time. What’s more Don’s light was failing/being inconsistent as the Rude Nora’s often do. However, once through and having dragged the 80m rope here we were adamant we were going to finish the cave and rig the drops into Notts 2, but time was against us. So we decided to have our cake and eat it, by rigging it and then exit via Notts 2. Kelly took up rigging and rigged the pitch. We were Not 100% sure it would reach (topo says 45 + 40) so, it was rigged really tight in places which could make next weeks trip back up really interesting. We had 3m spare at the bottom.
So this is only part 1. We have to go back through, the other direction next weekend and get all our gear back before the caustic mud corrodes it all!
For none-club members: People who are reading this who are not club members can use the rope bare in mind it will be gone by Saturday, starting at Notts 2 end, and the avon pitches are rigged very tightly in places and are quite awkward.
Why have you written ‘For non-club members’? Surely the only people who will see this message are club members (even though you posted the trip in the public area of the forum)? Unless you posted this on UKCaving as well?
The log book section is the only publicly viewable part of the forum. So this is viewable by non-members and Alex’s statement stands true.
However: The likelihood of random viewing of this post by the public is of course “very” slim. Therefore the chance of random cavers using abandoned rigging by a lightweight team within the next week is negligible. Worth pointing out though, just in case.
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