Well as no other bugger seems to want to write it, I guess it’s down to me…
4 of us (Me, Shaman, Mike & Kelly) Went into Easegill with a look of doing some of the NFTFH Sylvester round trip. We decided to use Langcliffs advice and not try and rig the Sylvester entrance as it would be too wet. Nevertheless I wanted to know where the entrance was for a later time. So that was out first stop. We must have spent 30 minutes looking for it each time coming back to a 3 meter long hole with a stream running into it that did not go anywhere. Anyway by reading the description we deduced that the little cave was in-fact Sylvester pot and although the water was only a few inches deep a recent flood must have buried the way on so when it does eventually dry out the entrance would need digging out it seems.
Anyway we used County entrance (We got a permit for both entrances) and followed some of the trip underground with a view of going as far as the end of Mancunian way. We followed the route to Snail cavern though we did not drop the pitch at the end of Manchester bypass and walked round (as we left our SRT kits at County). We then took the obscure side passage from Cornes cavern into Mancunian way. The route from here consists of lots of crawls mainly flat out one of them quite wet. However it is well worth it as you are rewarded with a bit of cracking and well decorated stream way. We did not bring our SRT kits so pulling through the pitches at the end was out of the question (was some old Oxford rope on the pitches) we simply back tracked and exited County. Trip time 4 and a half hours.
My next mission is to see where those pitches at the end of Mancunian way land before committing to the round trip as described in the book. Though I would likely use the County entrance, due to Sylvester being blocked.
Definitely worth descending those pitches at the end, as long as you’re not too well-built, makes a good round. Not one for the wet though as you pop out at Dismal Junction.
I was on a Red Rose trip in 1998 when some rope was left in situ on those pitches, not sure if it’s the same stuff though. Given the lack of visitors to that part of the system it’s possible as it should have survived!
I think the rope date was from 1990s. I have never been to Dismal junction unfortunately (well I don’t think I have) so I would rather find it first from County before pulling through the pitches in-case I get lost! Unless you fancy a trip down there to lead me the way?