Magnetometer 25/11/2023

Magnetometer 25/11/2023

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  • #10106

    Not written one of these for a while so here goes…
    Place Magnetometer
    Date 25/11/2023
    People present Chris Kelly, Carol Smith, Alex Ritchie, Rob Sanctus, Chris Sharman
    Weather Clear sky’s and just above freezing, though it had been raining a lot prior to this.

    Rob rigged the entrance pitch, which was simply off the two ring hangers inside the tube. Note: An oval crab is required here. I went down first so I could film people coming down and I knew the way. I noticed some rope rub and asked the next person down to fix it as I did not have any slings on me. This was fixed with a small sling to the bottom step in the tube. This in my view needed deviation is not on the CNCC rigging guide.

    I filmed Rob coming down who could not see anything, his brand new light had failed. So we spent a while trying to fix this before borrowing a backup light off of Chris Sharman, that he said “It should be fully charged, though several years back!” I would have given him mine as I knew was recently charged, however as I was distracted while getting ready, I thought I had forgotten it. (Though it turned out it was just buried in the bag).

    Anyway now that Rob could see somewhat, I led the way using my memory only and got us down the climb and over Eearie pot into the crawls. This “climb” and traverse currently has an in-situ rope on it, but it can do with P-anchoring and adding the topo as the I think is needed.

    The cave so far was drippy as the stream was flowing on the surface but I did not notice it being particularly wet, with all the rain we had recently. The canal sections were about the same as normal but the cobble “dry” crawls were not that dry with lots of water, but all of it static, presumably from the last flood.

    We all made it through river Styx which when compared to the wet canals we had just came through was a “walk in the park”, well… cave. Lots of filming was done by me in the next decorated sections and we made our way to Caton Hall which was already rigged with clearly in-situ old rope. We ended up using the rope, but I put our crabs on it as some of the mallions looked quite rusted.

    We all descended the pitch but only me and Rob continued on, I had forgotten about Rob’s light situation, otherwise I might had decided this was a bad idea. Rob’s light quickly started to die when we got into Rough crawl. However, Chris had given me a spare battery so we changed it over and then continued. We passed a deep swirl pool of crystal clear water, which is in a complete contrast to all other black/brown Dales water you normally see. We bypassed the duck through a really low crawl and continued down Benefit street, that literally smelled of sulfur for some reason and on into Labour exchange passage, full of spiky pinnacles ready to trip up the unwary.

    We photo’d the Whale and had a whale of a time, before entering the beginning of the Earth worm series and looked up the unclimbed Echo avon, which I believe is 40m high! On the way out, the light began to fail again and by the time we had gotten up the pitch in Caton hall, Rob’s light had almost gone completely, slowing us down as I was having to light his way. Chris Kelly had helpfully took my bag out with my spare light, that I might have had a second go at locating. We exhausted Rob’s new battery and switched back to the almost dead one which lasted about 10 minutes. Luckily in the crawls Rob could simply follow my feet, though I imagine in the wet sections not being able to see anything other than the guy in-front of you might had been a bit scary!

    Thankfully we caught up with the others at Eerie pot (which can be a bugger of a climb if after all that crawling), where Carol was able to give us her backup light and that 3rd light was enough to get Rob out of the cave.

    Trip time: 4.5 hours.

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