After breakfast at Inglesport, where there were some very lovely buns on display, we headed to Masongill and packed everything for Marble Steps. The plan was to take the Sidewinder Route and then head down the Intestines to the sump. This wouldn’t have been a difficult task were it not for the fact that each of us had to carry 100m of rope, conveniently divided into three tackle bags. Not much to report really. The trip was a lot of fun. It had been a long time since I’d done an SRT trip that required so much rigging. The Sidewinder route is always interesting due to the two long deviations. I was very eager to do the Intestine Route as I chickened out at the first pitch (below Stink Pot) five and a half years ago because I thought it was too tight. No problems this time. The second pitch in Intestines was one of the most fun pitches that I’ve done, given the challenge of rigging/derigging and getting onto and off the rope from the narrow crawl, which really wasn’t that difficult.
That’s about it really. Mike and I shared the rigging and derigging. Mike was the true hero of the day though as he hauled THREE tackle bags up the Sidewinder pitch. Not bad for someone with a bad back.
I should also mention that I checked out the Lost Marble entrance. The entrance is a a blue plastic tube hidden behind a rock slab. It wasn’t difficult to find as it’s located directly opposite the Wet entrance, at exactly the same level. It didn’t look like it had been visited in a long time as moss had grown over the plastic tube and the rock slab, connecting them. I crawled in a few feet until I was stopped by a spider web and some very fat, black spiders. From what I could see ahead there was a small vertical rift a few feet ahead running perpendicular to the main passage, which is a body sized flat-out crawl. Deinitely worth visiting again as long as the place is fumigated beforehand.