Unusually for someone who has actually met us, Matienzo veteran Carol Smith wants to join Black Rose, and today was her first trip with us since Excalibur. As it had been a bit soggy recently and Carol had never seen Gaping Gill Main Chamber, we decided to go down Small Mammal.
Alex and Sharman met us for breakfast in Inglesport, then headed off for their YSS-themed trip to Echo Pot. Carol and I must have faffed a hell of a lot, because when we were about to set off from Clapham those perennial late-sleepers MUSC appeared, unfortunately without Daz_of_absentia. They were also planning on Small Mammal, so offered us their rope for the entrance pitch, to leave rigged for them.
I had a bit of a flickering Nora, so had to use my pretty dim backup light, barely allowing me to see in front of me. Originally, we had planned to traverse across and go down SE Aven, but without much vision I thought it better to minimise the number of bolts I was fumbling around for; so we descended the alternative rigging to the main pitch, via a hanging rebelay. Gnarly expedition guru Miss Smith performed admirably and, with the polite conversation and reasonable noise levels of MUSC (remember Daz was in absentia) approaching the top of the pitch, we sat and waited for our fellow speleologists.
Thus together did we approach the magnificent Hall of the Winds.
After the standard Main Chamber proceedings of wandering around trying to find the best view, we had a quick look beyond the wall into the Chamber of Secrets, then headed out Stile Pot.
As for your Nora light I found that boosting her to a higher setting stopped her flickering. I fixed her by unscrewing the front and then putting rice in sealed her up and left her for a few days before removing the rice. Ensure you seal her up with some sealant.