Swan Dike Pot, 6th of May

Swan Dike Pot, 6th of May

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  • #5113
    Scaife
    Participant

    Swan Dike Pot
    Saturday 6th of May
    Chris Scaife, Alex Ritchie, Dan Jackson, Mike Skyrme, Chris Kelly, Chriss Shaman

    A cave that seems to have chosen us, appearing in Alex’s dream whilst he sailed across the Bay of Biscay, to Dan in conversation with non-caving friends and to me, well I just wanted to do a short hard trip. I went to post on the forum my Swan Dike idea and saw that some dike had beaten me to it while I’d been swanning off midweek.

    A team of six set off, easily free climbing the scaffolded entrance shaft. From here, quite easy going to get to the next pitch, some crawling and mild thrutching. The short pitch lands in a chamber and the way on is through a formerly tight squeeze known as the Trick.

    Don Miller may be elsewhere in time and space, but somehow his spirit seemed to haunt us as three very competent cavers turned back at this point. At least they didn’t blame me for their own shortcomings as the Donald undoubtedly would have done.

    There is a short crawl to a very obtuse dog-leg, which is followed by a narrow crawl to the Trick. Following a recent rescue, the walls immediately below the squeeze have been enlarged, making the squeeze much easier in both directions. Xander, Wacko Jacko and I slipped through and said our emotional farewells to our friends.

    After the Trick, there is some wet crawling and a fair bit of tackle sack-grabbing thrutchy rift before the Nasty Weather pitches. We rigged these three pitches with the same rope, all on natural belays.

    There then follows a wet, flatout crawl to the short, final pitch. Dan rather strangely went through the wet crawl without his SRT kit, thus enjoying all of the agony for none of the reward. What he missed was another short pitch, rigged off a tiny stal and knob of rock, a free climb into the water that led to the sump, and a climb up on the left before the sump, leading into a short, flatout crawl to a final chamber.

    The return journey was straightforward enough, if a little cold. Water levels were extremely low, but there was still plenty to wallow in. We returned to the world just before 5pm to find Carolina back from her walk up Penyghent. The cars of our companions were long gone, so I can only assume they made it out alive as well.

    #5114
    cavegod
    Blocked

    So How does the ‘Trick’ differ from before? ive been in it with my feet over the stream and my chest in the tight bit.

    #5115
    Scaife
    Participant

    The walls beneath the squeeze have been enlarged so, on the way in, after going through the dog-leg it’s now a downward sloping squeeze. That takes you almost down to stream level. To get back out you don’t really have to climb up much at all.

    #5116
    cavegod
    Blocked

    Where would you compare it to now then?

    Can’t believe Sharman and Mike didn’t get through! Ive been in it so know how tight it was so has to be easier now its bigger!

    #5117
    Scaife
    Participant

    The actual Trick squeeze is probably no tighter than anything in Pippikin now. I think it was the committing nature of the squeeze that put people off. It’s not a squeeze to take slowly; you’re best just launching yourself into it.

    #5121
    Cavedan
    Participant

    Agree with the pippikin comparison. I got my lardy arse through so think everyone would have fit but it’s pretty intimidating.

    #5124
    skyrmy
    Participant

    Agree with the pippikin comparison. I got my lardy arse through so think everyone would have fit but it’s pretty intimidating.

    Makes for a return trip (for three of us at least) at some point :-)

    #5125
    Xandar
    Moderator

    You can take Don with you as he really wants to do that trip.

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