Tubular

Tubular

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  • #9531
    Scaife
    Participant

    Echo Pot, Echo Pot, Echo Pot, Echo Pot

    Cavers: Chris, Alex and Alex’s friend Pete.

    The first two pitches are a bit awkward at the top, and there’s a sort of tricky section between them, but that is soon forgotten when you reach the bottom of the second pitch and enter the muddy water where shit gets real.

    Alex went first into this flat-out crawl in the cold water, followed by Pete, with me bringing up the rear as it were. I could hear much submersion, spluttering and gasping for air ahead of me, then reached the lowest airspace part – a small, possibly nose-and-mouth-sized triangle above the water. On my back, I was slowly edging forwards, thinking it wasn’t too bad, then the floor gave way and my head dropped underwater. Horrible.

    More waterlogged passage gave us the shivers, followed by a bit of relief with a rocky crawl, then the Birdbath – which would probably be a big deal in most caves, but in Echo Pot it’s just a relief to be somewhere where most of your face is out the water.

    The tight, tubular squeeze was not far away, around a corner, at the end of a straight, narrow rift with a tiny stream. Alex went in headfirst and spent a long, long time trying various techniques but had to come back out. I then went in to have a look at it. It doesn’t look that bad – a circular gap in the rift, not tight on the chest at all but there was no way my shoulders would make it through.

    I reversed and Pete had a go. He’s a thin man, but also didn’t fit. Totally tubular Alex then went back in feet-first and after some groin grabbing managed to slip through. He couldn’t turn around between the squeeze and the next pitch though, so said he wouldn’t be able to rig. I tried the squeeze again, feet-first, doing exactly what Alex had done but my shoulders wouldn’t fit. I’d always thought this tubular squeeze sounded like one that would be difficult for my body shape and I was right. Sweet, check me out. I’m such a beefcake I can’t even get through the cave. Alex, on the other hand, is tube-shaped and this was like a bespoke squeeze for him.

    On the way out, we spent some time lowering the water levels and hauled the tackle sacks through the lowest airspace part of the duck, making it much, much easier. Alex thinks he might one day forget about the horrors of the cave and go back. I don’t think there’s any point in me returning – unless I lose an arm I can’t see my masculine frame fitting through that little tube.

    #9532
    Chris Sharman
    Moderator

    You need both arms extended. I fit through it so I’m sure you do.

    #9533
    Xandar
    Moderator

    You need both arms extended. I fit through it so I’m sure you do.

    True, but then you have nothing to push off and your leg gets stuck in the passage behind you as I found out, prob works better doing that feet first and I think Pete almost managed that approach. I was only able to get through feet first this time and it felt far less scary.

    You also did not fit on our last attempt Sharman, maybe in the past your over suit had fallen apart as normal and made it easier to get through with less width lol.

    P.s. Been editing the video together and you will be glad to know it don’t feature you at all, Chris (Scaife). (As you requested).

    #9545
    Xandar
    Moderator
    #9546
    Dazofcaving
    Participant

    Think I’ll fit :good:

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