Monday, 8 August 2011

Maskhill Mine

Mon 8th August 2011

After having done our rope access course Jess said she wanted to do some rigging. As I wanted a bit of a challenge I suggested Maskhill Mine.
Jess and I have done this as an exchange, but fortunately Jess has the memory of a goldfish and couldn’t remember the trip and agreed.
As I pulled out rope after rope out of the stores, & others in the club began commenting on the amount of kit, the look on her face changed a little as she realised what she’d let herself in for.

Equipped with over 300m of rope, dozens of maillons and karabiners all stuffed in to 4 well packed kit bags, we set off up the hill only to walk straight past the entrance which was surrounded with overgrown nettles and proceeded to spend the next half an hour cursing and saying ‘well I know it’s round here somewhere!’

Eventually we stumbled across it, and in fairness you did have to be right on top to see it.

With the first 80m of rope Jess jumped in and did a sterling job of rigging to the Jumbles. I followed with the other 3 bags, managing to drop them right in the middle of  Y hangs at least twice and realised just how much like I proper caver I was becoming, expletives pouring forth as I wrestled bags back into position. 
Switching at Trebuchet Corner I continued the rigging through to pool chamber without event.
De-rigging went fine for the first couple of bags of rope, once we got back to the top of Jumbles I could tell Jess was starting to feel it by the way she was often questioning my heritage. The fact that every 10 meters up the entrance pitches I could hear her struggling to free the bags which kept snagging possibly didn’t help!
All in all a great trip and an achievement for two people to do, but I think I’ll possibly take another couple of cavers next time ;)

Don't know why Jess was complaining, I was carrying the camera!

Present Mark & Jess

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