Saturday 23 February 2013

Cnwc & a one legged Grimes

Having always maintained the entrance series to Darren Cilau is the most arduous of any cave, Mr Grimes decided he fancied a go at 'the easier way in to the system' with the added bonus of trying to get me stuck in the squeezes from the other direction.
I had jokingly said my counter plan was to break him before getting there so I wouldn't have to face the entrance crawl. A throw away comment that turned out to be a workable game plan after all!
A couple of weeks ago Andy managed to walk in to a chest at work and give himself a poorly leg. A few people had suggested he get it checked out, but in typical Grimes style he'd shrugged them off saying it'd be fine. After a couple of weeks of resting it we set off to attempt a through trip from Cnwc to Darren.
No sooner had I arrived at Andy's and got a cuppa than Mel arrived to pick us up. Brendan had given us warning of diversions on the M50 and although it added a bit to the journey we arrived in good time at the car park and were soon complaining about the cold and trying to figure out why we didn't have more sensible hobbies. A hint at the temperature over the weekend was the two inch thick icicles in the entrance which looked more like prison bars, unfortunately they weren't as strong though and Andy was soon breaking his way in. We quickly made through the entrance crawls and sump bypass. It was around here Andy began to feel some discomfort, but was determined it wasn't going to impede him. On we went through to Price's Prophecy and through to the next section of crawls. These really took it out of Andy and we had to  make a decision if we should continue. After taking 5 minutes it was decided to press on for a bit. We continued through Busman's Choke and on to the start of Antler Passage. Here Andy  checked his knee, it had begun to swell and skin was peeling off. At this point we were an hour or so in and knew it was going to take quite a bit longer for him to make his way back out. We'd allowed plenty of time on our call out so there was no rush. Andy was obviously in pain and was having to stop every couple of hundred meters, He was trying to crawl using only his one good leg which resulted in a two hour return to the exit.
Sat in a warm pub half an hour later with a pint and a steak in front of us Andy conceded he may actually have to visit the quacks after all, so I may have to find another way to hobble him on the next journey!

Andy in the Prices Dig Entrance

Present: Andy Grimes, Mel Wakeman & Mark Burkey

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