The last time I had been here I 'd had a few light malfunctions, and although I was fairly sure I would recognise the main routes, I had spent rather a significant period of time during the trip looking at my feet. With this in mind I printed off a survey the week before, and then of course left it at home!
We entered via Price's Dig around 1pm and were soon coated in thick mud as we squirmed through the entrance series and on to Price's Prophecy. Here we paused to take in the chamber so as to ensure we did not miss the route on our return as the entrance is behind boulders and not obvious from the other direction. We then headed off through the crawls to look for the way on to the Busman's Holiday choke ladder pitch.
Jess spotted the drop down through the boulders and we were soon on our way up and down, and up and down, and up and down the many climbs and ladders, until after two hours of unrelenting passage, we were finally rewarded with stunning formations at The Antlers, Urchin Oxbow, and The White Company.
After pausing to take a few quick snaps we continued in search of 'Big Chamber Nowhere Near The Entrance' which was originally my main objective' as this was where I would intersect with any group coming in via the normal entrance for a possible future trip to the Time Machine.
Once we arrived we found previous groups had left a number of surveys and descriptions, so after consulting them we decided we would continue as far as 'The Wriggle'.
This turned out to be a rather awkward looking contortion about 20 minutes from the chamber down some easy walking passage. Very happy with ourselves we about faced for the arduous trip back to Cwnc.
Again we made no errors in navigation on the return and were out well within our planned timings.
Exiting in to a very cold dark night sky with rain beginning to lash down I realised the biggest navigational challenge was going to be finding the car. After following the various paths to no avail, we ended up having to drop right down to the road and double back on ourselves before finding it!
An amazing trip which turned out to be a great warm up for the 5* outing we were to head out on with Keith and Brendan the next morning.
|Jess in Urchin Oxbow|
|Big Chamber Nowhere Near The Entrance|
Present: Jessica Harding & Mark Burkey