On Thursday Evening Jess hatched a plan to get me out of her hair so she could get on with some work at home and pimped me out to meet Carl and Grant in Buxton at 9am.
After a slight miss hap, having to go back as they forgot their wellies, the boys finally arrived a little later than planned at Morrison's. I had a print out of the route for them so they could lead so passed this on to Carl to take a look at before heading off.
Parked at Peakshill farm we were soon off down the entrance passageway where I suggested Grant have a play in the oxbow on the way in. Carl had a great laugh at Grant's expense, as Grant cursed struggling his way around the tight bend. After this diversion I pointed out the climbs to the upper east and west rift passages and the way to the upper stream passage past Base Camp Chamber.
Whilst I rigged Garland's I Sent Carl and Grant to take a look at the blind October Aven, before we headed off down the crab walk with Carl in the lead.
The Vice had plenty of water and both Carl and I took a soaking whilst Grant simply walked through as if there were no obstacle....the skinny sod...!!!
At this point I suggested Carl take a look at the guide I'd given him and lead the way on, but he had left it back in the car, so I thought I'd have a little fun. Off we went down Razor's edge and on to the fixed ladder climb where even Grant couldn't avoid the water. Following the passage I took them down to take a look at sump 2 where I told Carl this was the route to Geology pot. He began to edge with uncertainty toward a thick bank of foam before tossing a stone ahead to hear it fall in to deep water. I couldn't help myself and had to tell him he was heading in to the sump.
Back on route we ducked under the waterfall and headed off down the correct route toward Geology pot. Bad step traverse had a rope in situ so we continued on to find a hand line rigged climb down futher along. Following passage after this we arrived at the head of Geology pot. Returning to the crawls we think we found Valentines sump, but after a tentative search didn't find the syphon bellow's, but it may well have been further in than I ventured.
Onward we were soon in the Giant's Windpipe where I have to admit the water was rather refreshing, although not as much as the squeels from Carl and Grant would lead you to believe!
After having a poke around handshake passage and sticking our heads around various other holes and climbs we eventually wound up on the traverses.
Although Grant has done these before he was some what nervous of them this time round and even had a 'moment' at the calcite hole half way along requiring a sholder or two to assist.
After this all was plain sailing and we were soon back up the pitch and in to the sunlight.
Back at the cars Carl and Grant realised they'd neglected to bring any spare clothing or towels so had a slightly soggy ride back :)
A great day out and good preparation for a future trip to the east canal.
Present: Carl Knott, Grant Wilkes and Mark Burkey