Sunday 27 October 2013

SRT Trip to Hillocks and Wharf

Having promised Ian and Becca a novice SRT trip into P8, as the day approached and weather warning started, a back up plan was devised,  to do an exchange trip from Wharf mine to Hillocks. Although the weather seemed reasonable on the day, group discussion over breakfast came up in favour of the mines exchange, as we could park fairly near and the trip would be fairly dry.
It turned out to be an excellent plan with something for everyone - except Phil, who broke down on the way and had to spend the day sorting his vehicle! From the Wharf end, Chloe did her first lot of rigging, under supervision from Mark, which included a difficult deviation and rebelay, and Ian abseiled right down to the bottom of the Engine shaft. From the Hillocks end I rigged the pitches (for the first time in ages, but didnt want to worry Becca with that information!) and Becca coped admirably with the SRT.
We all met up under the Engine Shaft and had a poke around all the tunnels, then realised we had a perfect opportunity to practise more SRT so we girls went back up the rope, past deviation and rebelay, across the ledge and back down the straight engine shaft rope, where Mark made the girls practice changeovers.
Once Mark had derigged the extra rope we all made our way out of Hillocks. The ascent is awkward to say the least, but Ian made short work of it with a little help from Mark and some excellent coaching from Chloe at the awkward pitch head. Becca took it all in her stride, in spite of the fact that her chest croll sprung open twice on the ascent - she just swore, snapped it shut and carried on.
Once out we pulled up the last rope, jumped in the cars and we were in the pub with hot drinks within minutes. A very successful day!

Present: Mark B., Jess H., Chloe B., Becca K., Ian M.

Saturday 26 October 2013

OFD 2 - An Introduction to the Joys of Caving

This trip was arranged for Josh, to give him a taster caving trip. I also had an ulterior motive. With a frozen shoulder I needed to see how badly it has affected my ability to go caving. Amy had recently contacted the club with a view to joining so even before I had met her, I asked if she would like to join us.

I selected the route which I believe gives new members a really good caving experience. The route was Big Chamber, Gnome Passage, Swamp Creek, Judge, Trident, Crossroads, top of Maypole Inlet, Cross Rift, Shatter Pillar,Selenite Tunnel, President's Leap, Crossroads, Salubrious Streamway and back out.

Everyone seemed to enjoy the trip, especially Josh and Amy, so hopefully we will see both of them back at the windmill demanding more trips.

Some video was taken using pre-positioned fixed lighting. It may appear on YouTube sometime in the future.

And how did I get on with my frozen shoulder? It was the best physiotherapy I could have had. After the trip I had a lot more movement in my arm. Unfortunately it has stiffened up again now, so I'll just have to go caving again.

Present: Josh Anstey, Pete Anstey, Jess Burkey, Mark Burkey, Keith Edwards, Andy Grimes and Amy Sawyer.

Saturday 19 October 2013

Lugubrious Streamway - OFD2

Our original plan was to visit Deja Rue, but due to a late start we decided on a shorter trip and to head down Lugubrious and return via Midnight Passage. We headed into towards Edwards Shortcut via a route that was alleged to miss out the traverse, but joined Edwards shortcut just before the traverse. Jess and Chloe headed across while Brendan headed with Mark via a longer route to all meet up at Shatter Pillar. Once back together we headed dropped down the hole behind Shatter Pillar to take the short passage to the hole down into the Lugubrious Streamway. We all fitted through easily this time and so started our plod down the stream. We stopped off at the balcony that overlooks the Main streamway to take a couple of photos before heading down to the end of the passage.

Formations in Lugubrious Passage
Chloe viewing formations in Lugubrious Passage

Formations in Lugubrious Passage
Jess viewing formations in Lugubrious Passage

At the end of Lugubrious we were again able to look down on the Main streamway before we headed back and took the passage on the left to head to Midnight Passage. We then headed out along Cross Rift with Mark exploring a horrid low crawl that he found in the side of the passage.

Present: Chloe Burney, Jessica Harding, Mark Burkey and Brendan Marris