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.

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