Sunday, 9 March 2014

Panda-Moan-ium in OFD Top

On Thursday Andy approached me for a gentle Sunday trip, so as Brendan, Chloe and I were to be in South Wales for the weekend I invited him to join us on the Sunday for a trip in OFD Top Entrance.

As Brendan had a meeting to attend it would just be Chloe, Andy and I on the trip. There were a couple of areas I hadn't visited since getting in to the photographic side to caving and so thought I'd add these to the usual suspects of the more tourist parts.

Our first objective was to do the awkward 25ft climb up to the Mini Columns. I went up first and rigged a hand line. Now both Jess and I have been known to strip off our over suits in the past to facilitate a tight squeeze, but I'd never before heard of anyone shedding their over suit for a climb!
It transpires that although Chloe's new custom made suit is very slimming, it is somewhat restrictive when attempting a climb that requires you to put your foot over your ear. To both my and Andy's amusement not only did Chloe declare she was stripping, but she was following Jess's trend of wearing an Animal theme onesie! Unfortunately I was a little busy assisting otherwise it would have occurred to me to get a picture of a Panda clad Chloe performing the climb!!! Oh well maybe next time : )
Andy was next and managed admirably without needing to use the hand line.
After Chloe put her kit back on we continued on, our route taking in the Mini Columns and then past White Arch and on through to Edwards Short cut. I slid down first showing Andy how to control the decent. Andy then replicated the technique, followed by Chloe who didn't bother with the controlled part…..fortunately Andy and I provided a nice soft landing for her ; )
Everyone had no problem with traverses and we were soon at my next photographic objective; Frozen River. After a few more pictures we reversed our route, taking in  the awkward, occasionally snug, crawls and rift alternative to the slippery climb back up to Gnome passage. At this point we only had a few hours left till our call out so I gave Andy the choice of what he fancied doing. His reply was he fancied doing the same trip as Keith and I had taken the others on the previous week, so at a reasonable pace we replicated the previous weeks route. What I hadn't known was that Andy had only had a few hours sleep the night before, having been in North Wales.
By the time we exited a rather overheated and tired Andy was very glad to get back to the club for a shower and cuppa before the long drive home.
Andy in Frozen River

Andy admiring the Mini Columns

Andy at the end of Frozen River

Present Chloe Burney, Andy Williams & Mark Burkey

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