Sunday, 5 October 2014

Off On The Crusades Before going Off on Holiday!

As Mr Grimes was arranging a novice SRT trip in to Oxlow I decided a through trip from Maskhill would be good practice for cavers going to Mallorca at the beginning of October. After having been to Hidden Earth I also fancied a poke around in ‘New Oxlow’.

After parking up, changing and paying our fees to the farmer we were about to head off up the hill when I realised I had neglected to bring a memory card for my camera, so after some faffing Helen came to my rescue with an SD card from her camera.

We trotted up the hill with a tackle sack each weighing us down and were soon jumping like lemmings down the entrance pitch. Chloe wanted some practice and took over the rigging between the 2nd and 3rd pitches and we all made swift progress down to the connection with Oxlow.

Here we met up with the other group and posed for a quick group shot before continuing up the pull through in to Pilgrims Way. Here we dumped our SRT kits and after a reasonable amount of crawling we passed the Giant’s connection and were rewarded with larger passage way. We continued on exploring all leads until we came upon a pitch up and a pitch down. Unfortunately none of us had any SRT kit as we hadn’t expected to need it so we did the 20 min’s of crawling again in both directions to retrieve it. Chloe and Jess went up toward the new Crusader extensions and I began setting up a camera shot only to find out I was out of battery….Doh!

Instead I headed down the pitch and into the crawls and ducks that continued through the New Oxlow Extensions. Upon returning to the foot of the pitch we all re-joined and headed back to the elusive connection to Giants. We had taken a look at the horrid looking tight, flat out, wet way in to the chamber of horrors a few times in the past. Helen began taking the lead before deciding it wasn’t looking very pleasant. I encouraged Chloe to give it another go and with a little digging and with me wedged in the tight corner she managed to push through the tight squeeze. Turning around she actually found it easier to push back through. Feeling a little hypothermic we regrouped and headed out via Oxlow.

A great trip and a few places now to revisit!

Present: Helen Nightingale, Chloe Burney, Jess Burkey and Mark Burkey

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