Saturday 6 December 2014

Peaking at Titan & out in time for Turkey!

After hearing that the TSG were having their Christmas get together this weekend and were rigging Titan, Jess thought she'd be cheeky and ask if there was any chance of tagging along. Not only were we warmly welcomed to have a limited group join them, but we were even offered Christmas dinner as well!
There were only a couple of bunks available at the TSG, but as Jess and I were stopping in our van that meant there would be space for 2 further people to join the team. Chloe and Loz were the first to show interest so their places were secured.
We all arrived at the Chapel for 8.30am and were soon changed and ready. There were a few large groups on the board going to Water Icicle, one doing Peak and out through Titan, and another doing The White River series. We introduced ourselves and explained that we'd contacted about joining the Titan through trip to come out of Peak Cavern. Excellent was the reply and a key and bag of rope were thrust at us.
"Aren't we joining anyone?" I enquired, but it turned out that they wanted us to rig the entrance shaft and we would be the only group doing the through trip from that end.
As we had never been to Titan before we asked around for directions and were given some vague hand gestures.
Loz drove us up the lane and after questioning a couple of times if I was sure that we were going the right way, gently coaxed her car up the rough boulder strewn track.
It turned out that the vague hand gestures were sufficient to find the entrance after all and I was soon rigging the shaft to enter.
The 45m entrance shaft dropped to piece of passage with pools of water and rounded a corner to the very impressive head of the 141.5M head of Titan itself. I have to say even though I abseil every day for a living this was still something of a knee trembler as you get on the rope. I looked around with my Scurrion on full power and was met by a void of darkness below. As I descended toward the Event Horizon my light pierced the darkness and I begun to appreciate the scale of Titan itself. I whooped like a kid at Christmas as I reached the Event Horizon and the hanging re-belay. I had heard tales of Wal getting hung up here and was careful to ensure I didn't make the same mistake. I was soon at the base of the pitch on the boulder pile and waiting for the others to reach me. As each descended they were backlit by the next persons light as they reached the Event Horizon and the view was amazing. After just over an hour everyone was at the base of the pitch. We made our way through the boulder choke and to JH without any problem. As we exited I couldn't remember which way we turned. I knew we'd be going down The Bung though so figured down stream. I turned left and was met by the water flowing upstream so begun to head the other way. Jess was heading toward me and said that the stream was flowing upstream as well. Odd I thought, Oh well we'd try my way first then and see if the stream way split. We eventually hit a sump and had to retrace back only to find Jess's water had mysteriously changed direction and was in fact flowing downstream. There were no other navigational blips fortunately and we progressed through the various obstacles, traverses, ladders, canals and the infamous Colostomy crawl to the show cave in good time, exiting before the Christmas Concert which was due to start around 4pm.
The TSG did us proud with a fantastic 3 course Christmas dinner and wine flowing aplenty!

Loz and Chloe at the Titan entrance shaft

Loz at the Event Horizon

Jess reaches the bottom of the 141.5M pitch

Ummmmmm where are we?!?!

The girls exit Colostomy Crawl

Present: Jess Burkey, Chloe Burney, Loz Appleby & Mark Burkey

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