Saturday 2 May 2015

Dogging in the Forest of Dean

We begun our weekend with breakfast in Coleford before heading to the camp site to meet up with the others.

Ian and Rich were joining Emma, Bartek and Paulina on a trip in to Old Ham.

Chloe, Brendan, Myself and Jess would be heading in to Wet sink / Slaughter stream and would leave the pitches rigged as Emma's team would be heading in on the Sunday.

Brendan was going to cave in his birthday suit, but apparently it was still a little sticky.....I am of course referring to his new Warmbac which he has prepped the stitching with aqua sure. So in his recently repaired AV he announced we would be going dogging that morning, more specifically to see the dog's skeleton in Dogs grave passage in Wet Sink.

We dropped down the 3 fixed entrance ladders and were soon rigging Balcony pitch with a 7m ladder. PenPot pitch was rigged with two 10m ladders and a 50m lifeline which turned out to be a little excessive as the first 10m ladder would just about reach the balcony at the base of the pitch and could be free climbed from there.
After the pitches there are 30m of cobbled crawls before emerging at the slaughter stream cross junction. We headed upstream to Zurree Aven and climbed the waterfalls through to the Graveyard. Passing through Gnome Garden we entered the Chunnel and headed in to the sand crawls that would take us through the three deserts section. Emerging at Vittals we popped in to flow choke passage to an unstable choke which took us to Hall Passage. Here the plan had been to drop through a hole in the floor (Normans Invasion) but after putting a body length in I wasn't 100% sure I would fit through and didn't fancy wedging in the tight rift when there was an easy route to the same place. Chloe took a quick look at the rift, but as the last couple of meters to the ground bells out, decided to also take a look from the other side. Backtracking we entered in to Dogs Grave Passage past paw prints and on to the skeleton of said unfortunate mut. We found the other side of the drop down and had a little play to see if it was possible to drop through. Everyone had a little giggle as I forced my chest up the rift standing on Jess's shoulders with my gut hanging over my belt below ;)
We continued on to the pig trough camp site where Brendan and Chloe made use of the bed rolls whilst Jess and I popped over the traverses to check the route for a future trip to the Snow Garden. On the way out we took a couple of photo's and exited in plenty of time to head back in to Coleford for 80's music and Tapas!

Pen Pot Pitch
Gnome garden

Three Deserts Passage
Now that's what I call a post caving meal!!!

Present: Brendan Marris, Chloe Burney, Mark Burkey & Jess Burkey

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