Saturday, 12 September 2015

Saved by the Bell, Fairy Quarry Cave to Hilliers Through Trip

With Jess away and no response to my plea for someone to take me caving at the weekend it was looking like I'd have to do some studying and house work, but fortunately Ms Melissa Bell, back for a couple of weeks from Brazil, was at the club Thursday and itching to get underground before she returns next week.
We made plans for a trip in to Manor Farm Swallet, but upon checking the description in the Mendips guide I found an advisory that the farmer didn't allow access during the summer and autumn months. When Mel arrived I offered her alternatives in The Peaks, South Wales or Mendips and she chose the through trip.
We made good time to Priddy and arrived at the cafe for breakfast to find Duncan Simey awaiting his caving group and so joined him for a quick breakfast before heading to the Quarry.
Mel has been a little spoilt with her weather in Brazil and wasn't keen on changing in the light rain, but I cheered her up by letting her know she'd soon be soaked anyway!
We made good progress through to the flat out wet section before the connection squeeze. Mel made all kinds of sounds of joy as she crawled through the cold water. Shivering, but smirking she got her own back as I grunted my way through the squeeze. We stopped to take a couple of shots of Cambrige Grotto before leaving the camera and continuing on through Suicide choke to the Red Room.
Our return went smoothly with Mel taking the lead....until she went the wrong way through a boulder choke and found herself half in, half out and unable to move. Unfortunately I hadn't yet retrieved the camera and so squeezed in below her for her to push off instead.
The rest of the return went smoothly until the exit. Mel has something of a dislike of spiders and as she made her way up the climb out I advised her not to look up at the huge specimens above her.
It did the job and she had no trouble with the final awkward move and exit through the door all in one fluid motion! ;)

Present: Mel Bell & Mark Burkey

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