Waking to find a good deal of snowfall Saturday morning we headed off toward Clapham full of Christmas Cheer. Derek led us straight to the entrance where Duncan elected to practice his rigging. As Duncan hasn’t had a lot of experience with rigging this took a little time. Jess, then Brendan, then myself sat waiting patiently as Derek oversaw Duncan’s rigging, but progress was slow. To take our minds off the icy dripping water Jess and I sang Christmas Carols,…..though not the same ones and not at the same time…much to Brendan’s chagrin (he said it was like being stuck in a horrific shopping centre at Christmas with no way out)
After a while we heard Duncan on the bottom of the pitch shout up to say he had reached the end of the rope. We then heard Derek shout back ‘that was great.’ To which Duncan replied,” No, I’ve reached the knot in the end of the rope but I’m still 2 meters from the floor!” After prussiking back up and re-arranging the rigging we were finally able to join the other two at the bottom of the pitch.
We then reached an interesting array of obstacles, crawling over, under, and through boulders with SRT kit snagging everywhere to the head of the 2nd pitch which proved to be a snug and awkward take off.
After going to take a look at the 3rd pitch down to meet the stream from Grange Rigg we decided that water levels weren’t looking good and so retreated to take a couple of photos of the formations before heading back out.
We had only been photographing about half an hour, but the water cascading in had changed dramatically, and what had been only damp pitches on the way in were now in full flow. Quickly we retreated up the rope with Derek de-rigging as we went. We finally emerged to find that a lot of the snow had melted and a stream was now entering.
On the walk back down to the car park we were amazed at how Clapham Beck had turned in to a full on white water torrent in the time we had been underground.
A most excellent Christmas adventure with Snow, Carol Singing and laughs, what more could you ask for!
|A Wintery Start To The Weekend|
|Duncan admiring formations below the 2nd pitch|
|Derek at the formations below the 2nd pitch|
Present: Mark, Jess, Brendan & our hosts Duncan and Derek