Sunday 1 December 2013

29th November 2013 - Return to the Borehole

With the weather having been dry for the last couple of weeks and with unfinished business from last season, Dick and I set off back to Easegill and the Borehole.

Fortunately the trip to have a look at the pitch earlier in the year was still fairly clear in our minds, so while navigation wasn't a problem, tackle sacks definitely made the trip harder than before.

At an "over or under" decision point I went under despite Dick's misgivings and soon arrived at the pitch with one small problem, the bar to rig the rope from had gone.  I tried continuing, but the way on is blocked.  Returning the way we had come seemed the only option.  Wriggling around to reverse I looked up and there lay the bar, a few feet above, "over" in hind sight would have been the best option.

At the bottom of the pitch we double checked the description and our memories before pulling the rope and heading down the rift following the calcite band in its bottom.  For a short section this becomes almost tubelike, before popping out into a larger piece of passage.

Dick exiting the tube leading from the bottom of the pitch

Feeling pretty smug that I'd managed to get ahead of Dick and unpack camera and flash in order to capture the moment he came round the corner, I pressed the shutter.  Nothing from the camera flash but a sickly whining sound.  A few minutes of faff and it was back to the old open the shutter and fire the flash manually routine.  Not the best way of capturing any "moment", especially not helped when, perhaps to make up for the camera flash not firing, the slave flash decided it was going to flash twice when fired.

With Dick released from modelling duties we continued down the passageway ticking off landmarks both in our memories and in the description.  After another brief photo stop to see some beautiful stal growing from what looked like a bed of straw, it was on to the final piece of crawling before arriving at the foot of the well leading up to Green and Smelly.

Pretties on the way back to Spiral Stairs

With just one set of SRT gear between us, we opted for the free climbable route up into Spiral Staircase which brought us surprisingly quickly to the superbly built dry stone wall at the beginning of the pitches out of Wretched Rabbit.

The haul out of Easegill and up onto the moor felt like hard work, really hope it's a case of not being cave fit at the beginning of the season.

John, Tom, Phil, it's worth noting that Friday night in the Barbon Inn is steak night and it looks pretty good.  It has the added benefit that we'd have to be at the pub by 9!

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