Andy Jurd, Annie Yiu, Dan Cooke, Dan Greenwald, Goaty, James Huggett, James Kirkpatrick, James Roberts, Jan Evetts, Jana Carga, Jarvist Frost, Joe King, Tom Hamant, Veronique Mahue, Shed
The van was packed, ropes sorted, all ready to go. But where was Le Rik? James brought us the answer: "Rik's not coming because he thought today was Thursday." Fair Enough.
Usual faff-tastic start to the day, delightful breakfast while a long deliberation of who was to do which cave & etc. Shed, Jarv and Jana planned for JH. Alas, Shed's car made it a good 10 metres from the Orpheus before the oil warning indicator turned on in a rather terminal way. Gear was repacked, oil was sought and he managed to limp onto the main road and into a more accesible car-park, leaving a long dashed line of smears behind him. Not very happy, we abandoned him to his fun with the AA, while we regrouped and continued in the 'bus.
I got home around midnight, having had to wait around 2:30 hours in Birmingham for someone to take me on the second leg. -- Shed
Giants Round Trip: Goaty, Dan, Tom, James R, Dan C., Veronique
(Attempt at Maskhill)-then Oxlowe: Jarv, Dimitris, Jana, James H
Escaping the early Faff, JKP, JJK & JC escaped for a walk around the Orpheus, snapping photos of rainbows and vivid green fields...
Of course, when I woke up I thought the trio had been abducted by aliens, and it was only upon overhearing a muttered conversation in the dining room they had actually just eloped from cooking breakfast for a romantic walk. Hairy Arsed Aged Derbyshirian Caver #1: Bloody hell! They're not meant to be on that land frightening coows! Ther farmer has a guun don't he? Hairy Arsed Aged Derbyshirian Caver #2: Aye. But we did a lot worse in oour youth...
Oxlowe: James KP, Jana, Jarv, Veronique
Jana rigged down the entrance pitch, Vero learning all about rebelays on the way down! The next pitch we swapped leaders, myself (Jarv) rigging down and completely failing to notice the 'real' way on and instead ending up running out of P-bolts sitting on a beautifully calcited ledge with a dripping waterfall behind overlooking a visage into an enormous boulder-strewn chamber. Nice stuff!
Powered out as fast as possible in view of wanting to get back to London vaguely on time... Emerged for the last of the twilight, stumbled down to the van that turned up with perfect timing...
Maskhill: James H, Jan, Dan C
Eldon's Hole: Andy, Joe K, Annie, Dan Greenwald
Eldon's Hole is indeed... a hole. Kind of like Alum Pot, it goes DOWN . From disgruntled mutterings I believe that the keen Joe K convinced people to grot around in the funnel like constriction at the bottom, whereupon they all got covered in the exceptionally sticky mud marred with animal bones. Yum Yum. Still, it was somewhere new in Derbyshire!
Walking to the Pub: Tom H, Dimitris
Ok - maybe such a title is a bit dismissive! They actually took a long looping walk via that beautiful escarpment of rock (whose name naturally eludes me at this moment, but towards Edale), and then came back via Winnats Pass into Castleton. Getting properly lodged in a traditional pub, Tom was 2:1 up at Chess while the delish pub meals were sozzled in a suitable draught lubricant.
We handed over JKP to his relatives in the main car park - it was all a bit Glienicke bridge -esque, us quietly cruising around in our communistic minibus, the squirrel and red fox waiting in their enormous armoured personnel carrier to take away the merry Italian ... Tom and Dimitris were extracted with some difficulty (well, the downing of carbonated beverage) and we sped out of Ingleton to deposit a rented helmet at H'n'H before heading for the M-way...
The Journey Home
Took Andy back home, now that his lift (Shed) had broken his car. Andy's got a great place, very convenient for the Nottingham University campus while avoiding all the hipsters living on the otherside. There's a supermarket just near by, but his place seemed a little small - though in truth the paper recycling bin was far cleaner and more roomy than the bottle bank he used to live in...
Jarvist Frost G+