Fireworks Trip - 14-16 November 2003
_ Excellent Fireworks weekend with some classic Dales potholes done.
Report by Andy Jurd , photos by Lyndon here . _
Flood-Stream exchange, plus trips down Ireby Fell and Marble Steps.
Attempt at Bar-Flood-Stream Uber exchange. Somehow my ropes packed themselves (cheers Iain), the others returned from faffing at Bernies, and we were at the top of Ingleborough (2 pm). Like all the best plans, ours was foiled by ULSA sending 17 people down Bar Pot!!! (expletives removed). What a bunch of Nazis!!! (more expletives removed).
Quick bit of team rearrangement, and Lyndon ended up joining James, Bernard and myself for a jaunt down Stream while Dan and Rik joined Colm's 'team Flood' (inc. Steph and Darryl). The top of Stream sounded a bit scary due to highish levels of water. I quickly rigged first pitch/squeeze while the others kitted up. Instead of giving James useless advice as he rigged the rest of the cave, I amused myself by turning upside down while hanging off my harness on the traverses. Looking headfirst down the pitches is a sure way of scaring yourself! Gaping Gill was a bit dark, so we didn't hang around for long. Met team Flood at the junction, they'd been held up by ULSA in Flood (expletives). Showed Colm the way to Stream (don't believe he doesn't know the way) and wet de-rig out of Flood (speed prussiking to catch up with others). Should have worn TSA. Darryl: stop rigging with krabs. Probably offended ULSA people I met by telling them that taking 17 people down Bar was a 'bit rude'. Back for tea and medals while Rik and co were back in time for a tea and a court-marshall. Aparently we just missed NUCC, they were going to go down dihedral, but ended going down Bar instead.
My home-made Catherine-wheel failed to work as did the beer-can mortar. Carbide bomb was more successful. Although it took about half an hour to explode, it did almost kill Lyndon and myself and we approached it!
Dolly Tubs - Alum SE exchange. Plus a trip down Aquamole.
Most people decided to go home or faff. Keen freshers decided to join me and Colm on a Alum/Dolly Tubs exchange. After paying the farmer I set off to rig the SE route. One would expect a hole like Alum to suffer from the usual problems of being over P-hangered, but I failed to spot any at the top so I used a couple of tree roots. About 5m down there is free-hanging re-belay (advise use of sling as foot hold). Airy-scary 30m further down to middle of pot. Final pitch down to Alum stream can be a bit wet. There is a P-hanger at the bottom which pulls you out of water, but rope was 1m too short (it was a 70) so improvised with tackle bag straps. Met up with Luke Steph and Martin. Followed stream down some slippery cascades. Would recommend extra 20m rope as this is quite hard/wet to go down. Didn't go to bottom of Diccan/sump as used rope on previous waterfall. Dipped arse, and back up to Colm's impeccable arrival with Lyndon and Jarvist at the greasy slab. Easy route out of Dolly tubs passing group practicing DRT (Double Rope Technique, or belayed SRT!). Nice view of others posing on their way out as I derigged traverse. Made others go through cheese-press (which I sensibly by-passed), drank tea and didn't fall for Colm's plan to make us crawl through wet streamway on exit.
Superb weekend, two excellent exchange trips and then convinced minibus to go back via M1!