Pip - Extreme ways - Peterson
Saturday, 8 March 2008Finally a weekend of caving. (I've been trying to go for weeks but unfortunately recent attempts have been Jeppsardised)
We were looking to do something exciting and awkward, but unfortunately the weather said NO to all the trips we had in mind and Tom had been down Trapdoor recently. So a major wet weather re-think was had and we came up with a plan. Down pip, down extreme ways then out Peterson. Henners also travelled up to join us when he learnt that Broken Finger was no longer on the cards. So off we set with the 'Sword of Power' waving out of the van window.
"HE-MAN" (imagine the words with music and dramatic scene change)
This plan probably turned out wise as it pissed it down. Pip was quickly passed as ever, the boys having done it two days previously getting some de-ja-vue, though I must say that them taking off SRT kits between pitched must have significantly slowed us down (yes my harness is going to be fucked again very quickly - but I don't care - its become a matter of pride now).
SRT kits were abandoned near the Hall of the Mountain King and we progressed on to Gour Hall armed with a ladder (kindly loaned to us by Dave Ramsey), a short rope and a couple of slings hopefully being enough from memory.
From gour hall, extreme ways leads off as a square shaped low crawl leading off through some nice crotch-wetting pools which were greeted with much enthusiasm by the rest of the group. Here Henners decided to leave us through Mistral as he hadn't been caving for ages.
At the awkward climb up He-man almost tried to blob but I'm sure the usual fear of abuse and ridicule from his good friends gave him the extra inspiration to wriggle on up through it.
Luckily the rope and ladder were enough to see us to the final hall where I failed to persuade the others to continue along the final rift - "What's that Noah? I can't hear you from halfway back up the pitch"
I'd never done Peterson before so was looking forwards to ticking a new entrance(exit).
The final pitch was ascended on the in-situ rope which was deviated to run over a lovely sharp flake, then some minor route finding undertaken and some obscure tight dead-end passages explored with the tackle bags thrown in just for fun "It's definitely this way guys"
The next section for some reason remains rather vague in my memory but I recall some climbs before reaching the rope up into Rolly-Polly passage.
Skeletor ascended the rope first and was eventually passed a tackle bag. I continued along the crawl with the first tackle bag and was followed by He-man. After which I heard much faffing and was asked the usual advice "What's it like up ahead?" etc etc where Skeletor cruelly deceived He-man and told him to just roll the tackle bag in front, where it got stuck in the rift. Skeletor continued along the passage, with the cursing behind growing fainter and more distant.
The passage requires constant rolling onto ones back to get round the corners and is made much more exciting with a full tackle bag. (Flat out on back with arms stretched above head tryng to lift tackle bag out of crevice which can't be seen from this angle and with lots of dust falling into mouth and eyes from roof)
Eventually (it seemed) i arrived at a place large enough to sit up with an inlet and waited for Tom to arrive with the Tackle Bag (He-man obviously forgot his sword of power today). Then another couple of short tube-like sections with more awkward twisting passage arrived at the entrance climbs. Here I was rather disappointed to learn that we'd just done rolly-polly passage - which I'd thought was just a rift leading up to Rolly-Polly passage - I suppose it's what you get if you try and get any kind of passage description out of Tom.
An excellent and varied trip which was greatly enjoyed by all. And surprisingly refreshing from the usual 'wet-weather' trips.
Cavers preparing for trip
Posted by: Noel Snape
PostedTuesday, 11 March 2008
Last updatedWednesday, 12 March 2008
© Noel Snape, 2008. The copyright for this article remains with the author. It should not be reproduced without permission.