An ace hard trip to a new part of peak for me, and from the off looked like an interesting one for Rob2 who was probably going to get cold feet and very cold ankles in his trainers having forgot wellies! Ha.
The two of us went in through JH unsure if we would need to rig it all or not. With a big bag of rope each we were relieved to find bitch pitch was rigged and would make the trip much easier. We regrouped at the bottom of Leviathan before heading up to Calcite Aven which was very drippy as usual. following the water up past the junction to western highway in to Donatello’s Aven was wet until we came to the siphon from the sump which luckily started first time. We waited almost 30 minutes for enough water to drain for it to be easily passable but still required full immersion in the cold water. the other side revealed another small aven with a rope up to a tricky pitch head into a lovely tight crawl named the Shredder. After struggling to remove our SRT kits we set off along the 100m ish gnarly crawl dragging a pair of tackle bags with us. Finally after yet more cooling dips we reached our destination and I had an explore around the end chamber while Rob started de-rigging the gear left there from the original exploration.
Now the hard work began after stuffing 40m of wet rope a large section of red pipe and a crowbar into ‘Big Piggy’ and attaching a long section of green piping to myself we set off back down the Shredder cursing the tackle bag with every push. As we passed the other bits of rope the ‘Little Piggy’ started to put on weight too. Due to some fluke of timing when we got back to the sump the siphon had just reached the tipping point of draining all the water before filling up again allowing us easy passage back through. I strapped on the siphon pipe to add to my load and we carried on down back to Calcite Aven where we left the two sections of pipe.
Shortly after starting back down calcite aven we heard the sound of rushing water from the now refilled sump we had passed minutes earlier, and anyone who’s heard an approaching flood pulse will recognise this unnerving sound. We hurried our descent to try and avoid another soaking and just about managing.
From here out was more or less a standard trip out of JH with the addition of two little piggies full of gear. This was the point when we became very glad we didn’t need to de-rig the 200m above us and only needed to haul out the rope up the entrance pitch which wasn’t an easy task for just the two of us.
Still all things considered and some more things forgotten it was a good trip and gave the very satisfying all over ache that only a good hard caving trip can deliver.