10th-12th February 2012
After a soft sudden rumble and a quick loss of breath, it is immediately clear this is not a situation a caver wants to find themselves in. two human sized boulder’s lay upon my stomach, all while the curved wall hugs the rest of me tightly in an uncomforting manner, An attempt to wriggle free ends in the wall giving me more of the rocks load, constricting me tighter.
There is no getting out of this alone.
Upon arriving to the hut no one seemed to have ever gone to, I was impressed with its location and look, but after quickly getting bored of that, me and Tom took advantage of the snow and some heavy duty bag’s for some sledging fun during the wait for Chris, the key bearer. Unfortunately when Chris arrived we had all gone insane and resorted to a form of tribe dancing to keep warm. We quickly entered the well fashioned hut, got drinking and stayed up to the reasonable hour of three.
After some breakfast and much needed tea, a debate began on which trip’s to do, with the result of a large group setting of for robin’s shaft mine and a group consisting of myself, Machine Mackrill, Tom1 and Chris setting of for waterways swallet with the intention of doing robin’s afterward’s.
The journey to the cave may have been delayed a bit due to the fresher of our group forgetting to put the oversuit in the car, but he got his comeuppance by receiving that suit with the larger than normal tear’s and a lack of pocket’s, after the short delay we got to the cave entrance within reasonable time. We passed through the entrance series with relative ease and quickly started descending down the interesting scaffold holding back ton’s of boulder choke. Close to the bottom I descend toad haul and while halfway down Brendan arrived and state’s I probably should have been life lined, ah well. Then we arrive at the bottom sump which had an interesting crawl to the side tom recommend’s me to do.
Hmm, a nice wet crawl with lots of mud and puddle’s. I crawled a decent distance before getting to a helmet thick gap with a puddle at the bottom that I poke my head through, saw a small muddy tunnel and decide it’s not worth the misery going through that so start to head back. Bumped into machine Mackrill almost immediately, turned out he followed me in and after he finished checking the small gap and came to the same conclusion, I start heading back with him close behind. I quickly find myself passing in-between some rock’s in a slightly awkward squeeze and thinking “I don’t remember this bit” while Brendan is standing above me then suddenly the boulder’s decided to shift, jamming me in process. One rock punches me in the stomach while the larger one lay’s on top of it and then panic hit me as hard as the rock. Luckily though the machine that is Mackrill ate boulder’s like that for breakfast and although he couldn’t lift the top one himself with a lot of effort he managed to roll it far enough to then also move the smaller boulder and allow me to shuffle out in good time (possibly 127 seconds). Fortunately I escaped with no damage done and Brendan releases the rock’s, blocking the hole I was just in.
We head back (the right way) to the sump, only to receive stones thrown at the water I was crawling through, thrown by the oblivious couple. We then talked about the event that just transpired, had a snack break, then my heart finally started to reduce its speed after the shock and we made our way out with a short detour to visit room 101.
We reached the sunlit snow covered earth in quick time and I release a sigh of relief to have escaped that hole but it was still early in the day and I wanted a reminder of how kind caves should be, so we all headed to Robin’s shaft mine. This cave was much better mannered, the 45 degree pitches seemed rather relaxing in comparison and we met the other’s halfway down, while they were making the journey out. We explored most of the bottom in a few minutes and checked out a suss dig then ascended out with me derigging to finally return to the hut just in time for some dinner.
The Sunday trip consisted of everyone still at the Orpheus hut and was a trip down Wapping mine through to Cumberland cavern then back. This was another nice relaxed trip except for the intense heat and the lack of main torch (damn Fenix hp10 is broken already). After a couple of hour’s exploring the large mine and its graffiti’d wall’s we headed back home after a rather eventful weekend with the good knowledge of why not to climb through a tight boulder choke.