With the ambitious plan to meet at 9am on a Saturday morning, I was surprised when me, Botch, Adelaidae and Leo were assembled in the kit store at 9.20. Leaving Wob and Lydia in charge of Fir Street, we set off for JH and were changed with little mishap in no time. Adelaidede rigged the entrance pitch while Leo and Botch were the perfect pair of backseat riggers. I stayed out of the whole affair, until the other two disappeared behind the windbreak at the entrance and I was left to fill the role of unwanted advisor. Eventually, with only a handful of “oh fucks”, Adelaide descended and we were all quickly underground by 12pm (a miracle!)
From the bottom of the impressive entrance pitch the awkward Cart Gate passage made me quickly realise I am not very cave fit at the minute (my last attempt at caving ending in my handing head first over the pitch head of the 2nd pitch in Large Pot with Wob pushing on my head to assist my hasty exit). However, I enjoyed this section of interesting passage, somewhat reminiscent of the Ice Cream Trail in Rowter but with more false floor. At the head of Bitch Pitch I nimbly hopped over Adeleaide to take over the rigging. Having never been in JH I didn’t really know what to expect, but Botch helpfully shouted down that there were several rebelays. I proceeded to rig every bolt I found as a rebelay, resulting a short rope. This led to us all sat on various bolts rerigging in succession to allow the rope to reach the floor while singing Arctic Monkeys.
After this short bit of fun faff was completed we quickly regrouped in the Workshop and I set out to rig the alternative route down Leviathan. Having seen this chamber previously from the bottom on the way from Peak -> Titan, I knew it was quite impressive, and thoroughly enjoyed the funky route down which I’m told avoids the shittiest loose bits but still manages to take in lots of shitty loose bits.
Once at the bottom we set off down the ladders for Speedwell streamway and headed up into Cliff Cavern. Here Adlaleide decided not to join us in the up pitches, having visited them before and being reluctant to return. I thought she was just being lazy and proceeded with vigour up the short pitch to the Tyrolienne into Joint Effort. I sat for a while watching Botch faff around and he set of making good speed, and I was quickly rigging my ascenders and pulley. I then had a right bitch of a time. I found that the best technique with the least rope rub and the fewest bits of gear being used incorrectly was to hang under my jammers like a sloth while stepping diagonally in my footloop and pantin simultaneously. It was a bitch, and felt like to took forever, which I was quick to tell Leo and Botch as soon as they came into ear shot.
Once at the top and in the final chamber only a few meters away, I was assured by the others that the trip up would be worth it for the fantastic time I’d have zooming back down the Tyrolienne. I sadly found that this was not the case, as the thick manky rope made for a slow descent and I got hung up still 3 feet from the pitch head. Back at the bottom, I decided that I agreed with Adleaide and I would not be returning up to Joint Effort.
After this we made short work of getting out, with Leo derigging first, regrouping in the Workshop to swap around bags and Botch finishing off the job. At the bottom of the entrance pitch I heard a shout from Adelaide who had reached the top, apparently flummoxed by the underside of the lid. Leo shouted “push it” which seemed to be all the encouragement she needed and we all were out and back in Sheffield for 7.30pm.
Overall I enjoyed JH as a varied trip however I found in some intangible way it did not live up to my expectations.
On returning to Fir Street and having consumed a hasty tasty veggie chilli con carne, we discovered a terrible crime had been committed on the premises. We don’t want to jump to any conclusions about the culprit, and as such I have enclosed photographic evidence of the crime scene and I invite any readers with information to assist in our investigations.