After a surprisingly successful 8am meet-up at the kit store we(myself,Max Claire and Botch) set off towards Castleton. Upon arriving at the TSG we soon learnt that the group we were supposed to be ahead of was about to set off. A group from the Wessex arrived at shortly after and informed us around 20 more would be following so we set off towards the cave. A short time and a misplaced key later(promptly recovered from where I had left it in the layby) we arrived and got on with the trip.
The first 3 pitches were mostly uneventful and went smoothly without overly holding up the Wessex group. Well pleased with our progress the trip continued through the boulder choke and towards cow-arse-worms which we avoided and went up some ladders instead. A few small(ish) pitches and a short walk later we were standing at the top of Ride of the Valkyries. At the pitch head we reformulated the plan again as the top traverse was already rigged giving us a bit more wriggle room with the rope lengths and called out to a Wessex group passing far below to no reply. Descending on a pull-through to the first set of bolts I proceeded to rig the Y hang fairly slowly (not wanting to get it wrong) much to the amusement of my compatriots on the ledge above. One by one we descended to a ledge (50m?) below the bolts until only Botch remained at the rebelay. Whilst we attempted to stay warm without falling of the ledge ,Botch performed the pull through by tying the spare rope to one end of the pull side so it would reach the ledge to be pulled down. This done we quickly descended the final pitch to the wrong side of a puddle with a low roof.
Having escaped the puddle we then began our journey back towards Titan. The journey through the boulder choke was considerably harder on the way up (perhaps it had something to do with the tackle bag hooking onto every possible nook and cranny?) Eventually we all made it through to the base of Titan. Upon being offered the choice of derigging and a large tackle bag (Max staying quiet throughout this exchange) I opted for derigging figuring that it would be much easier than going up with 80m of rope( a decision that would come back to haunt us). Good progress was made up the bottom pitch derigging the rebelay as i went and before long I had reached the Event horizon just in time to see Claire begin prussicking. This was where my problems began. I couldn’t remember if it was one rope or two( and the end(s ?) were nowhere to be seen) so to err on the side of caution clipped bits of the rope to each other so they wouldn’t be left behind if they turned out to be separate ropes(a terrible mistake). An eternity later at the top of the pitch i called around the corner for a hand pulling up the rope from Botch who had waited at the last pitch. It didn’t take long for the full extent of my mistake to become clear. The rope had bunched into a tangled mess wrapped around the ropes left by the Wessex group. An hour later Botch had proved he is indeed a master of untangling hopelessly tangled ropes and we were finally at the base of the entrance pitch.
Attempting to prussick out with the Titan rope would have been unnecessarily difficult so I tied it to the bottom of the rope and left the cave. Upon reaching the surface I was met by Max and Claire who had had plenty of time to return to the car get change and walk back to help haul the ropes out of the cave. After a minor navigational mishap in the dark we reached the car spelling the end of an excellent and successful derigging trip (although a fair bit longer than we had intended).