Weekend Trip 14/15 December 2002

Andy Jurd, Colm Carroll, Joachim Brod, Lyndon Leggate, Moritz Guenther

Report by Colm Carroll

An elite force left stores at a surprisingly early 7pm and hit the M40 in no time. The new policy of shopping en route seemed to pay off, as we arrived at the NPC before 1AM - surely some sort of record. After a couple of bevvies, we hit the sack in preparation of our mission the following day.


Marble Steps

Andy, Joachim, Moritz, Lyndon, Colm

With the weather surprisingly good, it was decided a trip to Leck Fell was in order. According to Huge, Ireby was busy, so a last minute change to Marble Steps was arranged. A quick shopping stop in Bernies where we failed to get Lyndon to buy an SRT kit, we arrived at the road head to find a plethora of teams heading down Marble steps. Luckily they were all doing the lame gully route, which left the more interesting sidewinder to us. Splitting into two groups, the Andy faction started with gully, dropping into sidewinder before the big pitch. The Colm faction took the wet route, straight into sidewinder, with Colm rigging the excessively P-hanger big pitch to the bottom of the main chamber.

At the bottom we met a Derbyshire caver who'd had multiple light failure - his carbide was out of water (but he needed a piss, can someone explain the problem to me), and his light bracket had broken leaving it dangling in his chest. He motored out, while we waited for Andy to arrive with the second tackle bag. Onwards through a fine bit of passage to Stink Pot, where Andy was a bit too keen to get stuck in (literally) to the Intestines. Colm rigged the 90, managing to make a complete mess of the tight take-off, and quickly bottomed the cave while the others started out. Arse was dipped, and Colm started up again, taking forever and a day to get through the tight pitch head, where Andy was waiting to take the tackle bag - lifesaver! Back to the surface, with the Colm faction taking the gully exit, thus completing the exchange.

Exiting the cave at a respectable 9pm, meant we had time for a nostalgic pint of Sheep in the Marton, sadly taken over by families, and not much sign of cavers. Back at the hut, the usual massive chilli was wolfed down before hitting the sack.



Colm and Joachim tackled this Kingsdale classic. The entrance pitches were rigged with ease, and Colm was half-way down the big pitch when he ran out of rope. As Joachim hadn't passed knots mid-rope, Colm prussiked back up to attach the 90m rope, and continued down, having minor problems with the brand new rope twisting around itself. Quickly joined by Joachim, we continued down the interesting route to the head of the final pitch where the 90m ran out. Luckily we'd packed some tat as an afterthought, so we bottomed the cave, said 'Hi' to the albino fish, dipped our arses and headed out. Daylight could still be seen at the top of the cave, but by the time we exited it was quite dark. Another excellent trip in a good SRT pot.

Bull Pot
by Moritz Guenther

Bull pot is absolutely a nice cave and it showed only one main difficulty to us: to find it. We reached it after hours (or so it seemed to me), but I am sure we had a walk with better views then the Fellwanderers. I stopped often, mainly to look at the landscape of course, and only partly because I am untrained in carrying tackle bags up the hill, (which we don't use anyway). They left me behind, and I got lost, before I even saw the cave!

Bull pot starts with a deviation just as you clip in the rope, down the first pitch Andy decided to leave the tackle bag with the rope for the last part there for we wasted a lot of time on our way to the cave. Inside it was nice and warm and Andy quickly rigged a few narrow pitches followed by an interesting traverse, the first I can remember without being frightened - perhaps I'll get used to it. At the end down a pitch with a small waterfall, we walked a short passage and looked which hole we could have done. I was out first, for I am always slowest and did not wait for the derigging, so I left the cave in daylight. But I misunderstood Andy, and did not re-clip the top deviation after I passed it. However, as the pitch is not too deep, Lyndon not too heavy, and the rope quite strong; nothing happened.

Got back to the hut by 5:15, packed, ate the last of the chilli, and were on the road by 5:45. Made it to London by 10:30 - less than 5 hours, another record?

Note to NPC Cottage Secretary

We left the hut tidy , and put all rubbish in bin-bags in the bin.