Visited with Reddood Jnr (my son) and AndyJ
The trip was planned a couple of weeks ago, but as i've had quite a bad chest infection, and the recent weather has been pants so i wasn't sure if it would happen or not.
the plan was to get my son to the bottom of the dolly tubs pitch and maybe down to the slab.
as my son has very limmited SRT experance, and no experance of SRT in a cave enviroment, we knew this could be a problem, but everyone has to start somewhere right? as Long Churn is quite easy to get around, and has good quality bolting, we decided this would be a good starting point, the hope was he wouldn't be too tired when he got to the pitchs, and we knew there was enough bolts to safely double rig everything.
we rocked up to the cave at about half 11 and entered through upper long churn, descending into Dr Bannisters hand basin, while i have been here maybe 5 or 6 times, this is the most water i've seen flowing into it, it wasn't too bad, but the wettest i've seen it.
Andy quickly double rigged this, you can normally do it with just a handline, or with nothing if it's dry, but as this was a baby sitting trip, it was going to get all bells and whistles. He then volunteered to go down at the same time as my son, having him clipped to him, so wosrt case he could only drop maybe a foot, as Andy is one of less than i hand full of people i completely trust 100% i had no problem with this.
it went quite smoothly untill they got to the overhang, my son been a short arse struggled to reach the foot holes, so he had little choice than to go down with the water running directly onto him, he was drenched, we saw this as a posertive, as he was allready soaked, there would be no need to try and avoid the 2 pools further through the cave.
once they were safly down, i de-rigged the rope, re-rigged as a pull through and dropped down my self, we quickly headed off towards the dolly tubs, the 2 pools getting the full "jump in" treatment.
when we finally got to the top of the dolly tubs, andy again double rigged and clipped my son to him, we felt that this was ample protection, they made short work of this and was down very quickly, i then de-rigged the second rope in the hope we could use it to get down to the slab. I decended the pitch and we stopped for a few moments for a picture.
walking out into Alum pot, we could see the weather had changed and it was starting to rain, been unsure how long it would take my son to ascend back up the pitch, we decided the best corse of action would be to head back now to avoid any chance of getting stranded down there due to flooding.
Andy went up first, rigging a safty line and dropping it back down, my son went next, clipping him on to the line i told hit to get up there, by this time the water was pouring down the pitch making it not very plesent, luckyly my lad was up it very quickly and i followed, everything was de-rigged and we headed out, we noticed that the water had rissen by a good 6 inchs, but we were nearly out, so not a problem.
getting out, it looked to of brightened up again, but you could see the rain comming down higher up in the hills, so we made the right choice.
over all it was a good day and we spent about 5 hours down there.
I have to say a huge thanks to AndyJ, as without him the trip couldn't of happened.
some pics, all pics are hand held using the flash, so pretty poor quality, but it gives an idea of the pitchs.