Recent reports

Marble Steps Pot - 12th Jun 2010

Saturday June 12th 2010

Members present: Christopher Jones,  Jonathan Booth,  Karim Shokraee,  Luke Brownbridge,  Steven Spall

Report by Jonathan Booth

MArble steps is a great SRT cave. We ariived at the shakehole with the plan of doing a sidewinder-gully exchange but there was a team on gully so we just did sidewindrer. Rigging it was an excellent experience and so far is the best rig Iv\'e done. The traverse around gully route to the old fossil passage is non-trivial to rig in shoes as the sloping footholds had a generous covering of soil and leaves but it wasnt too gripping and eventually I was sitting in the fossil passage on the other side of the shaft. A short abb into the wet route (which was bone dry) soon saw me in a rift, traversing futher along this I entered an exposed alcove aobve the main chamber, similar to the Rowten rift but bigger.

Some balancy rigging allowed a stunning descent into the main chamber, which is lilke Cow Pot. landing on a rock sput halfway down the chamber (which is really just a massive rift) I rigged a Y-hang (no need to use the natural liek the guide suggests, theres a y-hang below it) and went down to the bottom via some nice deviations. Here we found the guide inaccurate, as after the deviations it says you land on a ledge with a traverse line, this ledge doesnt exist, you are now on the floor of the lower main chamber (this doesnt meen you can use a shorter rope though).

A brief walk through a large passage (stay low and crawl under the large boulders) led to a small pitch, then into a narrow rift where care should be taken not to fall.Luke took over the rigging, descent through a slot led us to the bottom of Stink pot, then a short crawl took us to the 90 which was passed without incident (stay low, put your rack and handjammer on before the tight bit, stay low, cross your fingers than swing out).

The cave was still dry as a bone and no water could be heard, we were soon down the last pitch and crouched inthe lower streamway, which was a chain of puddles and a trickle of water, following this we arrived at a slightly larger puddle which we assumed was the sump so we turned round and headed out. de-rigging the lower pitch and the 90 was tough, for the lower pitch there are no footholds so I took Karims footloop and clipped it into a natural so I could get at the Y-hang.

Soon enough we were on the surface in the evening sun. being underground for a few hours makes you notice much more on the surface than you otherwise would, the smell of the soil and the garelick, the sunlight filtering through the leaves, it was a great view and I happily sunbathes while waiting for Luke and Steven to derig. A great trip in a classic cave!