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Gavel Pot - Short Drop Cave and the Gavel SRT route - 5th Jul 2010

Monday July 5th 2010

Members present: Caitlin Brumby,  Chad B,  Jennie Hill,  Marcus Roby,  Mike Rippon,  Sam Briscoe,  Toby Buxton

Report by Caitlin Brumby

An awesome trip -Gavel SRT is a really fun route.

The original, well planned routes for everyone worked almost to plan - just with a little deviation from Toby, Marcus and Sam - involving less time overground for those three.

Me and Chad headed down into the Gavel shake hole to find our SRT route P hangers, we did, as wel as finding Mike and Jennie's for the other Gavel route so shouted at them for a while until we saw Mike's head peep round the corner about 20m up. (He quickly realised straight down was not the way to us and his P hangers though..)
We headed down the first pitch, which was still outside really, and involved quite a lot of rope rub, despite Chad flailing around with the deviation for a while. I headed down the second pitch with the demon tackle sack and went down into some nice stream way bit.
We reached the climb down, which neither of us really fancied, so went off to find the bypass called the tube - a roof passage in the ceiling. After looking around we decided on the way to go, and headed up and up (I got landed with the worse tackle sack ever - really heavy and got stuck absolutely everywhere... we both agreed on that) After climbing up some muddy slopes and through some nicely decorated passages we presumed, quite stupidly, the way on was from some very very grotty crawl, we got part way in then Chad said this is a bit too 'Not for the faint Hearted' like, so we realised we were probably crawling into another cave, even though it looked like the most worn route. After backing out (backwards for Chad) we traced back and found the actual way on - it was a pretty rubbish bypass, ended up about 1m from where we were originally, and another pretty icky climb.
The second proper pitch was quite exciting - quite exposed and impressive, here the three guys caught me and Chad up - after I headed down to the the third pitch (where the P hangers started way to late in my opinion, so I put myself a sling in to hold on to). At the top, I was sitting on the scaff bar there, mediating a little argument between the men, but it was cool - the deviation on the third pitch was fun :)
Me and Chad then headed straight out, and overground. I got out and thought we'd sit down and have a drink or something - but now, Chad was already down the first pitch in the other Gavel route - we headed down quickly, and up the Short Drop pitch, from here it was very nice, but also very easy caving. (A lovely freshers trip?) On the way out you pass an amazing rock bridge - as Mike said 'a miracle'. The crawl in water wasn't my favourite, but we were quick and met the three guys on the walk back to the car. perfect timing for a lovely leck fell change (odd but true..) to be joining by Jennie and Mike after a session in the sun.

Really enjoyed the days caving - and the Chad and Caitlin caving duo rocks!