Recent reports

Marble Steps Pot Main route + Sidewinder exchange

Sunday January 29th 2012

Members present: Adam Hughes,  Alexander Stelfox,  Jonathan Booth,  Louise Bell,  Matt Gosling,  Mike Rippon,  Phillip Mcdermott,  Sam Briscoe

Report by Mike Rippon

After a standard serving of shittalk & breakfast at Bernies, me and other members of the York University Crippled Pothole Club assembled and made our way up to the beautiful entrance of Marble Steps. I had been selected to rig the gully route, while Jonny lead the second team down Sidewinder, a decision I was quite pleased with as I hadn't rigged anything since I'd been back from Australia and I was anxious to get my rigging hat back on.

The entrance series went fairly not-smoothly, as I struggled to get back into the "swing" of rigging. The lack of a rigging guide/description, not having enough krabs to use every bolt, and my general lack of practice lead to some "interesting" SRT to begin with. After putting in a gigantic Y-hang rebelay where there should have been a deviation, and a ridiculously tight deviation where there should have been a rebelay, we eventually made it down the main chamber. Here we exchanged some bird noises with the sidewinder team, who were still traversing somewhere up in the ceiling above us, before continuing on.

The lower section of the cave went a lot smoother. After a few climbs and a bit of crawling, we ended up in a traverse at the top of a high rift. I traversed along over a nice drop to find some bolts in the ceiling for a pitch (which turned out to be stink pot), so went back to rig a traverse line off some stals for the others before continuing down. At the bottom, another fun traverse over the entrance to the intestines led to the head of "The Ninety". At this point we found out that Matt and Jonny had decided to turn round, so coupled with a general lack of enthusiasm, we too decided to head back (but not after making some bird noises down the shaft).

All in all a fun trip. Would have been nice to have got down the 90, but I don't remember the bottom of the cave being particularly impressive so not too bothered. Leading without a guide more than made up for it and reminded me of expo style exploration & DIY rigging, rather than just "join the dots" :p