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Simpson's Pot - Valley Entrance Pull Through

Saturday May 30th 2015

Members present: Adam Walmsley,  Alistair Rollinson,  Dan Boothby,  Rachel Findlay

Report by Dan Boothby

Faff-tastic was one way to describe this trip, addmitedly not all of our doing. We all fancied a relatively short trip, and so Walmslers recomended this. We met at the much more civilised time of 10, left by 10.30 but hit traffic (faff no.1). After stopping for copius amounts of cream cakes for second breakfast (an essesntial not a faff!) we eventually reached Kingsdale, where we had to arrange a callout in an area of weak signal (faff no.2). We checked the ascending pitch from Kingsdale Master Cave had been rigged (it had, faff no.3), we changed and eventually reached Simpsons at the impressive time of 3pm.

Once inside we really motored, rigging each pitch with a seperate bag to maximise efficiency. This meant even I couldn't slow us down with my rack. It really was a very enjoyable cave, with the short pitches intersected with traverses, short climbs, and rifts. The traverse over the Pit was particularly interesting. This was a wet trip, due to 90% of it being in an active streamway, but we kept moving and stayed comfortable. The duck through the blasted hole was very entertaining, as both me and Ali ended up dunking ourselves, despite Ali shouting "feet first, feet first!" at me!

Slit Pot was the major faff creator. Firstly it is a difficult pitch-head even if rigged, being very thin, and well, slit like. Once Ali was through, had rigged the pull through, and decended, he realised not enough rope had been lowered. So he had to prussik up, rerig and descend again. Rachel and I followed without too much problem, Rachel even describing it as "a piece a' pess". Once Walmslers was also at the bottom he attempted to pull through, but despite all of us pulling it wouldn't budge. After trying twice to shift it, Walmslers ascended, re-rigged the twisted rope once more and came back down. The rope moved so far but still refused to shift. We decided the best course of action was to abandon the rope and move on, as we were getting to within an hour and a half of callout, were getting cold and had a second rope to contiue.

The last third or so went relatively easily, decending down waterfall pitch to reach Kingsdale Master Cave, a very nice streamway that it was a shame we didnt have more time to appreciate. We basically ran through Valley Entrance in a bid to get back in time, and eventually emerged from the tube 40 minutes before callout.

Despite the faff this was a very enjoyable trip. It was fun, short, not knackering and would've been seamless had it not been for Slit Pot. 10/10 would cave again.

PS. Does anyone fancy another trip to Simpsons? Bring a spare empty tackle sack....