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Short Drop Cave - Gavel Pot

Sunday January 19th 2020

Members present: Bronte Cunningham,  Chloe Goodman,  Conor Morrison,  Livvy Golby-kirk,  Oliver Forbes-shaw

Report by Livvy Golby-kirk

A tasty little day, the five of us first set off the Gavel Pot (after much faff involving my wellington booties being a 20 minute drive away at Greenclose whilst we were on Leck Fell) where on the way Conor deciding to try out bog swimming. After graciously falling into an iced-over bog and smelling like a Swamp Monster for the rest of the day, Conor and I nipped down Gavel to rig the pitch for Jean Luc's team to exit out of. We had a bit of faff over a devo which definitely needs a bolt moved, and then we shot back up and gambled over the fell back to Short Drop.

The original plan was that all of us would head back out of Short Drop to derig. After a slow and steady pace through the cave with minimal issues we arrived at the traverse up to Gavel. There was some faff with it but all in all everyone did really well, and we headed out into the moonlight of Gavel pot at around 5pm.

Standing at the bottom of the pitch out of Gavel, I was well aware that 5pm was the time I had estimated leaving the cave, and that 8pm was our Call Out. Considering it had taken us three hours to travel through Short Drop, and it was three hours until call out, going back all together as a team wasn't really an option as we'd definitely be cutting it too fine. But I was also conscious that Short Drop had to be derigged, and leaving it for Jean Luc to do (which had been discussed as an option if we needed it) could result in problems if his team was heading out expecting to head out of Gavel. It was eventually decided that the three freshers would head out of Gavel now, and that Conor and I would race back through the cave derigging it. So Conor headed up to help the freshers off the pitch whilst I faffed around with my SRT kit which is continuously and irrevocably poorly adjusted. After all the freshers were safely up, Conor and I then shot back through the cave, derigging it in 50 minutes. We were so involved with the cave that we completely missed the exit and I carried on hurtling upstream for a bit until Conor pointed out the large amount of debris.

All in all a very good trip!