Recent reports

What a Ledge. A short trip to Rowten

Sunday November 26th 2023

Members present: Alfie Exall,  Dylan Kocher,  Ethan Griffiths,  Max Kellermann-stunt,  Sarah Moody

Report by Ethan Griffiths

Having camped in -4 conditions we were all feeling a little chilly. We queued for some tasty NCHECC breakfast while max tried to conscript some poor unwitting souls to come caving with us.
There was significant faff while we took the tents down, but eventually we were on route to Rowten. With our Topo firmly secured in Ade’s boot (who was at the CHECC meeting), Sarah painted a new Topo onto a cave rescue flyer using some tipex. The irony was not lost on us.
We dashed up Kingsdale and I began rigging the entrance pitch while Dylan committed murder by throwing a worm into the cave. Alfie was distraught.
After collecting my pension, I made it down and waltzed along the traverse to… THE LEDGE.
I was somewhat unhappy to see the lack of a knot at the end of my rope, but having two feet firmly on the ground made this seem less significant.
Once all inside Sarah began rigging the traverse, but quickly had to ascend again half way through to let some other cavers up. We waited on the ledge as the pair ascended and derigged, the puddle starting to eat away at my body heat. Sarah was eventually on the move again and disappeared to rig the traverse. Dylan dropped to the rebelay to help. Tomfoolery ensued, hearts were broken and Alfie nearly killed Max.

More time passed and me and max pondered the big questions(Like whether or not to fuck off to the pub?). Eventually we hear the calls of rope free. We had been on the ledge for a few hours now and the novelty was starting to wear off.

Finally I made it to the traverse and prepared to slide down the big pitch, when Dylan shouted that he was coming up. Frustrated, I made my way back up to the ledge. It turn’s out that Sarah had a pretty bad time. Trying to rig with the other cavers identical rope in the way, and finding no knot at the bottom of the 70m rope. Since no one at the bottom knew the way on (Alfie apparently saw a bolt and decided not to mention it), they decided to call it.
The way out was smooth, at least for most of us. Sarah somehow got 2 ropes in her chest jammer and neither her or max could get them out. A good deal of faff later we were changed and back in the car and heading home.
Huge apologies to the worm, but at least it made it deeper into Rowten than we did.