Recent reports

JH Over-Engine Mine / Titan Shaft - 17 Jun 2006

Saturday June 17th 2006

Members present: Adrian Turner,  Andrew Vick,  Chuck Holder,  Debbie Flowers,  Dominic Galliano,  Gary Douthwaite,  James Gregory,  John Singleton,  Kevin Francis,  Laura Bennett,  Matt Ewles,  Nicola Gover,  Richard Gover

Report by Matt Ewles

Superb! A truely amazing trip, and all went without a hitch! Apart from us (the JH-Titan) team not having any slings, though this was really only an issue on the entrance to JH and we got round that with some interesting rigging.

Quite quick progress down to the bottom of JH, and then commenced the very muddy trip through to Titan. A bit more tricky to navigate than expected. The discription of through the crawl, down the ladder, turn right, turn left and over the boulder choke was more or less correct however. Just stick to the fairly well worn pathway. The left turn refers to when you drop down into the streamway.

Titan was spectacular. There are very few pitches where you get half way up (and only up the first section), look down, look up, and cannot see the ground, or the re-belay above you, just rope either way into the darkness. Serious bounce, particularly on the bottom rope, because it was newer, rather than longer.

Not as hard to prussik up as I was expecting. As usual, the first 30m is by far the hardest, as you heart and metabolism takes a minute or two to catch up with getting oxygen and sugars to where they need to be. But once that was all sorted, it was a nice steady climb. I adopted a 20-25 steps then 15-20 second breater approach, which allow you to ascend at least 10m/minute without getting significantly tired. We could have probably done it quicker, but we weren't in any hurry.

The entrance to Titan was rather over-engineered... someone has a LOT of spare time! The pitch looks really short from the bottom but goes on forever when you're on it! We met the first team up JH at the surface and were greeted by glorious sunshine :-)