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Big Meanie / Death's Head Hole Failed Exchange - 31 Jan 2009

Saturday January 31st 2009

Members present: Adrian Turner,  Andrew Gilmartin,  Chad B,  Lauren Ellis,  Thomas Blakey

Report by Chad B

Despite the fact that we didn’t complete the trip as intended it was still quite enjoyable. Ade, Tom and I went down Big Meanie and Andy G and Lauren went down Death’s Head. Unfortunately for the other team we couldn’t find the connection to Death's Head. This was despite an extensive search (although you could say that it was not extensive enough!) through every muddy horrible passage we could find – and my word it was muddy at the bottom of Big Meanie. We discovered after the trip that one of the nasty wet crawls that we went through feet first while bending to the right turned out to be the correct route; ;@ Ade was convinced that there wasn’t anything like this when he did this cave the other way through, so more fruitless searching ensued. Fortunately for the other team we had agreed a time to abandon the trip if we didn’t reach them. By not finding the connection it meant that we had to go back up Big Meanie through the squeeze!

Going down was good fun, to get past the squeeze at the top I put my Rack onto my short cows tail loop as not to constrict me, then I just used my weight to get through. Down at the first rebelay I faffed around for ages to get my rack back onto my main maillon. It was a nice 50 metre descent down to the bottom, encountering another rebelay and a deviation. After our 2 hr muddy excursion we came back out, this is when you realize that you are in a big hole on a single rope lol! The squeeze wasn’t too hard to get out because of some nice rigging at the pitch head, a nice long loop from the traverse meant you could put your hand jammer onto it to not get constricted and to haul yourself out. It was certainly a case of move up a little...than take a few minutes to have a breather...then move a little more.

The change was cold!!! The wind was up in the Leck Fell area before we went into the cave, after it was blowing a gale! Absolutely no feeling in my hand during that change!

Would love to go back and do the full trip – I have unfinished business with this cave!