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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 Lauren Ellis

Getting into the cave was such a relief to get out of the driving icy wind. Rigging such a big open shaft was pretty cool, I enjoyed it. Didn't much like all the loose rocks and crap which completely covered every inch of floor though. Sitting down in a cave for 2 hours is pretty cold, but it was quite fun. It’s amazing what you convince yourself you've seen and heard.

Once it hit 4 o'clock we headed right out. We had discussed the possibilities of what could have held them up and were preparing to get into rescue mode!! Being so cold left my hands pretty useless, and I couldn’t get my hand jammer off the rope. After about 5 minutes of struggling I managed get it off, only to have the same difficulty at the next bit!! Still got out though didn't I!! Most likely driven on by the thought of saving somebody's little cotton socks.

About a third up the main shaft I heard Ade shouting Andy's name. It sounded like it was coming from below me so I just looked at Andy with a pissed off face thinking I was going to have to reverse prussik back down because they'd made it through. Andy wasn't responding to Ade to I shouted for him to respond. Then he told me to respond because I was closer. I didn’t understand his logic so most likely called him an idiot or something then shouted back to Ade. Anyway, it turned out Ade was at the top of our pitch because he "couldn’t find the way in". I assumed he meant he couldn’t find the entrance to Big Meanie so we laughed a bit at that. Weird how the sound seemed to come from elsewhere though.

Once at the surface and shanking rope we saw a muddy caver drawing near. That muddy man was none other than Chad. I wondered why he was so muddy and still in his caving gear if they hadn't even found Big Meanie. Then he explained that it was the connection between Big Meanie and Death's Head that Ade couldn't find... Whoops!!

I think everyone had a really good time though, and I'd definitely like to try this again and actually get to do the exchange - even if it's to satisfy my curiosity about where the Big Meanie guys drop into the bottom of Death's Head!!

PS Faff level is on behalf of the Big Meanie group, me and Andy were completely faff free :P