Lost Johns

Abseil Party:-†† C. Wilcox, G. Leach, F. Hardy, P. McDade & M. Woodhouse.†† †††††††††††††††††.††††††††††††††††††††††††† .†††††††††††††††††††††††††† A. Hall part way (Bad Toe)

Showing a distinct lack of enthusiasm at the thought of Lost Johns on ladders the above decided on an abseiling trip down the New Roof Traverse route, via Centipede, leaving everyone else the pleasure of laddering Dome route.

Everything went exceedingly smoothly until Andy appeared on the scene at the top of Centipede & immediately complained about the rigging of the pitch. Admittedly the rope did finish 15 feet before the end of the pitch, necessitating a bit of precision abseiling, to land on a small ledge then scramble down to the floor, but it all adds to the fun - unless you happen to have a duff foot. The stemple traverse was reached after an easy walk & two short pitches 15í & 12í, Mark, Pete & myself went across leaving the others waiting for the laddering party. The traverse isnít particularly hard until the stemples run out 20 feet before your destination and a line helps on this section. This extra 20 feet of traversing gives a good free hanging pitch reaching the streamway after 110 feet. Take off is easy as you launch yourself across a four foot gap, but getting back after the prussik is something else. It is well worth rigging a tail as crossing a 4 foot gap & climbing 3 feet at the same time, whilst still attached to 110 feet of rope is no joke.

Groundsheet Junction was reached, where the stream was found to be quite low & the three of us decided to wait for the others, Forty five minutes later, this turned out to be a rather unnecessarily chivalrous deed. Chris disappeared downstream complaining about the laxative powers of Jimís home brow & returned muttering about one piece wet suits, The ladder party eventually arrived but by this time, feeling rather cold we decided to push off out without seeing too much of the streamway - still thereís always net me.

The 110 foot pitch provides a fine prussik &passes close to the ledge of the alternative Stemple Traverse pitch. Traversing back to the stemples is worse on the return although once youíve committed yourself thereís not much you can do about it. The rest of the trip passed at a leisurely pace and the three of us exited just before the ladder party. Not bad at all for my first club meet, my second time down Lost Johns still & havenít reached the sump!

C .Wilcox.

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