Deaths Head Hole

I arrived late on the Sunday morning expecting to meet on the lane a flotilla of cars & vans heading for Leck Fell. A very empty lane but a full farmyard. Thought balloon above head:- “The regulars must have had a hard night and were late getting up.”  

Into the farm, “How do, Hello, Good morning, Hi, Jim, Pete, Hugh, Andy & Uncle Tom Cobley.” Then the fateful question. “Who’s doing Deaths Head.” Absolute silence, a pin could have been heard dropping.
And then the excuses, all the standard ones that I have been using fur years :- ‘I would like to but…. “ “Ah, well, but …”  “I’ve promised ….”   “I’ve a dig that needs only one good prod …”
The basic problem seemed that the meets secretaries and their cohorts had suddenly decided that caving at night would be much more fun..

Desperate efforts were made to drum up a caving team &  at last one was formed, myself & Jean who was on her first visit to the farm. We would do it on ladders, while Mark was to do his thing at the other end of the hole by SRT. Great efforts were needed to produce a life lining team. It’s a Club meet, etc just about carried the day & a small team volunteered.  But then Pete muttered the magic words PUB LUNCH & once more we were alone. Troubled consciences produced a compromise. “You get the hole laddered and we will have a swift half and join you in time to line. The hard part of the trip over, the rest was easy an a nice climb was enjoyed by all. The pot was bottomed by Jean, Andy, etc. who borrowed all the gear, Mark who abandoned his prussiking gear & enjoyed the ladder climb out and myself  was assured by Hugh, who hasn’t bottomed the hole, possibly due to a cut finger that “Time is on my side.”

F.Croll.

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