Stream Passage – Bar Pot
One party were to descend Bar Pot and head off up East Passage for the Whitsun Series, whilst the others (Frank, Bob, Keith, Dave Mike and myself) were to speed down Stream Passage and beat them to it. But it was not to be. Fate took a hand in the shape of Keith & several large boulders in the entrance. As he struggled to worm his way into the passage, we were informed in varying degrees of coarseness, of how desperate the entrance was, how he wasn’t kidding and how tight the hole was. Customary sympathetic words were offered to Keith, but he became more & more angry, because he obviously cannot take it. Anyway, to cut a very long story short, and not mentioning the CR0, Keith was finally hauled free amidst screams of pain (or was it pleasure) and cries of derision.
The abseil through the pot was nice & wet, with Frank rigging a Tarzan like take off for the first big pitch and Bob succeeding in twisting the rope up on every descent with his figure-of-eight. We paused at the foot of the last pitch for a bite of something wet & soggy, (a Mars bar, I think) and then set off towards the Main Chamber, following the arrows and other graffiti which mark the way clearly for dummies.
After a wally under the main shaft, we headed up Old East and soon reached Mud Hall where we all decided that we’d bottle out, as Keith had wasted so much time at the entrance. The next treat came when we arrived at the Bar Pot pitch, and I kept collapsing in a breathless clinging heap at various points up the ladder. We then had a “How not to prussik” show from Frank who eventually gave up & abseiled back down, then laddered out. Keith told everyone in a load voice how to put rope protectors on when he arrived at the top of the pitch and found the SRT rope tangled up with bits of nylon lanyard. Lastly as a piece de resistance, I lost my way between the pitches.
Then we were out in the fresh air & pitch black, but safe in the knowledge that, if our lights failed, we could, like a certain reporter, use an electronic flashgun to find our way back to the cars.
Pity you didn’t get to Whitsun Series, Mark, It was magic.