Swinsto Hole

After slogging up Kingsdale with a couple of ropes and a ladder, (we couldn’t find any mugs to ladder up Valley entrance for us.) we eventually found the hole after the usual aimless wanderings, and eagerly set off down the Long Crawl. Pauline annoyed everybody because all she had to do was crouch slightly, and that was in the flat out crawls. When we came to the pitches, we found them already laddered (apparently by the White Rose) and this provided a good enough reason for me not to bother abseiling the small pitches. However, Bernard’s mate had to persevere with the ropes for practice as this was his first ever trip, and Keith wanted him to savour the delights of SRT on medium sized pitches.

Just before arriving at the big split pitch, a funny smell was noticed - Pauline informed us that it was probably only bang fumes, as the White Rose were supposed to have a dig going on. However, after no one had died through breathing in the noxious fumes we decided that the odour must be man-made, but nobody would own up. Next Red, Rose cock up occurred when Bernard, the last man down, descended the 60 foot pitch forgetting to bring the spare rope with him, but we were saved by the other team who had just arrived and they proceeded to lower the bag down to us.
The impressive Great Aven was soon reached, to be followed shortly by the miserable Philosopher’s Crawl, which thankfully doesn’t carry on & on like the entrance one. Down the Master Cave to the pitch, where we watched Pauline peeling off the free climb and then Bernard thrashing up the rope and hanging the ladder in the wrong place, but it got us up.

The day ended in an extremely pleasant way with Pauline ragging off in the middle of the road and flashing to all the touroids and ourselves. (Eat your heart out, Sedbo.)

M. Woodhouse.


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