Marble Steps.

While browsing through some old surveys in the club library I happened to notice one of Lost Inlet in Marble Steps, which seemed to go as far as the old system. So off we went, Doug, Graham, Dick, Neil, Steve, Berry, and three Derbyshire lads. Doug whipped down the entrance ladder first, to take some photo’s of the shaft. We eventually gathered at the bottom and from there we set off the up rift passage to the bottom of the climb. Doug and Gerry scrambled up and hung a ladder for us to follow. From here the climb still went up and from the discussion going on above our heads, no one seemed to be sure of the way. I looked at the survey, but by the time I had reached the top of the rift they had all shot off left down a tube with standing room after six feet.

I said to Neil, who was behind me, “According to the survey it’s straight on. Have a look and see what it’s like”. He was quickly up the crawl ahead, like a rat up a drainpipe with various expressions floating back like, “It’s a bit tight”, “Awkward”, and finally, “Walking”. Gerry arrived back and I pointed to where Neil had gone and he too zoomed off. Then Doug arrived and we perused the S—bend which looked tight. We both had a couple of tries before Doug went round feet first and then upwards and said, “Easy”. I tried it feet first and found it awkward.

Upon reaching the other side, Doug said, “Where’s your camera, you’ll need it in here, I’m afraid I used up my film on the entrance”. Luckily Steve was following up, so he brought the box through. It certainly was nice. While everyone else was playing “Monkey on a stick” trying to get up the next section Graham and I were flashing away at the pretties.

The lads couldn’t get up the way on, so we made our way out, picking up Dick, who we had left halfway up the climb as we didn’t think he’d, get through the S-bend. We vowed to return if the photo’s didn’t come out, and they didn’t.

Jim Newton.



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