Trou de Vent - 2nd. August 1979

I drove up to Emiel Bugats camp and parked the van, Andy then gave me a lift up to the top camp site from there in the minibus and we set off down the Trou de Vent. It is in the woods off the side of the track, lower than the campsite. A short way off from the entrance was a crawl to a 15ft pitch with an awkward take off.
Straight after that we came to a second pitch round a sharp bend in the crawl. Graham laddered it and I followed him down, it was about 25ft. A climb down immediately followed this, leading to a 90ft pitch. Graham and Mark put some hangers in the bolts and laddered it, Andy then went down first after putting a double line on the pulley and belayed from below. A narrow passage with climbs down followed and just after passing a pit with rubbish in it (empty cans) we traversed out to the head of a 30ft pitch. We carried on down more narrow passage, climbing and traversing until we came to a 6Oft pitch which Andy, Graham and I abseiled down.

We were in a big chamber but could find no way on; a couple of narrow passages led off but soon became too tight. We then prussiked back up and set off out, however when we got to the bottom of the 90ft pitch Andy, Mike and Dave decided to go back and look for the right way on. The rest of us came out.

We had been down for about Five hours. I changed at the campsite and had a cup of coffee with Gordon Edgington. I then packed my gear and set off down the track to the French camp. On my way down I met Andy and two others coming up, they said that they had found the right way on and had left the tackle in and would do it tomorrow. At the camp I had another chat with Emiel Bugat and he got his grandson to demonstrate the use of his climbing and descending gear. The young lad got rigged up and climbed up and down the rope hanging from the tree. After all this I then drove the van down to Arbus.

Frank Hardy

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