The Flood Entrance - Stream Passage Exchange

Team:       Ray Duffy, Bill Holden, Alan Kerr, Jo Wilby, Liz Daniels, Lee York, Claire Wilkinson (not in age/competence or beauty order)

After many abortive RRCPC exchanges of late it was a confident party that set off from Clapham in the early afternoon of July 16th laden down with the tons of equipment and personal gear required for a Flood!Stream exchange (well most of us had a bag).

It was far too nice a day to venture underground but with Berger fever running high we sweated our way tirelessly to the top of the fell. The groups sorted into equal numbers so I had Claire and No-Lights Daniels with me while Lee took the novice SRT-er Bill with him and Alan and Jo as back up. With the sun beating down it seemed a shame to venture underground but down we went. The first pitch is just inside the entrance and is a little tight at the top but there wasn’t any problems going down except for Claire and her new carbide.

I scuttled off down the passage after telling Liz which one to follow and lay down for a fag at the crawl through to the second pitch. It is usually pretty damp here but we had had no rain for some time. The others caught me up just as I was wondering why they were so long it!”. I was not surprised to learn that this from someone who looks as though he voice was mine, likes a bit of misery! but you know what women are like when they get chatting???? The second pitch (where we gained a steel krab) was soon negotiated by this strong team and a thread in the roof was used to reach the third. Unfortunately I couldn’t see the bottom with my carbide but I was pretty sure the rope had not reached the floor. I was right as I swung ten feet off the ground and had to pendulum to the wall and climb down the rest.

Claire and Liz soon adjusted the rope so that Claire didn’t have to perform her ‘Flying Wilkinsons trapeze act. Another fag break. A short climb down brought us to the streamway to the top of the big pitch which starts with a big thread, an almost horizontal Y-hang to a deviation just over the edge, a short drop to a rebelay with footholds then a big drop. I got an extra deviation on the way down and landed on the ledge above South East Pot.

Claire followed quickly and received a big dob of carbide on the end of her nose for the effort. Liz didn’t perform as well as the “Flying Wilkinson” but we were all at the bottom pretty quickly and we set off through the crawl (stoop if you are only 3 feet tall like some)

We met the other team just before the portcullis, actually I smelt Jo’s perfume before we saw them, then we all set off for the main chamber at great speed where some brave person was laddering down the Main Chamber! I had a fag while Alan and Lee shared a cool libation and Claire got splashed trying to fill her carbide, what a surprise!

Setting off back for our respective ascents I managed to slip a couple of rocks into Claires SRT bag as we crawled along but she found them too soon. Liz’s light gave out just after Sand Caverns and just after that we took a wrong turning. Fortunately I had made the same mistake before so instead of crawling off to the NW extensions we were soon back at Stream Passage Pot (easily recognisable because of the stream) and quickly got up the bottom pitch though a traverse line at the top would have been nice with Liz groping around. The big pitch was a nightmare to derig, Lee had jumped for the hanger, not an easy thing to do in control and in reverse, B D!!!!

The next pitch is the prettiest with white flowstone down the wall and an interesting traverse for Liz our lover of darkness. A neat bit of stream stomping to the short entrance pitch and a helping hand from Alan and Lee to get the gear out meant we were out only five minutes late. A few more dobs of soot now festooned Claires face so she looked like a Black and White Minstrel by the time we arrived at the New Inn.

Ray Duffy

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