Volume 43 Number 2 Article 4
Big Meanie to Death's Head Hole
Saturday 7th October 2006
Team: Simon Jobling, Roger Procter, Ruth MacDonald, Dave Ramsay, Mark Middleton, Toby Speight, Dominic Hoare, James Hoare, Abby Rhodes, Gary Rhodes
We all met at a very busy Inglesport Café after a bit of confusion over starting times and venue and gradually decided who was doing which route and when they would start. Dominic, James, Abby and Gary set out for rigging Big Meanie whilst the rest of the team waited for breakfast. After about half an hour the rest of the team moved out and made their way to Leck fell in glorious sunshine. The car park was like Sainsbury's on Saturday and crowds had gathered to cave.
Dave, Ruth and Toby then set off to rig Death's Head whilst, Roger, Mark and myself followed the Big Meanie team. We got into Big Meanie and Roger attempted the tight squeeze. After a whole nights digging the previous night till 2.00 Roger seemed to lose all desire to commit himself (he is a bit of a beefer) and hurriedly opted for Death's Head. Mark was next down and after a bit of fiddling with his stop, popped out of the squeeze and made his merry way down the pitch. I followed, much impressed with Dom's rigging.
At the bottom we continued upstream to the crawl which seemed to have moved from the last time I did the trip. We eventually found it and began the tight squeeze into the puddly crawl and out into the muddy canal. We could hear the voices of the others and pushed on. At the head of the pitch into Death's Head I met Dave who was bursting for an emptying and willed his team on to greater things. Ruth came up next and then Mark descended followed by me. In the course of this descent a boulder fell, not sure where from, but feel was above me from the roof - you have been warned!
At the bottom we met up with Roger and Toby. Toby began derigging Big Meanie whilst Mark wanted to derig Death's Head. The ascent was relatively quiet, just one karabiner being nipped too tight and the rope changeover causing thought provoking techniques.
The whole trip was a fine example of teamwork and cooperation thanks to all who attended and made it so smooth. We took the ropes back to the farm to allow Toby the chance to prove his rope washing and sorting gear away skills so vital to any validated member. Un-fortunately I saw none of this skill: all I saw was a remarkable incompetence! Eager to photograph the industrious working party he demonstrated his new wonder camera - yes it floats!! However it also goes with the flow and followed the stream somewhere towards Bullpot. Luckily a helpful dog found the camera and brought it back safe and sound to a relieved and now much wiser Toby! Toby then continued to wash the ropes and is now a validated member - well done.