RRCPC Newsletter
Volume 44 Number 1 Article 7
October 2007

Lost Johns Centipede Route

6th August 2007

Paul Thomas, Liz and Ian Lawton, Steve Robinson plus Paul Armstrong (guest)

The meeting place for the trip was Inglesport Café at 0900 - with only the two Pauls at breakfast we decided to do the trip with only the two of us - as this was Paul Armstrong's first SRT trip it was changed to be a simple lesson to see how far we could get. Outside the café we met Steve Robinson who agreed to take over coaching and Paul T would rig. On the way to Leck Fell Steve got a puncture and set a new fast record for wheel changing. Whilst we were getting changed Liz and Ian Lawton joined us. The plan was amended to Ian and Liz rigging as far as Battleaxe Traverse whilst the other three followed with the SRT training. Getting underground about 1030 hrs Paul T started to climb down the wrong route and had to be directed by Liz back on the roof traverse. Paul A was given instruction and coached down Hammer, Mud and Centipede pitches. Carefully stepping over Bobs Pitch rapid but safe progress was made down Candle and Shistol to Battleaxe traverse where Ian and Liz handed over the rigging to Paul T which then allowed Liz and Ian to go and play on Centipede Pitch before going climbing. Approaching the final pitch the water level was a bit high and strong so to prevent any one slipping over and making a rapid descent of the final pitch an extra backup was placed above the bend where the P hangers start.

From Groundsheet Junction and the Master Cave the group went downstream to the long pool and then up stream back past Groundsheet Junction the group went to the base of Lyle Cavern before returning to the pitches. The exit plan was for Paul T to go up the first couple of pitches first and then coach Paul A off the pitch heads. It was agreed that provided Paul T de-rigged Battleaxe traverse Steve would de-rig the rest.

The two Pauls went up Valhalla in a reasonable time, but when he started to climb Steve R realised that a busy week at work, not caving much in the past couple of months and rushing about all morning meant that the climb out was going to be hard work. Steve took his time resting at times to ensure that he was able to progress unaided by the others. The final revision of the plan was then changed again to Steve leading and checking Paul A off the pitch heads whilst Paul T de-rigged. On leaving Battleaxe traverse we passed the Wessex on a pirate trip for a bit of training before going to PSN.

The trip out was a slow with one novice and one very fatigued caver. However, a good bit of team work and a bit of coaching on technique saw the group exit the pot after about 5 ½ hours.

Paul Thomas

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