Volume 47 Number 1 Article 6
(A trip into Wisdom Tooth Passage with Ray Duffy and Sam Lieberman)
11 Oct 2009
We’ve been thinking about Dire Straits passage for a long time, Sybil and me, but because of my obvious girth that’s as far as it’s got, thinking. However, it came to me in a flash!!!! Maybe I could help things along a bit, if we could make getting into the passage a lot easier, then we could possibly con someone into surveying it. So Sunday 11th October 2009 saw us heading off yet again to Top Sink loaded with ropes, bolting kit, survey equipment and the obligatory camera gear, for another trip into the back of beyond. Fortunately I’d foreseen a lot of trips in here, so years ago I had a solo trip to dig out the gravel in the floor of the wet bit, so now I can get through without getting p*ss wet through.
I didn’t get around to enlarging the passage down to the pitch so the slender Sybil was dispatched in front while I thrutched and udged my way to catch him up. What we saw when we got round the corner onto the Walrus Pot pitch head was appalling. Some knobhead had untied the loop of extra traverse line, that I’d stashed high in a hole for future replacement, and tied another rope to it and used it to get down the pitch. This meant that below the deviation there was a knot, a loop and then the next rope all hanging nicely in the spray, good changeover place. Needless to say we used our own rope. Sybil being slightly shorter than me was able to walk upright down r2 passage, leaving me to crunch into every obstruction in the roof and wall, with my knuckles trailing on the floor. After rigging Penknife pitch and descending, we both gingerly ascended our rope up to Wisdom Tooth, well it was rigged on stals stuck to mud! Sybil spent a while putting in a proper spit while I took some photos and then off we went. It’s quite a nice passage but doesn’t need a lot of traffic to turn it into the usual sh.thole, if the careless cavers scrape off the helectites and muddy the stals. Finally we arrived at the sharp end, the waterfall up into the Dire Straits.
“They must have been mad to free climb around the corner from up here,” I said from my lofty perch, wedged 7 metres up above the floor trying to put in a spit.
“Ooh! I know!” said Sybil on the floor trying desperately to follow my instructions on how to use my camera.
After placing the spit and hanger, Sybil set of up the rope and swung into the inlet.
“Do you want to come up, it’s a bit snug up here?”
“Hhhmmmmm!!!!!” Marge replied, “No, I’ll give it a miss.”
A bit more thrashing around and even Sybil was happy to return to terra firma. A few jelly babies later, we’d washed most of the mud off ourselves using the handy waterfall and were heading for the exit. The return trip up r2 passage proved even harder but the entrance passage above Walrus Pot saw a complete ‘sense of humour’ failure as I managed to loose empathy with the cave and twatted every knee and elbow before arriving in the daylight.
“You know Sybil, I sound just like Marge Simpson when I go ‘Hhhmmmmm!!!!!” I said on the surface.
“Ooh! I know!” said Sybil as we trudged up the hillside and back to the farm.