Buttered Badger Potholing Club
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The Ruffler

David S, Ivor, Mark R, TomTom

I was running a little late but as it turned out it all worked out, Mark and David were just heading up the hill as Ivor and myself arrived. We had plenty of planks to take to the dig and with a few of us going down Mark rigged the North and West routes. Despite the clouds dumping most of the north Atlantic over the country throughout the day it was surprisingly dry both on the walk up and in the cave itself.

With four of us about it was going to be an evening of hauling, with one on the dig face, one dealing with the dogleg, and two at the top hauling on the looped rope. We weren’t far off adding a new ring so after a few buckets we changed to cutting the planks and scaff to size and drilling the pins into place.

The shark cage is getting some depth now, an assisting haul rope is required to get the buckets into the main shaft as it’s getting a bit far to throw. A more permanent idea is needed in the near future but for now it’s working well.

Once the ring was in place and we’d cleared a bit of space we changed places a little, hauling bucket after bucket out of the shaft so that the floor of the shark cage sunk a fair distance in just an evening’s dig. It’s probably around 50cm deeper than in the video in the last trip report.

Sometime after 10pm we decided to head for freedom, and I decided to climb the North route for the first time in ages. After a few prussiks it became apparent that I was being attacked by tiny pieces of ice, it was hailing fairly heavily even at the bottom of Eldon hole. This hail turned to snow as I climbed up and I was becoming a snow man by the time I dragged myself over the lip to the surface.

We took some cover in the gully by the south route until everyone was out before heading across the snowy fields for freedom. Almost May and it’s still snowing up here, typical!




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