Buttered Badger Potholing Club
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Rowter re-belays and another dig virgin

Simon Blaen, Mark W, Mark R
Sat 27th November 2010

My trip started with a snowy drive down from Leeds followed by an impromptu tour of Sheffield city centre thanks to the M1 being shut. Throwing my stuff into Mark’s car we set off to Rowter farm only to return 10 minutes later to pick up some bolts that Mark had forgotten. It was quite fotunate really as Mark also found his SRT kit waiting for him at home. With everything now in the car we set off again and called Adam en route to see how far away he was. I think my phone call woke him up, after describing himself as feeling ‘lumpy and hairy’ we decided he probably wasn’t going to be joining us in the dig today.

We arrived at the Farm to find Mark Wright already getting changed, shortly after we were walking across a very cold and windy hilltop to the mine. Mark W put some new re-belays in on the way down to speed things up in the future. I found it can get quite confusing on a series of pitches with a Mark both above and below you. At the bottom, Mark R made some tea while Mark W gave me a guided tour.

Finally getting down to some work we created a new piece of mesh wall to stack rubble behind. Bending oversize chicken wire can be quite a challenge in a confined space. While the Marks attached the new mesh panel I re-threaded the wire on another wall that had missed a few anchors previously. After that we spent about 45 mins digging, there seems to be a bit of a drainage problem as we ended up just deepening the puddle at the bottom. I can’t think of a better way of spending a Saturday afternoon than kneeling in a muddy puddle scooping mud into a bucket while Mark R swings a pick axe unnervingly close to your toes, certainly something to get the LUPC freshers involved in. I think we managed about 20-25 buckets in the end.

After the digging we had another cup of tea and Mark R and I shared a tin of corned beef. We had a quick bimble down the other end of the dig to play at being firemen with the newly installed hoses before making our way out again. After getting changed in the freezing cold Mark R and I went back to Sheffield before making our way down to Chris Adams’ house for the annual LUPC ‘lets blow the crap out of each other’ party. I’m sure it will be documented elsewhere but in short it was a very good night, if a tad chilly. Sledging and some very cramped off-roading finished off the weekend nicely before everyone went their separate ways

Simon