Chris A, Luke N, TomTom H
Luke arrived at my abode at around 5:45pm and after a quick packing of a car it was caving time. Our journey was somewhat hampered by local traffic and then the M62 being both shut and not shut. Using some phone wizardry we were able to bypass the traffic and make it to Rowter farm at around 7:45, the journey taking about 30 mins longer than expected. Chris was already at the farm and was bent over in his car. I assumed that he was ‘fixing’ something which is usually the safe bet but it turned out that he was in fact just getting changed in the warmth. Once we were changed the heavens opened and we trudged across to the shaft in semi sideways cold rain. After being too hot on the last dig I had gone borderline chav under my oversuit, with trackies and a thin jumper, and so enjoyed the wind chill.
Luke rigged the pitch and went down first since none of his layers were waterproof, with Chris and myself following on. Some way down Chris mentioned I should check the rope at one of the y-hangs which is approaching its best before date. The sheath is getting pretty tatty under the knot and the shaft probably needs looking at by those who know more than me. I hear daddy badger is due to visit soon so he can duct tape it or something. Save
The bottom of the pitch was considerably wetter than last time with water aiming for my collar and sleeves as well as going down the scramble at a reasonable rate. The dig face itself was thankfully dry more or less, and since I was the last down I got the honour of going straight to the diagonal haul to pull up a bucket. We dug and hauled at a fair rate until we had to employ the heavies, sending down the rock net to Luke so that we could haul up a fair sized boulder. I didn’t bother to count how many buckets we hauled but I think we’re going to have to move onto the next level for dumping pretty soon.
We eventually stopped and decided a tea break was in order. I didn’t bring my stove this time as I thought we’d give the in situ stove a go, this somewhat slowed the tea making process. Our tea breaks are getting more and more middle class with discussion of bringing cheese and crackers in future arising. By the time the tea had boiled time was getting on and so we packed up to leave once we were fed and watered.
It was 10pm when we left the dig face so we were in a race to get to the pub in time, one simply cannot dig without a post dig pint. I was slightly hampered by not having my pantin since I decided the car needed it more than me, but in the end I don’t think it affected my pace to much and we all managed to get out without too much lagging. The walk to the cars was much easier without thick fog and after some speed changing we drove to the pub, just making it in time for 11pm last orders, success!
Another good dig with a further dig planned for next Thursday. It seems I am mentally damaged though, I lasted 25 years without digging a cave only to have 3 weeks in a row lined up now.
One final thing, I left a dry thin jumper in the supplies barrel which anyone is welcome to use if they get chilly/fancy a kip.
Until next time