Robbie S, Mark R
29/01/11 – 30/01/11
Finishing work, I drove over to Robbie’s with half a car of my stuff and we promptly filled the second half with his. The journey up to the Dales was pretty uneventful although we did stop at the slowest ‘fast food’ place IN THE WORLD for a couple of kebabs.
We stopped off at Tim and Jane Allen’s house and went over to the Marton Arms for a couple of pints. The night flew by with great conversation from John and Hugh and before we knew it we were back in the loft sleeping off the beery haze.
Saturday saw an Ingleton breakfast disappear rather quickly and a quick packing of the ropes for Lost Johns. Luckily I didn’t listen to Robbie’s rope lengths and brought plenty of extra so we just about had enough and by mainly using 9mm we got it all in 2 sensible sized bags. I had never done Lost Johns before but it was always on my list of caves to get done so was really looking forward to it. Robbie rigged the first bag up to Battle Axe Traverse and I took over from there, it was a superb trip with very little water, nice clean pitches and plenty of rope work but best of all- no queues! We got into the master cave at the bottom and went upstream to Lyle hall where we stopped to chat for a while about this and that before heading back out. The trip took us 3 hours from car to car so we were back at the pub by about 4:00!
We sadly had to leave for the Falcon Manor in Settle at about 5 to get things ready for Robbie’s talk at the YSS annual dinner and AGM. It was just as well that we arrived early because there was a lot of messing around with the audio system. The night went really well and the talk was great, some people even clapped at the end. I won a book in the raffle and the free room and food we had was superb, thanks to the YSS for allowing me to come as the guest speakers plus 1! The room gave us the perfect place to dry out furry suits and wet socks for the next day too.
On Sunday we (eventually) convinced Tim and Jane to go to Marble Steps to get a picture at the entrance, we didn’t go any deeper than about 15 feet and I spent a long time hanging around in my harness holding the flash but the results were pretty good- see http://www.shonephotography.com/?page_id=939 I nearly lost my toes to frostbite having forgotton my wet socks and wearing slightly damp wellies, but apart from that, it was a good weekend and thanks once again to the YSS for the Saturday night.
One final thanks to Sealskinz http://www.sealskinz.com/ for their generous sponsorship of the Mulu Caves Project 2011 expedition http://www.mulucaves.org/site/ I picked up my two pairs of Sealskinz socks this weekend and am already very impressed!