Gavel John, Miranda, Tim D, Jason
The trip was billed as ‘Gavel/Short Drop’, but instead of doing the usual exchange, we split into two parties. Chris H, in his role as recruitment officer wanted an undemanding trip for two prospective members, so took them down Short Drop.
The rest of us also had different agendas. Miranda, John and Tim wanted to take advantage of the relatively dry conditions to get to the bottom of Gavel. I fancied getting some photos of Glasfurd’s chamber, not having been there before.
Tim rigged the entrance pitch at the eyehole to the left of the shakehole. Crossing the bottom of the shakehole, the second pitch (also quite short) is reached, followed by a climb down a partly engineered shaft. The guide books recommend a rope for this, but I’m no great climber and certainly didn’t need one. We all went to the head of the third pitch, which looked a little acrobatic on take-off, so I was happy to turn back to the last right-angled bend in the passage to climb up towards Glasfurd’s.
I’d been told it was a bit tight, but the first constriction was positively roomy. What’s the problem ? But as you go on, it’s a series of fabulous chambers and ever-snugger connections, so I had to admit it was no place for the stout. The decorations are first-class though – well worth a bit of a thrutch to visit, and in good condition for a popular spot.
I spent some time faffing about taking pictures. The advantage of being solo is that no-one is kept waiting thereby, but I realised the photos lacked something of human interest.
After that I was surprised to find John only just starting the ascent of the third pitch – it seems it had been an awkward rig, but we’d all got to do what we wanted – I certainly enjoyed it. The only downside being the somewhat late exit meant the local brewing industry went without our support.