Claire, Scott, Tom, Paul
Originally planned as a Bye George trip, Scott then actually read the description a couple of days before and decided against it with the recent weather. A quick reschedule to Notts was taken up by Tom, prospective member Claire (an experienced caver) and, on the day, a nice chap called Paul. He’d turned up for a meet with his club (who shan’t be named for legal reasons) and had grown impatient at their ongoing wining and dining in Inglesport Cafe! We happily invited him, having 4 tackle bags between 3 people – the extra hand was very welcome.
We headed down the first few pitches at breakneck speed with Scott rigging. At the start of the lower streamway pitches however, progress became a little more sedate, with Tom’s promise of rigging the remainder quickly being abandoned due to laziness. Scott took the reins for the first awkward rift rig, but for the second one Tom stepped up and finally put some legwork in. The last big pitch was a really enjoyable rig, and we ambled down the final pitch on in-situ ropes left over from the Three Counties Traverse still in place.
After a snack break by the sump, the long ascent began, with Paul very kindly offering to de-rig the whole cave. Getting off the upper big pitch of the lower streamway into the awkward rift proved a struggle for all of us, but once past this it was plain sailing back up the lovely Centre Route, to emerge into the chilly drizzle. Just over 5 hours in total, and a fantastic trip for us all.