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Present: Julia, Anthony, Bob, Al, Dave

Got to write this up before we write up lots of Derbyshire stuff. Or not, in my case, probably…

Early start, then faffed in Ingleton sorting out a call-out. Drove up Leck Fell until we got stuck behind a Landrover, who randomly stopped in the middle of the road and started bird watching (that is, feathered things that fly…) Sat there for a bit, then Al very politely went to ask him to move, and of course it was the landowner. Parked in the right place eventually, nice view of Easegill and all that, but it was still fucking freezing.

Nice short walk, down the stream for a bit, then an easy traverse (new roof traverse, I think) into a fossil passage, and stayed dry for ages until right at the bottom, it was brilliant. Didn’t have enough rope for the second pitch, so shoved a sling on a natural. Piss easy to slither down it, I completely forgot about having to get back up again, and suggested we should take the sling. Ho ho.

Lots of pitches, I think there were about 7 (Dome route). They all had names but I can’t remember all of them. Cathedral was dead good, jolly large, and there was a lovely ledge to stand on. Down, down, deeper and down. Random pitch with funny rigging, looked like a rebelay, so I passed it as one, only discovering it wasn’t after I was sat on my short cows tail. Grumble.

Eventually got to Battleaxe traverse, took a while to get across it whilst Anthony shat himself rigging it. There are some footholds in parts, but not all parts by any means. Al managed to fall asleep on the traverse somehow. Anyway, down the big pitch with a dead loud waterfall nowhere near the rope (hence the traverse I’d imagine) and another (which I can’t remember) and into Leck Fell Master Cave. Went downstream, Dave and Bob set off back, went upstream. Emptied wellies ‘cos they were new and too big. Then wandered back.

The traverse was lots harder on the way back, everyone said so, wasn’t just me being wussy/hussy (delete as applicable). Took a tacklesack, no, I didn’t, Anthony took one. Up more pitches until next sack was full, took it and did some prussiking. This was shit, got tired and became rubbish (for rubbish read completely knackered with utterly no energy). Oh yeah, Anthony met Dave and Bob half way up having a lights crisis.

Amazingly, I was underground for 9 hours and my light didn’t die. The sling on the “free-climbable” pitch was rather nice, sat with both cows tails clipped into the crab until Al shouted at me enough to get me up said pitch. Great to get back to the water, supped lots of it, despite foam round the next corner. Al was heroic and carried 2 tacklesacks out and I owe him a glass of mineral water. Don’t know why, but there we are. Out, staggered up the road and collapsed. Then changed in the rain and to the Marton to talk about all things Turkish with Reading UCC.

Julia Bradshaw