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County – Wretched Rabbit via Manchester Bypass

Present: Al, Anthony, Julia, James “Laa Laa” Thorne, Tom, John

Got to County Pot at about 1:45 & got to the 1st pitch quickly. There was one point where Lard-arse Jim had a bit of trouble, but he got through, just the start of his troubles. The pitch was negotiated easily by all and the descent continued to the entrance to Manchester Bypass. The intrepid group of cavers entered, knowing that their only means of navigation was a map drawn in pencil by Al that morning, which was being squashed in “Lard-arse Jim’s” breast pocket. The map proved invaluable and is kept for reference. The route was particularly hard, especially for James, who found some of the narrow bits very, well, narrow! He also developed a huge dislike for fixed chain ladders! After more narrow crawls, and a slither up a rope, the group got to Main Line Terminus. We did not get to Carrot Chamber, but headed for the Minarets as the target of our trip. They were fantastic, although some thought they weren’t as good as the picture on “Northern Caves 3”. We headed out via Stop Pot’s fixed ladder to the main drain. Along to Eureka Junction and up to Wretched Rabbit Entrance. Al, Tom & John went ahead to go a de-rig County while Anthony & Julia were left to help the floundering James. Al rigged the ladder from County down Wretched Rabbit to ease the ascent. Then we were out, 6¼ hrs after we went in. All that followed was a 30 minute walk back to Bull Pot Farm. All in all, quite a tiring day.

James Thorne