Oxlow to Maskhill Exchange
Present: Al, James, Phil, Gwyn, Jenny
Al rigged all the way down using very little gear (MRT) and a few dubiously short ropes, no real problems until the last pitch which is poorly P – hangered. Novel use of derigging behind the party was used to recover a mailon, which were in short supply. Got to the pitch near the sump to find Anthony a few meters above us, at the bottom of his rope (which was already the second one on the pitch. Careful use of rope allowed him to reach the head of our pitch after much swinging around. Julia and Tom took their time passing the two knot passes to join us, during which time much photography with slave guns and flash bulbs was undertaken in a rather large chamber. A group photo was taken and we ‘crossed over’ (no, we didn’t all die, but we did swap caves) except for James who didn’t fancy the other way and went back out of Oxlow.
Prussiked up the first pitch, passing lots of knots and deviations, got to the next pitch, prussiked up it, passing other stuff. Got to the next pitch, prussiked half way up, waited for 1 hour for Jenny to derig Anthony’s ‘lets just use rewovern fig 8’s rather than use the no mailons that we have left’ technique (even in the middle of long ropes) climbed the next pitch, and a couple of traverses with Gwyn, thinking, ooh, look, theres a few p-hangers there, that looks like it should’ve had a y hang / deviation. Shame theres no rope through any of them. Got to the really wide entrance pitch, which was very clean and very easy, with hardly any rebelays or deviations honest. Struggled up it slowly to get out in the dark on top of a hill. What a fantastic cave it really was.
Shame about the cars.