153 - voice connection

Mon 31 Aug 1987
Jared West

(Juliette was there by 'voice connection')

Had found entrance previous day while looking for another cave. Donned oversuit over shorts and free climbed entrance shaft. Found amazingly small 'letter-box' slit and squeezed through to find pitch which seemed at least 15m, placed bolt and handed over to Chris and Becka who had changed into full gear.

Chris descended into unknown - a rift around 6 ft wide or less, went down 60 ft vertically with a break half-way down and ended up on floor where it went on, drafting slightly. Becka came down while I (Chris) plucked up courage for the squeeze - I knocked off some chips and went over boulder down squeeze. It went down another 30 feet and then ended in another squeeze (section Y-Y). Jared and Becka stayed at top squeeze while I rigged bottom squeeze (8 inches wide) and went down it with a little trepidation (my helmet would not fit down it). Becka (& Juliette and Andy at the top) were wingeing and left Jared and me down the cave. Beyond the second squeeze did not go (rather it did, but too narrow, 4 inches wide or so downwards). So tried prussicking up squeeze - got chest through & then MR and chest jammer stuck in rock. Descended with difficulty and tried alternative routes to no avail. So Jared heroically came through top squeezes to come to Chris's help. Chris had taken off his SRT gear (modern-fangled stuff) & Jared, after trying to move a rock, eventually put down his hand & hauled Chris out of the squeeze like a champagne cork (though not so bubbly). Then Jared, having performed his rescue mission, left first - he had some difficulty with the rock at the top squeeze so shoved it out of the way and got through OK. Chris followed and derigged on the way out, having been stuck down beyond the end squeeze for about an hour. Got out of cave about 3 hours after we'd said ½ an hour more, & left back for car-park, expecting either to have set off a rescue, or a bout of drinking down the bar. Got back to Bergrestaurant (only got lost a few times) & found one car waiting for us - full rescue gear ready, & the Rover halfway down run out of petrol. So got back in end with only some wounded pride and dented enthusiasm for caving !

Chris. T/U Becka 3 hrs, Jared and Chris 6 hrs.

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Logbook trips on this date:
    surface - prospecting
    153 - voice connection
    Surface - surveying