161 - France - push, survey, derig

Mon 03 Aug 1992
Olly Betts

Foregoing the chance of the long walk to Repton and beyond, Dave "I'll carry that tacklesack" Howes, Julian "I'm shit at caving, y'know" Shilton and myself opt for France - -300m with 30 ft of walking. We descend, marvelling at the re-belays which have been breeding in dark corners since last year. Just as I begin to wonder if the universe outside of an endless piece of rope with bolts every six feet is a figment of my fudge-fevered brain, we reach Algeria, DaveH: "Would you like to rig while we survey ?" Of course I would. Try to rig a 50m hang on 9mm rope from two I.R.T. placed bolts in two ?tectors. The hang bolt - just to add to my confidence - is in a boulder larger than a house jammed in the rift. Reach the floor thinking that surveying has its attractions. Rig 2 more poxy rebelays to a smaller chamber where the French spits run out. There's an obvious aqueous way on or a "Driller-killer" traverse over the top of the end wall. Both have big drops (2 sec+??). Dave & Julian come down the 50 & Julian gibbers at the rub. He has a point, but I'd rather he told me at the top. Dave looks at the next chamber and we derig. God it was fun. Dave & I emerge to find JulianS has fallen off a (surface) cliff and badly bruised his back. Ho hum.

Nomenclature: Favourites are: "Orient Express" for 50m & "Titfield Thunderbolt" for [this bit off edge of photocopy]

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