136 - 136
Under by 10.45, pootled beyond Lost in Space. Neil rerigged (another bolt) Andy's pitch to give 2 pitchhead bolts . . . but it still rubs + still has the free-hanging rebelay in it. Then Neil put a deviation bolt in Brian's pitch which now doesn't rub (we had a drill, by the way!) Whilst Jon looked at the traverse on the left in the inbetween chamber - pretty sure it drops down into the left route stuff. Down the 30m pitch at the end of Carpetland (Pebbledash) to get to the pushing front. I thought the next pitch looked free-climbable but by the time Neil had scrambled up the wall a bit the drop was at least 5m. Jon + I surveyed down whilst Neil wielded the drill. We just about kept up with him down 4 squitty pitches to a really wet drippy aven and _passage_ ... that lasted about 50m in tightish canyonny passage with some delicate stals and weird bulbous calcite that looked like it regularly flooded - muddy and gloomy. The drill faded out on the final pitch _and_ Neil dropped the spits down it, so he slung a rope around a weakly-wedged boulder in the canyon (the good belay) and a sling around a vague stump of calcite (can you sit on this belay please) & lobbed off down. He came back - found a sump! We'd been about ready to turn round but decided we had to finish the survey (_lovely_ bit of stream passage at the bottom followed by a big, dark, ominous circular sump pool with froth on top and _no_ way on, Tick). Then derigged all the rope up to Carpetland + staggered off with 2 tacklesacks of rope + rigging gear, the drill + battery to bottom of Oatso, aided + abetted by some of Neil's marzipan + impeded by a failed attempt to haul up Brian's pitch (rope fails to hit bottom cock-up). Got out steadily + _fantastic_ stars, with a couple shooting.
IMAGE: pitch 1, 2 rigging - 6k gif
IMAGE: pitch 3 rigging - 5k gif
IMAGE: pitch 4, 5 rigging - 8k gif
IMAGE: pitch 6 rigging
NOTE - Passage continues for 50m streamway to sump _TOTALITY_