76 - to the Tap Room

Sun 01 Aug 2004

Went back down to the top of Keg Series, but this time continued down the 70s route, down a short climb to a small chamber. The route continued down the rift; we used a chockstone (a big one) as a backup and Olly suggested a good place for a spit. I climbed round and started to put the spit in; I got as far as it nearly being set when I gave up (sore ankle + leg cramp) + let Olly take over. Olly was impressed at how far out I had managed to place the spit and didn't call me a wuss for not finishing it. A deviation got us to the next ledge where Olly put in a backup spit and got started on a Y. Over the space of a couple of minutes what was a very distant small water trickle became very loud + sounded very close – I was concerned that a raging torrent along with loose rocks would appear from an aven above; fortunately it didn't and we didn't die. It transpired that it had started to rain about 40mins earlier. Olly carried on down the pitch and got to a narrowish rift; this widened out where a passage joined from the right into a chamber with big boulders (the Tap Room). This was very drippy and wet so we left rigging on for another day and looked at the other inlet, reached from a small climb. This soon intersected a big pitch, with the passage continuing on – it looked reasonably easy to swing across, but we left this for a later date. We surveyed and derigged out; I greased the spits as well, until the grease ran out at the bottom of Plugged Shaft, which was good as we had far too much to carry already.