76 - Brave New World pitch series

Wed 04 Aug 2004

Went back to the pitch carrying on below Forward to the Past. Olly rigged down to the rock bridge down to to a ledge where a passage doubled back and dropped a small pitch which was choked at the bottom. The main pitch continued down the same fault plane (N.B. Fault has ~1m offset and dips slightly to the E; strike ~ 230°). This pitch led to another short one before things got smaller, we got cold and time was running out. We started surveying out from here leaving a pitch with a couple of seconds' drop (though the rock bounced once). Derigged back up to BNW whilst surveying and then traversed over the pitch to see if the main BNW passage continued; it did, initially quite big and rift-like with a trench in the floor (Olly named this the Boiling Tube). After a bit a passage left on the left followed by an aven, shortly later another passage (this time mud-choked) left on the right and the main one got smaller, so we surveyed back from here.

Again we had too much gear to carry out so I went back for the 3rd tacklesack whilst Olly abbed down to the ledge below The Ledge to derig. After this we both heroically carried out lots of gear + I derigged. I hadn't realised how much harder swinging around to derig would be with 2 heavy tacklesacks. By the top of Draught Bitter I gave up on taking both bags together and shuttled them up. By the end of derigging I only had enough strength to carry 1 bag out of the cave + stumble back to the bivvy where Olly had kindly cooked me food. He then went back to retrieve the bag.