204 - The Gaffered rebolting project

Sat 14 Jul 2007

After the previous rigging trip I decided that the Gaffered rig could be greatly improved with a few extra bolts. With lots of novices keen to learn to bolt and an abundance of hand bolting gear (well, 3 sets) this seemed like the perfect opportunity to sort the rig out once and for all. Myself and Edvin went ahead to re-rig the Eyehole and Trihang leaving the others to practice some bolting and rigging by installing a traverse line between Gaffer Tape and Tape Worm. Edvin installed two new spits at the top of the Eyehole pitch meaning you no longer have to squeeze through the eyehole. This rig is perfect! Why was it not rigged like this in the first place!? While Edvin did this, I put in an additional spit at the top of Trihang in order to allow it to be rigged as a Trihang (how was this done before?). Further improvements to the rig include a deviation on Gaffer Tape just below the first re-belay (this looks a bit strange, but it stops the rope rubbing when you swing across for the second re-belay). A deviation on the Lx pitch also makes staying out of the slot above the re-belay easier.

Having finished the rigging Edvin and I started pushing leads in the Underworld. We started with 04-15B, now called "Shprinkles Pitch." This is a ~15m pitch down leading to a sharp rifty passage which is too tight. One wall of the pitch is made entirely of mud, which rains down on you as you descend - hence the name. We were then joined by Djuke who had left the other two bolting and had come to join us. The three of us went to look at 03-14B (which looks to be the same lead as 03-15B). This is a steeply sloping tube (-50deg) down near the start of Sirens traverse. It descended for ~15m before becoming vertical. It has a strong draft and looks like a promising lead! However, we were out of time and headed back. the whole trip took 12 1/4 hours.

Meanwhile at the bottom of Gaffer Tape.....

Kathryn Sarah and Djuke started to bolt the traverse between the bottom of Gaffer Tape and the Tape Worm pitch. The traverse had not previously been protected, but a slip there could be very serious, so it was decided that a rope was a good idea. None of the the three of us had much experience bolting, and so we had many aborted attempts. We only had one bolting kit between the three of us, and this meant we got quite cold, so Djuke decideded to find Edvin and Nial in the Underworld. Sarah and Kathryn eventually placed 4 bolts of varying quality and rigged the traverse, by which time it was too late to join the others pushing in the Underworld, and so they headed out.