204 - Underworld
Given previous Rhino Rift and surface prospecting exploits, I allowed myself to be tempted into a deeper expedition by Nial, despite wise seer Dave's protestations that I wouldn't find much onward in the Underworld. We firstly took a promising lead from Terra Firma. I was 'on notes' for the first time and had no clue what was going on. It disapointingly linked quickly to Quiz Rift. We then moved on to peering down a pitch from Quiz Rift. This continued over a ledge to a rocky downward, becoming a muddy upward, as is the way with the Underworld. A sharp rocky crawl led up and back to the pitch and a downward squeeze, deemed too tight without capping, seemed to lead downward onto a pitch. Miserable squirmings led to the bottom of a pitch which Nial climbed up, making me promise to catch him if he fell. Bastard. He then spied two hard-to-reach 'C' leads up there and a further pitch close by. Two tiny holes linked the bottom of our pitch with this further pitch. I tried digging the lower of these and failed. Thus Nial told Kathryn to squeeze feet first through the tiny upper one, into a 2m drop. Bastard. Sure enough, this led nowhere. We labelled this 'Dangerous Dig and the Gut-Busters'. A rubbish bit of nasty cave. Sure enough Nial made it worse by then forcing me up an earlier lead. This had a squeeze which involved removing SRT kit and hammering off protruberances. The passage grew rifty before becoming too tight. We surveyed a reasonable bit, but I resolve to charge Nial a 'shit cave tax' for his transgressions. The upward pitches went on for ever, Gaffered itself being especially epic with horrid rebelay. Lower pitches mud on rope requires manual manipulation of jamming cams. We finally got out for noodles and hot chocolate (mixed with vile spirit Unicum - not as tasty as ejaculate) after an exhasting 13hr trip.