204 - The 11 second rattle story

Thu 19 Jul 2007

It all began with one rock, one pitch, a stopwatch and a certain lack of imagination on the part of those naming the pitch. It should at this point be noted that it actually rattles for longer than 11 seconds. But I digress. Armed with 105m of rope, Richard, Sarah and I began the arduous task of negotiating Chocolate Salty Balls on the way to the 11SR, with the minor detour of liberating 33m of rope from 'Taking the Piss.' This rope had clearly been affected by its oppressor as it was the fastest rope I have ever witnessed. Still, I got my own back by using a full turn round my breaking krab and twisting the hell out of it.

After rigging the short pitch above the 11SR with a deviation Superman himself would have difficulty passing thanks to a school of rigging that involves ignoring obvious spits and letting the location of naturals decide the path the rig will take, we finally met the proverbial 11 second rattle.

Having carried a full suite of power-bolting equipment with us it seemed sensible to put in a Y-hang with the drill. It is often noted that problems between the keyboard and chair are the main source of computer problems, in this case I suppose the problem existed between the muddy floor and the trigger, when we found that the drill was not nearly as effective in reverse. I blame my thermodynamics lectures for teaching me that reversible systems are most efficient and my education at Cambridge for leaving me with no common sense. With a new burst of enthusiasm after realising our mistake, and the drill firmly switched to forwards we continued to drill. It is indicative of the human ability for learning that during the second attempt at a hole we noted more quickly that the drill was still in reverse.

One and a half holes later the drill decided that all this changing direction was a bit too much and refused to go on.

We went all Old Skool on the hole's ass and cracked out the hand bolting gear. One perfectly placed spit later, and we continued on our journey. I abseiled down a few metres to place a survey station whilst Sarah and Richard admired my beautiful spit placement, awe-stricken at its poise, dedication and charm. One survey leg for good measure later, and it was time to go home. Nothing would prepare us for the following day's events. To be continued ...