Walk to top camp and Keith's first trip to 204

Thu 24 Jul 2008

Left base camp around 10am. Keith drove Natalie's van up toll road. Stopped for coffee in the Bergrestaurant and then headed off into the clag. Low visibility but no rain. Arrived at empty top camp about 3hrs later. I checked the call out book which had a callout for Nial and Edvin - 11pm on 21st [should be 23rd?] August. Although technically I should have called the rescue, common sense prevailed. I checked the phone which had a sent message from Natalie to base camp saying everyone had walked down. Eventually, Ollie and Natalie showed up having rigged to within 10m of the bottom of tunnocks entrance due to rope miscalculation. I fumed bout the uncancelled callout and premature text. O and N returned to Tunnocks to finish the job. Keith and I got suited up for a 204e trip, and Nial and team Cresta showed up as we were on our way out. Again I ranted about callouts, and then the others caught me red handed as I proceeded to walk off without leaving one myself. Whoops. The pitch went fine, Keith had no trouble with the rebelay or deviations. He had done vertical caving some 30 years earlier in the USA, and I had given him one four-hour tree training session in Sweden before leaving for Expo. I went down first and waited at the ledge by the rebelay to watch him closely there, but he required no assistance. Once at the bottom, I nipped to CSB where to my excitement I was greeted by the flashing red led of the datalogger, still chugging along since over a year earlier. I downloaded the data, which was 89% of the memory capacity. Headed back to Keith and he was ready to head back up so I let him go first. He told me many times how much he was enjoying the prussik and the pitch. T/U 4 hours