107 - Old Route

Sun 19 Jul 2015

Got underground nice and early - 9:10 am! Whizzed down to where the two old routes diverge and headed towards the p67. Turns out you traverse over the p67 to get to the p5. We did this using 1978 spits just to have a look. There is a trickle of water down the back wall, and a rift heading west. We traversed along this, it was the sort of rift with no visible floor and of unknown depth. After a short while the rift got wider, and I became incredibly scared and refused to continue. We surveyed back to the head of the p67. On typing in the data, it seems that my pitch detecting radar knew we were about to traverse over the p100, and hence made me stop. Olly rigged down the p67 directly (ie. not via the p5) and got a Y-hang that made a lovely free hang, despite a complex pitch head. Sadly it got wet and the rope was fast so Olly had it wrapped round his leg. This gave him 2 options, abseil indefinitely, or torniquet his leg. He took the first option.

Olly shouts up "I'm down, the pitch is wet". I wonder how wet, is he telling me that he will come back up and add some rigging, or that I should come down but make sure the survey box is closed first. After a few iterations of Olly shouting 'the hang is wet' and me shouting 'can I descend?', Olly eventually shouts that he is coming up.

This would be the perfect time to sit in my lovely new bothy bag, except that I am the wrong side of the pitch wedged in a rift. After a while I see Olly putting in a bolt, and I can follow down. We end up in a side rift via a couple of rebelays and a comedy deviation. We survey up this and down to the bottom of the main hang. Then have a quick wander down to the next short pitch.

We survey back out derigging up to the Y-hang so the rig can be made drier for next time. Uneventful exit, to get out just as the thunderstorm started.

PS. They were pretty hard core in 1978. 67m pitch on ladders !