Tunnocks - pushing Kraken

Mon 27 Jul 2015



Despite heavy overnight rain, we decided to press on with our planned trip on the basis that if Procrastination were passable on the way in, it would most likely be passable on the way out as well since the overcast conditions meant that afternoon thunderstorms were unlikely. I thought the rain had eased off, but as soon as we left the bivi it became clear that it was raining quite heavily and we got thoroughly drenched on the walk to the entrance.

Underground, water could be heard in lots of places where it normally isn't. However, Usual Suspects didn't sound too bad, so on arrival at Procrastination, I was despatched to assess the water levels. The deal was that if the pitch was passable but we would get a soaking we would abort - I think we were all half hoping for this outcome. The water on the bottom hang was higher than usual but mostly OK. Just as I was starting to think that if it got much wetter we would have to leave, the bottom of the pitch appeared - so we were committed.

Carried on down to the pushing front, pausing briefly to measure one leg with a tape measure where the previous survey had encountered a DistoX refusal. Andy started rigging the way on from the top of the mud ridge in the Kraken chamber. This proved to be quite tricky since everything was either covered in mud or falling apart or both. After much head scratching he elected to rig a short drop then a bolt traverse along the wall where there was some good rock to try to get beyond the edge of the mud slope. I went down to have a look, and thought there looked like some reasonable rock that I could just about reach at full stretch from the end of the mud slope that would make a reasonable rig if we could find a way to get there. Ben went down and swung around on a sky hook for a while, eventually finding a placement for an intermediate rebelay. Then I went down and doubled it up, but by now it was getting late so we headed out.

Overall a frustrating trip with little actual progress and a lot of time spent cowering in the bothy bag. However, at least water levels were back to normal so we had a relatively dry exit.