Homecoming - pushing down homecoming from flowstone canyon, into alpine showers

Fri 14 Jul 2023
James Waite

after a heavy afternoon at the tatty hut, Harry asked if i fancied coming to help push his lead with him. an offer i couldn't refuse. so i yomped up to top camp (with a ludicrous amount of curry) and then the next morning we headed to homecoming to meetup with jono who was coming from garlic cave. he was late so harry and charlotte decided to go down in front to do the rerigging of grommit (after they had cored it the last time). eventually jono arrived and myself becka and him went down into homecoming. the snow plugs were easiy traversed and eventually i was down radegast and into the crawl to the up pitch.

soon i was down in the awkward traverses that led to wallace. we dropped down and wallace and becka gave me a very long description of whyi shouldn't glaze the brand new rope. i ended up down grommit and then headed along the traverse and then swapped from a down rope to an up rope which led up to propane nightmares. there is an odd section of chalky limestone in propane nightmares before the pitch down which could do with ssome geological investigation.

eventually we made it through prpane nightmares and i was show the correct was round the sump pool we ended up dropping down strained by gravity and entering watershed. at the this point i was in front with becka and we tried to find the correct route through the traverses here. up at the start and along and then follow down to streamway level. then at a 90 degree right hand bend you go up halfway and then at eh 90 degree left hand bend you go to proper roof level. this traversing was slightly sketch and eventualy led to two small climbs downa nd the stashed drill.

i was soon taught to bolt by becka and we ahd installed two handlines down the climbs. after this we went further down to the t junction andwent left to nthe sandy changing room. warm layers installed , we set off down the flowstone canyon . this section of cave feels slighlty too much like mendip. with some squeezes that are challenging for the larger gentlemen. after being fat shamed/ pelvis shamed by the final squeeze we entered the pitches down towards the streamway.

the bottom pitches led to a streamway which was the bottom A leads. we divided up and charlotte harry and i went downstream. jono and becka went upstream and it ended at a waterfall. we set of dwonstream and i was taught the basics if paper surveing and swiftly stopped surveying by getting stuck in a tight section .

is easier as a crawl if a larger gentleman. soon the surveying was going quickly and the rift was getting much bigger. sadly we hit a pitch . harry/charlotte went back to retrieve the drill and soon i was bolting my first pitch. this was a small 5/6M that could be freeclimbed if there wasnt and water flowing (unlikely). dropping down the pitch i turned a corner and found another pitch down into a big chamber.

harry bolted this pitch and it dropped into the wet chamber. (deviation needs adding/a bolted traverse before dropping) this chamber then led off round a corner onto another pitch that we didn't have enough rope to drop sadly, althouhg the traverse line is rigged. the lef hand wall at the back of the pitch head is an execllent spot to garden and yieled plenty of large loose rocks. the lead at the bottom of this pitch is a big rift chamber 10M wide and 40M high that soon goes round a left hand bend.

at this point we realised that the survey notebook had started rubbing itself out. we resurveyed some of the legs and eventually started going back upwards out of the cave. the rest of the trip out was quite strenuous and was an introduction and a half to Alpine SRT. i kept going and eventualy got out of strained by grvaity just as harry and charlotte caught up with me. cahrlotte told me to put the cooker on for the noodles. for some reason i set up the gas burner upside down and proceded to light the cave fllor and my hand hair on fire. after the food i set off ahead of the others as i needed to make progress so i had a tme buffer for the srt.

eventually i arrived at the bottom of greommit and met uncle Mike and his group. we set off in the middle of them and evetually i was up the big pitches and struggling along the traversy rifts. at thsi point i was running on fumes and arrived to the chamber before going dwon the up pitch after radegast. here i found a pack of happy bears in my drybag . harry arrived and looked very much like a happy bear upon eating a few.

i then started out of the last few pitches , and after soem struggles with pitchheads i arrived onto the platau to find that my guide back to garlic camp had been sent back and that i was waiting for a new guide who was in the cave. so i stripped off and got into my sleeping bag and had a few hours of uncomfortable platau sleep.

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Survex files on this date:
Wallets on this date:
    2023#21 and surface near Garlic ['Garlic-Surface-1']
    2023#22 [Goose_Box] ['notes_Goose_Box_3', 'notes_Goose_box_2', 'Goose Box plan', 'notes_Goose_Box_1…
    2023#23 Alpine Waterfall - watershed ['incavenotes-2', 'incavenotes-1']
    2023#24 flowstone canyon -alpine_waterfall ['Flowstone2-incavenotes-2', 'Flowstone2-incavenotes-1']
    2023#25 [Alpine Showers] ['Alpine-showers-plan-sketch', 'Alpine-showers-plan']
    2023#27 Lord Of The Flies ['Final File', 'Final File_3wEMucM']
    2023#33 prospecting ['No uploaded scans or incorrect path to wallet contents']
Logbook trips on this date:
    Homecoming - pushing down homecoming from flowstone canyon, into alpine showers
    basecamp - UK Caving Blog post: Rain at times