Homecoming - pushing beyond death sump and the heifer
jono and i had spotted an A lead bolt climb off the edge of propane nightmares over the death sump. armed with bolts and mikes drill we set off from garlic cave and after much faff we finally enteretd into homecoming. we got our kit into two bags of very heavy nature and set off down the cave. the entrance pitches went easily and eventually we got to the traverse . this was a interesting with large blokes and large bags stuck in the rift. after a large amount of swearing we got down to wallace. this went easily, and we got onto grommit. this was rather "fun" as the rope was looking interesting, and you had to go very slowly to avoid sizzling. at the bottom of grommit we gathered some bolts and hangers from the bag down there and set off into propane nightmares.
we stopped to document and tape a bat skeleton and some spelotherms . care required when going through this section of cave. we then kept going and arrived at the death sump. i bolted a traverse over the sump which was good fun. blowing the dust out of the holes showed a nice draft blowing from the lead into us. we kep going after this and arrived at the base of the bolt climb. jono climbed this with various thrutchy moves and an inverted skyhook. and placed a bolt at the start of the awkward uphill tube. this up pitch was named the heifer. jono then bolteda traverse at the top into a nice phreatic passage which led down a nice pitch. we dropped down this with the final bolt and found another static sump at the bottom in a nice quiet chamber, called the trough. it went but we decided that we needed to get more bolts to upgrade the rigging on the heifer. we collected some more from the bottom of grommit and then headed back to the heifer.
on arriving back to the heifer we climbed baack up and realized that thye rigging needed some drastic changes. we bolts a better alternative route with a nicer hang. then we started surveying up the pitch. on the down pitch i installed a deviation. once at the bottom of the pitch i could hear a large sound of flowing water. at this point jono felt large gusts of air at the top of the pitch. we traversed over the sump at the bottom and installed a traverse line at the end for a bold step (needs replacing next trip, 3 meters of rope required). once across we found a small stream running towards our sump. we kept surveying and eventually the water kept rising and we got to a low arch that was impassable with the water levels but a large 12ft high contiuation could be seen beyond survey point 9. a bolt climb into a higher rift could be seen to right opposite survey point 8. we also found two unstratified long bones from a small mammal. these were sampled. we then thoughbt it would be a good idea to turn around as it was getting rather late and the water was rising still. we crossed back over the sump and jono scanned the cave.
we regrouped at the base of the heifer after adding a bolt to make the pitch head easier and started the long trudge out. the route to watershed sounded apocolypticly wet as we passed by. i arrived at the base of grommit and the drums of khazard-dum started to sound. the water coming down beyond the pitch was carrying some loud rocks with it which was a fun accomaniment for the prussic. the pitches stayed nice and dry and eventually i got to the cheese press. my bag and i had a falling out and many expletives and death threats were made on the horizontal traverse i had to tighten a few of the spit bolts (entertaining due to large bag and being horizontal). finally we made it back to the rock at the end of the traverses. i stopped and had a flapjack here and waited for jono. i heard his displeasure at the cave appear and we shared a bag of happy bears which boosted the mood. radagst was rather dripping but we eventually made it back onto the surface at 3AM. we arrived back at garlic cave and ate some grim noodles and went to sleep. good trip well do