North Hill Swallet - Wed 17 May 2023

Andy Sparrow, David Cooke, Lawrence Wilson, Peter Sanders, Will Puddy, Yvette Mayo

Assembled at the Wessex and got kitted up, having paid at the farm we walked to the entrance where Andy et al rigged the entrance with considerable stile(sic) Cookie, Andy and Lawrence used SRT with the rest using ladder and lifeline, the first 20 feet is in concrete pipe, the next 20 free hanging and the last 20 free climbable.

At the bottom of the shaft the crawling starts straight away along a gently descending, blasted tube. After 27m a bit of respite at the optimistically named Great Aven, at least we could stand up albeit not all at the same time, another 15m or so of crawling with an awkward drop followed before the constricted head of Rumble-Plonk Pitch was reached. This tricky pot can be free climbed, but all were grateful for a somewhat aged in situ rope. An easy climb down followed with an amazingly thin and painful looking blade of rock sticking out of the wall. Another 20m of flat out, damp crawling followed with a final squeeze into the Master Cave.

The natural stream passage and its inlets were all explored, some pretty bits and very nice vadose passage was probably worth the not inconsiderable effort to reach it.

The outward journey was just as arduous and all were glad to arrive back at the surface where Andy had rigged an efficient lifeline rig.

A hard cave that took 6 years to dig and blast open, glad I’ve been but won’t be back until I’ve forgotten about the bruises.

A well deserved pint at the Hunters finished the evening off

— Lawrence Wilson 26/05/2023

Last modified: 26 May 2023 21:09