Tuesday 14th October – Henry Rockliff, Rob Eavis
After a 3 week wait it was satisfying to be rigging the entrance ropes again, this time with my long-time friend Henry from SUSS. At the top of the pull through into Pilgrim’s Way we reminisced about the first/last time we were both sat here over 10 years ago, as freshers from Sheffield Uni on our first trip without a leader, after having found a ladder to get us down Garlands!
I had the always enjoyable experience of leading someone for their first time passed the connection and into the proper New Oxlow passage; this is such a great passage. It was obvious someone had been up our ropes into Main Stream Inlet, I hope they found their way to Crusader although saw no further evidence. Henry made light work of the Crusader squeezes, and soon we were tiptoeing our way around Nights Templar.
The objective of the trip was to survey the new vadose passage found a few trips ago, now named Poisoned Chalice due to its premature ending. After quite a while awaiting this trip, reversing into the passage holding the PDA couldn’t have felt more exciting. It’s an arduous passage, like the crabwalk but only ~3ft high, but we made good progress and clocked up 60m in good time. However at this roughly halfway point the DistoX made a weird noise and suddenly stopped sending survey legs to the PDA. We played with it for ages, trying to get it back into shape but with no luck. So annoying!
On the plus side I no longer had the miserable end of the trip, that of 4 inches of airspace holding a DistoX in a johnny. Instead just a grumpy Rob wondering when we’ll get to see the completed survey.
What we can now see is that Poisoned Chalice is further towards Peak than any other part of Giants Oxlow, and in completely "open space". Whilst it may not be the key, it certainly looks good!