Report by Jules Barrett
Cavers: Jules Barrett (EPC), Jim Lister (EPC), Ann Soulsby (TSG), Chris Schofield (EPC)
After the SRT Rescues training yesterday we fancied something with some decent SRT and that would give a full day. Ann suggested J.H. and as Chris hadn't been in there before that seemed like an excellent idea. During the evening Jim established that J.H. was being left rigged overnight by Kent University Caving Club which made J.H. seem like an even better idea. We met at the TSG and after the usual tea and chat the party moved in the general direction of the entrance. We arrived just before the Kent University team who were de-rigging. The first pitch, Cartgate and Bitch Pitch all passed without incident and we arrived at the Workshop. I'd only ever gone straight across at the Workshop but this time we followed the alternative route down the slot in the floor to arrive at the top of a short pitch which leads to Leviathan. Down Leviathan to the big ledge and then on down the superb final pitch to the floor. Here we left SRT kits and headed down through the Boulder Piles to emerge in the Speedwell Streamway. A quick stomp upstream (much squealing from the girls at the back who were missing their neoprene!) to Main Rising and then back. On the way back we stopped to have a look at the Miner's Toast ("Health to All Miners and Maintainers of Mines") and the Yorkshire Raider's equally significant but later inscription (Main Rising -66m) before heading back through the Boulder Piles to the bottom of Leviathan. It turned out that the de-riggers were still off finding the bottom of Titan so we set off up the ropes. The trip out was uneventful and very easy with no bags whatsoever. Last time I was in here was ferrying diving gear and Ann has also done more than her fair share of that. Much as I'd like to say I'm obviously much fitter now than last time I was in here I suspect that the lack of bags was significant. By the time I arrived at the bottom of the first pitch I'd finally got the hang of the foot jammer that I've recently started using and soon I was on the surface. There are some lovely wild flowers around the top of J.H. at this time of year and it was great laying in the sun waiting for the others to make their way out.
Click on the images above to enlarge.
Miner's artifacts and conservation tape in the Workshop (J.H.).