P8 to downstream sump - 14/09/2007

Written by RobEavis.

Report by Jules Barrett
Cavers: Jules Barrett (EPC), Toni Murphy (non-EPC), Richard Tooley (TSG)

We wanted a short Friday evening trip with some rebelays so that Toni could practice and P8 seemed like a good idea. There's an alternative first pitch that comes down out of the roof and it has a couple of rebelays on it. I quite enjoy the traverse over the old iron ladder pitch so we went for that as well. Very nice, warm evening as we made our way across the fields to the cave. SRT kits on and into the cave. Down the handline at Idiot's Leap and to the top of the first pitch. From here a climb vertically up in the rift leads to a slightly awkward squeeze and up again into a nice little chamber with a backup Spit and Y-hang from P-bolts. Rigged the pitch head and abseiled down to rig the next couple of rebelays and then drop down to the bottom of the pitch. Toni followed and finally Richard. Then climbed up to take the high route towards the top of the old iron ladder pitch. Since Toni hasn't done a lot of climbing around on slippery limestone I rigged the whole of the traverse to the top of the iron ladder pitch on a mixture of naturals and Spits. All very enjoyable! At the head of the old iron ladder pitch used one of the P-bolts as an anchor for the traverse line and kept going towards the passage on the far side that leads to Mud Hall. Once at the other side we made our way to Mud Hall and down to the downstream sump. The journey back was uneventful with Richard helping with the de-rigging and Toni doing a good job on the rebelays.