Dwarrowdelf re-rig. 2/02/13 (by Janine McKinnon)

Dwarrowdelf re-rig. 2/02/13

Party: Jane Pulford, Ric Tunney, Janine McKinnon.


This was a quick trip to de-rig the cave following the second, and final, dive attempt on KD sump II, 2 weeks ago.

As we hauled all the diving gear out on that last trip, Alan & I also partially de-rigged the cave. We removed all the ropes as far as the bottom of pitch 4, and left them tied together and piled at the bottom of that pitch. Alan also removed the rebelay on Pitch 4 as he ascended, so there was no need for the de-rig party coming later to drop that pitch.

Thus, we now needed only to go as far as the top of pitch 4 to retrieve the ropes from further down the cave, and to de-rig the first 3 pitches on our exit.

As we were not in any particular hurry this trip, and Jane had not been into the cave before, we decided to stay together as we descended. Thus the last of us reached the bottom of pitch 3 not much short of an hour after the first started into the cave.

After lunch and packing, Ric started up with the 120m rope. I followed with the remaining ropes and Jane came last, de-rigging the 55m pitch as she went.

Ric continued up to the climbs above pitch 2, and waited to help haul packs. I waited for Jane at the top of pitch 3 to help with packing the rope.

We couldn’t fit the rope for pitch 2 into our packs, so that was hauled up the cave, and out, separately.

All went smoothly and we were all back on the surface just before 2pm. That made the total trip a bit short of 3.5 hours.

Ric and I both hauled packs of 13kgs up the cave, and our packs back to the car weighted 25kgs each, so de-rigging the cave at the same time as bringing out diving gear was never a sensible option, so it’s a good thing we didn’t try to do it.