Redmire Pot – Ian and Adele (4/6/18)
After last year’s one-day effort with my daughter Beth ended in finding sump 1 to be choked with sand, I decided to return with a bit more gear this year. With two trips in to deposit two 3L cylinders and other diving gear, the obstacles down to the sump were re-consigned to memory.
The first trip in found the cave to be still pretty wet and Adele was keen to progress further through the cave than on last autumn’s gear-recovery visit. With more experience under her belt we made the short, but strenuous trip to the top of pitch one, pleased to find my stashed rope and bag still to be in-situ and I carried on alone to the sump, finding the duck to have no airspace.
A couple of weeks later, after the club AGM, the second cylinder was taken in by me and Adele, with Ian Walker of Red Rose coming along for a look.
Pitch one is basically a ladder hang, but with neither Beth nor Adele liking the things, an SRT rig using a couple of tackle bags as rope protectors suffices and we all made the descent to deposit the gear in the dry chamber before the duck, which was passed to view the inviting sump.
After a week of anxiety at work – would the winter floods have cleared the sand or not – I took a holiday to have a good go at it. Monday morning was my third day on after Robinson’s and Nent trips, but a late start and tea stop found us refreshed and ready in the early afternoon. Adele kindly offered to carry the heavier bag, leaving me to have an easy walk up with fins and helmet to carry and we made the familiar journey through the narrow obstacles before kitting up.
Being fully kitted, I dived through the duck, reaching the line and continuing on into the sump, line in left hand, making the steady descent, passing a couple of obstacles and meeting the steeply ascending sand slope at the downstream end.
Looking up I could see the mirror of airspace through the murky vis and some furious finning up the steep sand broke surface, finding the line nicely secured through a hole in a flake.
The high, narrow, white-walled rift was observed, with the merest trickle of water on the floor and I decided not to try to remove gear after the effort of getting it all on with Adele’s help. A few minutes of rest and I set of on the return, line in right hand, resulting in a slight stall in the deep sand next to the left wall in pretty much zero vis from my disturbance of all the muck – a quick wriggle right and the descent continued, passing the directional line and soon emerging. Back at camp 1, the amount of air used was found to be minimal, the gear was stashed and we headed out along the now familiar route for a rewarding drink in The Bluebell.
With the sump likely to be OK all summer, a quick return will be made to check the next pitch and beyond. Talking to Beth, her initial reluctance to return to Redmire was explained by the fact she was confusing it with Langcliffe, so she may be recruited back to the team!
Thanks again to all who offer help and encouragement, hopefully more interesting news and images to follow.