Juniper Gulf was very good, though very scary, entering the pitch was good, though one of the team tried to throw a tackle sack at someone else... in the most southerly sense of the word (not "below") but a bit more colourful!
entering the cave was good and looking down the traverse was cool, though you don't want to slip, this was until we got to a small pitch area within the traverse - too wide to hold onto the sides and no foot holds in the rock face, this made me apprehensive, so someone else went in front to show me how it was done, I wasn't sure if this was the Bad Step... shortly after was the 2nd pitch.
We carried onto the 3rd pitch over various walkways and traverses... seems to be a regular thing here, and made our way down, this was certainly nicer than Marilyn due to there been no rubble washing down. More traversing awaited and only on this last one my harness kept going down my leg, i assumed it was due to a different suit been worn, as it was checked on the surface, when I got to the 4 pitch I looked at my harness, and asked for someone to assist, it was found to be coming loose at all 3 safety points! oh dear :s, we managed to get them all tightened up and secure, and made my way down the final 45 or so meter pitch with re-belay. This was fun.... especially when you couldn't see the bottom apart from some dim headlamps due to the mist from the waterfall.
Stood around on the bottom, just before the sump level, some had coffee (though i don't blame them, they'd been there around 20 mins, i had just arrived, and was already feeling the cold due to the water fall), we waited for the last person to join us, when we were all stood jumping to keep warm and a sudden "thud", it turned out to be a little pebble from the top of the pitch probably but hit the tackle sack... this was quite surreal as the level of volume it made it sounded like a boulder!
We made our way back up, Laura went first and then me to assist in grabbing tackle sacks as they were heading back up. We got made our way with no problems only to the 2nd pitch and this time, one of my cow's tails had started coming loose.... I think someone/something is trying to kill me here.... Matt's response was are you suicidal!! Nope btw!
We tightened this back up, and carried on, when we hit the little pitch on the traverse, i jumped off with my cows tails on... and then dangling thought hmmm... these i've just tightened, so quickly made my way accross.
Exiting the pitch was good, John C was taking photo's of everyone going up the first pitch. Some final checks that all the tackle sacks were present and we made our way back down to the cars.
We were going to go to the Cock Inn at Austwick, but John D and John C headed home due to the drive they had, so we decided on curry in Settle, this was an hour wait and as it was already 7:30 i think we decided to head home, We passed through Gargrave and saw the Bollywood Cottage, a 10-15 minute wait so we parked up and had supper, which was very nice. :)
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