Friday, 30 October 2015

One Poached Egg too many 28.10.15

SWCC: Tabitha, Paul Tarrant and Claire Vivian

This was a trip to introduce Tabitha to an area of OFD2 she hadn't yet had the chance to visit. Missing out on my usual fight with the lock on Top Entrance, I managed to open the gate and remove the key from the lock first time. I should have known something else was bound to go slightly awry to compensate for that.

Paul and Tabitha in the passage behind Timo's Table
We were underground by 7.15pm and, with only a little guidance, Tabitha managed to lead to the Wedding Cake. We then headed down to Salubrious and took the passage opposite the climb to the Corkscrew to reach lower Arete Chamber. After a brief look around here, noting the way off to the Labyrinth and the climb up to Middle Arete, we moved on to take the meandering passage/ crawls to Timo's Table. So far so good.

We arrived at Timo's Table and then decided to have a bit of an explore in the immediate area, dropping down to the lower level and heading up the slope on the left to what eventually turned out to be a dead end with a traverse over a slight drop to the right. We had a quick look at the entrance to the Prokofiev Series and then went to look at Poached Egg climb. All as planned so far.

Reaching Poached Egg, we looked at the route across, talked about the route on to the Crevasse and OFD3, had the inevitable chat about what it feels like to fall off the climb and then started to head back to Timo's again, chatting as we went. We walked, talked, looked at some formations, turned a couple of corners and found ourselves ... back at Poached Egg. Great. So we walked, talked, looked at some more formations and arrived back at Poached Egg again. Even better. Possibly one of the shortest round trips in OFD and a first for me.

Distinctly uncomfortable with finding myself gravitating back to Poached Egg, one of my least favourite places in OFD. We decided to give up on going back to Timo's and instead followed the passage that heads back to upper Salubrious. No further unplanned detours were made and we exited in to a clear, dry, night. Whereas the week before Penwyllt had looked like a scene from Watership Down, tonight it was the turn for an invasion of giant black slugs. All in all, a good trip. New routes for both Paul and Tabitha and a brand new round trip for Claire. Back at SWCC by 10pm. 

Tabitha sitting on Timo's Table - we did get there!

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