SWCC: Helen Hooper, Duncan Hornby, Phil Hughes, Andy Jones, Claire Vivian and Kate.
RUCC: Chrissie Levick and Emma Camp
The weekend did not begin very promisingly. What Phil, Kate and I anticipated being a 5 1/2 hour drive to Yorkshire turned in to a 9 hour epic. The traffic on the M5 and M6 conspired to prevent a timely arrival and was stop-start most of the way. But it was a sunny and warm day, the good weather made us feel better, and we had plenty of time for some increasingly competitive 'car spotting' games as the minutes ticked by, with cries of 'mini', 'yellow car' or 'horsebox' soon being heard to pass the time. Rain found us within the last 20 minutes of the journey and we managed to miss some knot tying tips by arriving late at the hut (Hardraw Old School Bunkhouse). But things improved quickly after this. We soon ended up heading out for a drink at the Green Dragon, which was a whole 2 minutes’ walk away, where local ales and cider were sampled. With most of the group having had journeys in excess of 6 hours to get here, we found ourselves tired pretty early and bed was at a barely respectable, midnight. The 6am door slamming of the group of cyclists also staying at the hut (how many times do 6 people need to walk through and slam the same door within a 2hour period??? It turns out, the answer is actually more than I care to remember…) served as an early wake-up call.
|Hardraw Old School Bunkhouse|
We met at 9am to split in to two groups for the weekend. Those who had prior rigging experience (Duncan, Chrissie and Emma) and those who had none (Phil and Claire). The plan for today was an exchange trip in Sell Gill. The advanced group would rig the Goblin route and the beginners would rig Fossil Passage and then each group would de-rig the other’s handiwork. But first there was time for some knot practice. Since SRT hadn’t come naturally to me (I spent years dreading having to use any of it) I was actually surprised to have volunteered to go on a rigging course at all, no matter how basic. Having a complete repertoire of knots that essentially began and ended with an overhand knot, meant that it would be an uphill struggle from the word go for me.
|Helen showing Phil and Claire some knots|
Claire attempting to rig the Y hang
|Claire looking confused already!|
|Chrissie and Emma at the start of Goblin|
|Emma and Chrissie listen as Andy explains some of the finer points of rigging.|
|Claire and Phil rigging the first traverse under the watchful eye of Helen.|
|Chrissie, Emma, Duncan, Claire, Phil and Kate enjoying the last of the sun (and being eaten alive by midges) before spending the rest of the day underground.|
|Helen, Chrissie and Emma at the entrance to Simpson's|