Training meet and Rowten sumps.
Talking with Pete Whitaker at the annual dinner, we decided an SRT training/rescue session would be in order with Pete now being Training Officer. With knee cartilage improving, I decided to attend the session and then get some well-overdue caving time in with a quick trip through Rowten sumps from Valley Entrance.
Peter and Steve Henry demonstrated removal of a casualty from a rope, with Caddy and Geoff Dudman being the unfortunate rescuees, whilst I indulged in a bit of footless bouldering and pork pie munching. Judging by the time this all took and the pain they endured, I reckoned that a club AK47 would probably serve as a more efficient way of removing one’s distress in the future.
With Chris looking hypothermic in the chilly confines of Ingleton wall, we decided to get warmed up by doing some free-diving. Peter had apparently long-fancied the trip, whilst Chris and Matt were eager to try the first 2 sumps for the experience before going for a longer dive.
Arriving in Kingsdale, a party were trudging up the hill for Swinsto, whilst we pulled on neoprene gear and took hoods and masks for the dives. Arriving at the pitch first, I rigged a rope, before climbing down to wait……and wait…..turned out my 3 companions had got lost!
Reaching the first sump, which sported a 2-inch airspace, some instructions were given before we all dived through. Peter followed me through the clear final sump, whilst Chris and Matt did a few repetitions of the shorter dives to get the hang of things.
After a slight detour down an oxbow near to the Swinsto junction – oops - , we arrived back at the Roof Tunnel pitch, where Peter was ‘advised ‘ to give the climb a go to complete the experience and we emerged to the pleasant sunshine to change.
With such a good turnout for the session, perhaps we should become an indoor caving club – indoor climbing seems to be popular enough – but maybe not!