Streaks Pot - Andy Davies

Wednesday, 18 March, 2009

Present: Andy Davies, Angus Sawyer, Wayne Sheldon, Glyn Roberts, Simon Mee, John Sharp and Alan Brentnall

Summary

Streaks Pot is an excellent little cave with a cracking through trip, but as it says in the PDF Description it is tight and awkward and if you're 15 stone solid it really does become a problem. Mostly hands and knees crawling in water with a few squeezes thrown in. Certainly not a place to break a limb or be if the water decides it wants to play ball. SO BE WARNED

The Trip

After feeding our faces on loveliness from the Toll Bar we kitted up and headed on up to the bottom entrance. On arriving here it was decided that Alan, Glyn and Simon would head off up to the top entrance and the rest of us would tackle the lower route, a decision that would turn out to be costly (to myself and my Beer Guzzling Comrades).

So, lid off and down Wayne disappeared with a few grunts and groans and bloody hell this is tight, which didn?t fill me with confidence as I was the fat bastard of the group, but I had been here before a l??..ong time ago. Then Angus, then me followed by John, all with only minor adjustments to get through the initial entrance squeeze. Once through we re-grouped and headed off up towards the streamway with relatively few problems other than a bit of route finding.

Angus in Streaks

Angus in one of the bigger and drier bits - photo: Wayne Sheldon.

We eventually managed to find ourselves in, I think, Nervous Breakdown but I may be wrong. I had a look at the normal way on and squeeze and realised it was a no go for me. Wayne had a look and after a few minutes had got through and set off down the passage to see if it was the way on. On meeting the others he shouted through for us to follow and off John went whilst Angus waited while I attempted another squeeze to the right which I eventually got through and caught up with the others. Passing the others I was told I had probably done the tightest section, what they did not realise was, the way I found through was no where near as tight. With everyone else through the final squeeze into the very wet passage leading to the foot of the top entrance series, it was my turn which went with no problem.

Once grouped up again Angus and John decided they wanted to have a look at Lu Blu Passage and Sump but gave in due to the water (we went up the Main Inlet by mistake (wet and tight...) ed.).

Whilst they were doing this I decide to follow Wayne up through the bottom entrance squeeze which by now Wayne was fighting to get through. On seeing this I knew we had a problem, I was strong but was I thin enough? The answer was definitely no. After a few attempts I decided that there was no chance I would make this squeeze and would attempt to return the way we came in. On reaching the first and really tight squeeze whilst up to the neck in water, I realised after a few attempts and suit snagging this was not an option either.

On returning to the base of the climb I told Angus and John I would need help and off Wayne went to summon some. Whilst Wayne was away I tried a couple more attempts at the aquatic squeeze but even with Angus above me I was just getting snagged up and more frustrated and cold, so I returned to the bottom off the climb to begin the unknown wait for help.

After a group hugging and warming exercise, Glyn was heard approaching and arrived with a rope. He stood above the squeeze and with Simon further up they rigged some sort of haul system which involved an etrier set up for me to put my feet in to get some leverage through the squeeze. By this time Alan had put on standby a small team of DCRO just in case. On getting my feet set into the rope and Glyn talking me through the squeeze I finally started to make progress cm by cm. I felt my chest moving through, although very painful, I knew I was going to get through. With Glyn pulling up on the rope and Angus and John pushing I popped through and with a shaking of Glyn?s hand proceeded to follow Simon up the climb to the last pitch where he helped me with my SRT kit. Really totally bollocksed and cold I made my way up and out to meet Wayne and Alan at the surface, followed a few minutes later by the rest of the team. By now it was 11.55 pm, we had missed the pub!

My thanks go to everyone there that night, although it turned out to be a bit of a nightmare, I still enjoyed it and it has also shown me how important being part of a solid club like TSG really is. The guys got down there, made a decision and got me out.

Thanks again guys sorry about the pint, it will be repaid.

Andy

PS: Earlier that day I rang Wayne to ask how tight it was, I won?t tell you the answer.