Nameless Series, Peak Cavern - Ben Wright
Ben Wright, Sally White(RRCPC)
I've wanted to go and have a look at the Nameless Series, off the White River Series, in Peak Cavern ever since I first went up there. As no one had been there for a while, maybe even since it was first explored for some of it, it would need rebolting - so we headed into Peak fairly heavily laden with Rope, a drill and bolts. Luckily the Ventilator was rigged so we bypassed Colostomy Crawl and went up that way saving us a considerable amount of time. Once at the top for the Nameless Series entrance pitch we unpacked the kit and I started to rebolt the pitch. As I wanted this rigging to last a while and be fairly bombproof, instead of typical sparse expedition rigging, I decided to do it properly and put in a few extra bolts - I was also using Raumer 8mm stainless thrubolts and hangers, so hopefully the bolts will last a considerable amount of time.
Once at the bottom of the entrance pitch we sorted out the gear and went for an explore. I first took the most obvious passage which started fairly big and then quickly degenerated into a low boldery crawl which quickly choked - obviously not the way on. We quickly backtracked and found a flatout crawl into another chamber. At this point we had the choice between going right or left - so we chose left and after another flatout crawl into a chamber we were rewarded with some nice formations and some very tiny cave pearls - pretty sure this was Pearl Harbour on the survey. We went back and took the right hand passage which after another crawl entered another chamber with another choice - left or right. Sally took right and I took left. My route quickly got to a 2m climb down into a small breakdown chamber, with what appeared to be no way on.
After a bit of ferreting around I found a squeeze over a rock into a descending rift. I knew there was another pitch around somewhere (Pig Pitch) so didn't want to descend it without a rope, so I called Sally back (who'd followed her route for a while through a rocky crawl which carried on) and told her to bring the gear through. I quickly put two bolts in at the top of the rift and put a rope down and descended. At the bottom there was a passage that went off, which was fairly well decorated, and after a short traverse ended at a calcite blockage with a small(ish) hole at the top entering the top of a pitch (Pig Pitch I assume). There was a stall boss in the hole onto the pitch which I assume Moose had used to rig it originally, but again as I was making it safer and more permanent I decided to bolt it properly. I went back to the bottom of the rift and called Sally down with the gear, which quickly arrived, and we went back to the hole. I put in a bolt for backup and then put a sling around the boss and went through the hole feet first, which was quite amusing as it was at about chest height.
Once through I had a look at the pitch, about 10m down to a ledge - there was also a tube directly above the pitch which looked like it could go, but would require a few bolts to get into. I put in a good y-hang at the top of the pitch and descended about 4m and put in a deviation to pull me away from the wall and landed on the large ledge. There were a few miner's stemples around and a hole onto the continuation of the pitch into a large chamber. There was a single very rusty ring hanger on this with a dodgy looking Maillion which didn't look too inspiring. I has now run out of bolts and I was unsure if the rope was long enough I decided this was enough and retreated. At the top of the rift we sorted out the gear and made our way home, derigging as we went, but leaving in the hangers. On the way back we took the chance to put in a few of the 'casualties' for the following weekends DCRO practice and emerged out of Peak after a very good 8 hour trip.
The Nameless Series is a very interesting place and a return trip is definitely planned. The final pitch into the Miners Chamber, with the Cookoo Clock Ski Slope, needs dropping as well as a few aid climbs in the passage below the rift. It is also far more complicated than the CCPC rigging guide makes out so a new rigging guide will be drawn up. Also T'owd man definitely didn't get into the bottom chambers via the White River Series (as it would of been stripped!) so a way on at the bottom must exist somewhere - I suspect in the Cookoo Clock Ski Slope somewhere.
Rigging is all on stainless 8mm Thrubolts and is as follows:
Pitch 1 (Nameless Pitch): Backup to bolt with traverse line on it, then another bolt on the far wall and a y-hang above pitch. A deviation off another bolt at -2m pulls you away from the wall. 25m rope, 3 Maillons, 1 sling+krab.
Pitch 2 (Rift about Pig Pitch): 2 bolts for Y-hang, 10m rope, 2 Maillons.
Pitch 3 (Pig Pitch): backup bolt on near side of hole, then sling around stall boss. Once through the hole 2 bolts for a y-hang above pitch then a deviation about 4m down. The hole down to the bottom chamber will eventually have another 2 bolts for a y-hang. 35m rope, 6 Maillons, 1 sling (for stall boss) and 1 sling+krab for deviation.