Maskhill Pull Through - Ann Soulsby

Sunday, 18 September, 2011

Present: Ann Soulsby, Jess Eades, Martyn Grayson, Jim Lister & Michelle Ping

Arrived at the Chapel and sat talking to Matt who was with Aberystwyth for ages – no one was stirring so I decided to get my computer and start logging some library books.   That did it – everyone got up so I put the computer away again.

I wasn’t sure that I was going to get anything done so when Jim and Michelle said that they were doing Oxlow I asked Jess if she would like to go and she said yes because she didn’t want a long trip.  Out of the blue Martyn chirped up saying that he would do a Maskhill pull through.  While Jess and I were getting our things together he studied the rigging guide to decide what rope length he would need.  He also took an extra piece of rope for the traverses.  Within an hour we had decided and set off on a crazy trip.

Jess and I waved Martyn off and then started to think about what could go wrong. We had
never rigged Maskhill before and all my nice 9mm was at home.  If we had to go and rig we
would need mountains of rope and it would be 10mm.  That aside our immediate
consideration was to make sure that Jim was definitely bottoming Oxlow and that he had
enough rope.  If he hadn’t our priority would be to head back to the Chapel for more rope.  As
it happens he had enough rope and he was intending to bottom it.

We watched over Michelle as she was out of practise after spending months in Afghanistan. 
She did fine just needed a bit of reassurance now and then.  When we got to the bottom Jim
said that he had heard Martyn so that was a good sign.  Jim and Michelle went down the wet
bit while Jess and I waited for Martyn and had a bite to eat.

When he arrived Martyn told us that most of the trip was fine but he could maybe have done
with a bit longer rope for the traverses.  In some instances he had to add a sling to be able to
reach.  Jess and I were very relieved to see him on terra firma in Oxlow!   If it had gone wrong on the last bit we would have had to rig all Maskhill….

I de-rigged with Jess helping me with the tackle sacks – when we eventually found them!  
Jim nearly lost a sling, which he double knotted into the piece of tat on the deviation.  I had to
hold onto the tat with one hand while trying to open the knot with my other hand (Short legs). 
At one point I resorted to pulling on the knot with my teeth…  Eventually I managed to get it
undone and rest of the trip was uneventful.

A brilliant trip finished off by cakes at the Chapel courtesy of Jim and Michelle.