With Alex and Tav. After another enforced delay due to some more adverse weather – heavy snow – we assembled at the Belfry ready to return to digging duties. A slightly ‘hairy’ ride down the snow packed and icy Rookham Hill to arrive at the farm where a few minutes were spent giving the farmer an update on the current state of things at the end of Hallowe’en Rift.
Today’s task was to clear all the spoil stacked in the entrance shaft, quickly the tripod was erected, and the spoil [which comprised mostly rocks] was hauled out to the surface and used to consolidate the wall around the cave entrance. There was an interesting moment as one rather large boulder came loose from the strop and hurtled down the shaft towards me at a rate of knots, I managed to deflect the boulder with an impressive ‘goalie style’ two handed fend off, and the offending missile shattered as it hit the floor, however, I was glad to be wearing my caving helmet rather than the usual ‘beanie’ hat. Must sort out the signals with Alex so that ‘take up the slack’ means exactly that rather than hauling to the surface! When all the spoil was cleared out the tripod was taken down and we made our way down the hill. The weather turned out to be pretty decent and most of the snow and ice on Rookham Hill had thawed by the time we made our way to the Hunter’s Lodge Inn.