Author Topic: Aardvark Country: where is the crux?  (Read 742 times)

Offline topcat

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Aardvark Country: where is the crux?
« on: November 20, 2021, 12:50:07 pm »
Having failed twice to get beyond the first pitch in Aardvark Country I'm wondering where the hardest part of the route is?
If there is anything tighter than the approach to the first pitch there is little point in me pushing a third visit......

Also, has anyone achieved the book time of 10-15 minutes between the bottom of the 17m dig shaft and the pitch head?  We took considerably longer!

Cheers
TC

Offline Inferus

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Re: Aardvark Country: where is the crux?
« Reply #1 on: November 20, 2021, 03:15:18 pm »
I seem to remember the approach to the first aardvark pitch definitely being the most awkward/tightest bit. After the pitch/traverse, you enter a crawl which is quite faffy rather than tight. After that crawl it's plain sailing to the main stream.
Awkward, grumpy sod.

Offline topcat

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Re: Aardvark Country: where is the crux?
« Reply #2 on: November 20, 2021, 04:08:32 pm »
Thanks for that.
Can you remember where you dropped from the rift to the pitch head?  There seemed to be two options: the first was about 2m short of the rope and the second was slightly further on and slightly higher, dropping almost directly to the rope.

( in situ rope has been there at least three year.  I wondered if the other pitches might be rigged too on the grounds that reversing the route would be a major job when one could go out via Lancaster.   Abandoning kit might have been the lesser of the two evils!)

TC

Offline Inferus

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Re: Aardvark Country: where is the crux?
« Reply #3 on: November 21, 2021, 09:01:46 pm »
Can you remember where you dropped from the rift to the pitch head?  There seemed to be two options: the first was about 2m short of the rope and the second was slightly further on and slightly higher, dropping almost directly to the rope.
It's been quite a number of years so don't recall what I did, sorry. The only thing I can find is a trip report of one of the visits, where one mentions slipping through the squeeze into a pool below and being at the pitch.
Awkward, grumpy sod.

Offline topcat

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Re: Aardvark Country: where is the crux?
« Reply #4 on: November 21, 2021, 09:49:31 pm »
 The mention of a pool would suggest the first squeeze, which is where my fellow caver dropped down.  I couldn't fit through.  I wasn't convinced that the second option was any larger, and it was over the pitch, though I don't think you could fall down it at that point.

Damn! 

Offline WillFox

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Re: Aardvark Country: where is the crux?
« Reply #5 on: November 22, 2021, 01:07:03 pm »
When I've done it I've dropped down the rift 2m before the rope, the option directly above the rope looked no bigger but more awkward to me. Also the rest of the route also had rigging in situ when I was there earlier this year.

Offline topcat

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Re: Aardvark Country: where is the crux?
« Reply #6 on: November 25, 2021, 09:41:53 pm »
Oh dear, seems like I need to go back.  Trouble is it has taken me weeks to recover, and I needed chiropractic intervention to straighten a bent spine and wobbly neck.  Seriously.  That cave hurts!

Online Alex

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Re: Aardvark Country: where is the crux?
« Reply #7 on: November 26, 2021, 09:11:33 am »
I think the tightest bit is the flat out squeeze just beyond the traverse over the first pitch. Getting to the first pitch for me was awkward, but its mainly a matter of finding the right way and slide down/acrosss, I have never had to reverse it, that seemed like it would be very hard indeed, so well done on getting back out.  With regards to that squeeze beyond the pitch as far as I can tell there is no right way through the flat out squeeze that was Swan dike tightness (pre capping), but it depends on your chest shape as to whether you get through, I did make it but I remember it being the tightest bit and not wanting to go back spurred me on!

Maybe if the pitches to the streamway are rigged it might be worth going up from the main stream as far as the squeeze in the other direction or coordinate with another party, to save reversing all the stuff before the first pitch again.
Anything I say is represents my own opinion and not that of a any club/organisation that I am a member of (unless its good of course)

 

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