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Lost: Rigging Gear - Moushole Shaft, GG

V

Vance

Guest
In a moment of muppitry I managed to sling about £200s worth of gear down the mousehole shaft in Gaping Gill  o_O (part of the rat hole rebolted route.) Due to time constraints (and lack of rigging gear!) we weren't able to descend the shaft and retrieve the gear. The gear landed on the large ledge at the bottom of the shaft (it didn't get all the way to the main chamber as friends of mine scoured the area around the chamber the next day.) If anyone's heading down that way could they retrieve this for us as it's going to be a while before I'm up that neck of the woods again?
The gear consisted of the following:

A black diamond gear sling
5+ Karabiners
20+ Maillons
1-2 slings
Mini Traxion
Pulley

Thanks in advance for the help.
And I'm never going to live this one down.
 

langcliffe

Well-known member
Vance said:
The gear landed on the large ledge at the bottom of the shaft (it didn't get all the way to the main chamber as friends of mine scoured the area around the chamber the next day.)

If you were at the top of the shaft, it may well not have reached the large ledge (The Scoop). Mousehole has its own base, with a window through to the main rift. The SRT route deviates away from that to land on the large ledge further down. So it could be on either ledge.

Did you enjoy what you saw?
 
V

Vance

Guest
I wasn't at the top of the shaft when I "lost" the gear. To be fair, I'm not entirely sure where we were as it appears that we went off route on our way down. I was at this little ledge (fit three guys on it, we did it) about 40m directly below the mousehole shaft y hang (not expecting that.) There was a very old ring anchor on this ledge, covered in rust and the ledge itself was enclosed on three sides by flakes of rock although it seemed possible to traverse around the right hand flake (looking at the wall of the shaft) to a window through to lateral and main shafts. No bolts for protection though. I could see the large ledge approx 10m below (and people in main chamber below that) although I couldn't safely rebelay to descend to it. Clearly we went off the main route but we're not quite sure where. The gear definately had an unobstructed descent to the large ledge.

The views were awesome although I'll admit to being a little intimidated by it all. The daylight filtering through from main shaft was particularly spectacular. I'm interested in learning more about the routes around this area as it's totally changed my perception of GG. There's also one less 5 tonne boulder in the north wall (it tried to take me with it on its way down  :eek: .) And I'm going back to redo it as I don't like going home with my tail between my legs  :-[
 

langcliffe

Well-known member
O.K. You were on Pinnacle Ledge, on the original 1986 route. See:

http://www.braemoor.co.uk/cavingtrip/rathole.shtml

The route was straightened up by Mike Wooding a couple of years ago, and now has a couple of deviations on the north wall which take you away from the bottom of Mousehole, into the main Gaping Gill rift to land on the main Rathole ledge (The Scoop). That, however, is a lot more than 10 metres below Pinnacle Ledge. You will find a sketch map of the layout drawn in 1985 at:

http://www.braemoor.co.uk/cavingtrip/images/rathole.gif

The deviations should be obvious - there are fixed slings attached to P-bolts.

The original route was descended just before the Pendulum Traverse was developed, which was engineered to allow access into Mousehole Inlet:

http://www.braemoor.co.uk/cavingtrip/mousehole.shtml


 
V

Vance

Guest
I'd looked at that already and thought that it may be the pinnacle ledge but it doesn't sound quite right. I think the pinnacle ledge was one of the walls that enclosed the ledge that we were on. What really confused me was that there was a P-bolt with a sling on it that deviated you into the little ledge. This was on the north wall and was at about the right height for the second deviation.

At about the right height for the first deviation (i'd placed knots in the rope at just after -25 and -35 to remind me I should be seeing a deviation there) I deviated off a P - bolt (no in situ sling) that was the start of a traverse into one of the ellipitical windows heading towards lateral and main shaft. Sound familiar?

On the way back up we looked for the correct deviations (as we knew we'd gone wrong at this point) but couldn't see any slings about although we did see one lonely p-bolt on the south east side of the shaft, at approx - 25m. Maybe this is one of the deviations and someone has removed the slings?

Should we move this to another board and see if anyone can shed a little more light onto this?
 

langcliffe

Well-known member
Vance said:
I'd looked at that already and thought that it may be the pinnacle ledge but it doesn't sound quite right. I think the pinnacle ledge was one of the walls that enclosed the ledge that we were on.

O.K. You were probably at the base of Mousehole. Pinnacle Ledge is a little loose and is a rather exposed, loose pinnacle overlooking the GG Main Rift to the north and the Mousehole base to the south-west.

Vance said:
What really confused me was that there was a P-bolt with a sling on it that deviated you into the little ledge. This was on the north wall and was at about the right height for the second deviation.

That confuses me, too. When I've been in there the deviations take me onto The Scoop.

Vance said:
At about the right height for the first deviation (i'd placed knots in the rope at just after -25 and -35 to remind me I should be seeing a deviation there) I deviated off a P - bolt (no in situ sling) that was the start of a traverse into one of the ellipitical windows heading towards lateral and main shaft. Sound familiar?

Mike put in a P-bolt traverse through from Lateral Shaft through Hamster Aven to make bolting the bottom of Rat Hole easier. I have a diagram somewhere, and I'll look it up.

Vance said:
On the way back up we looked for the correct deviations (as we knew we'd gone wrong at this point) but couldn't see any slings about although we did see one lonely p-bolt on the south east side of the shaft, at approx - 25m. Maybe this is one of the deviations and someone has removed the slings?

There used to be three deviations, but Mike de-emphasised the first one at -10 m following discussions with Beardy, removing the sling.  It may be that someone has removed the -25 m sling, but I think that they would have had to cut it, and I can't imagine anybody who can get down Rat Hole wanting to do so.

Vance said:
Should we move this to another board and see if anyone can shed a little more light onto this?

As you wish.
 
M

MattTheRat

Guest
The more I read the more I get confused about that place.  Nige, you are right we do need to do it again!

It wasn't a p-bolt that we found on the way back up, but a very shiny hanger.  It was about 1 metre above the -25m deviation and about 2m to the right.  Further to the right and about 2m below was a bolted rift/traverse heading off with a filthy old rope running off into the distance.
This is all while facing the wall which would be on your left when you first come off the traverse.
 
V

Vance

Guest
Mike put in a P-bolt traverse through from Lateral Shaft through Hamster Aven to make bolting the bottom of Rat Hole easier. I have a diagram somewhere, and I'll look it up.

That'd be cool if you could send it to me. I'm really interested as to how this section of the cave all fits together as it's far more complex than I'd considered before. And traversing between the paralell shafts sounds like fun  :)


 

langcliffe

Well-known member
Vance said:
Mike put in a P-bolt traverse through from Lateral Shaft through Hamster Aven to make bolting the bottom of Rat Hole easier. I have a diagram somewhere, and I'll look it up.

That'd be cool if you could send it to me. I'm really interested as to how this section of the cave all fits together as it's far more complex than I'd considered before. And traversing between the paralel shafts sounds like fun  :)

I'll take a look. It ain't very complex, though. If I remember correctly, 30 m down Dihedral slip through a thin rift into Hamster Aven. There's P-hangers at the start and end of the traverse, and a P-hanger overlooking Mousehole, from which you can drop onto Pinnacle Ledge, or deviate to the base of Mousehole. Beware - a lot of water descends Hamster Aven and can make the far side of the traverse blind, so choose dry weather.

Incidentally, you were at the base of the Mousehole shaft - I've been checking my notes for the area. "Dropped down from Pinnacle Ledge to base of Mousehole, north side of flake. Overlooks amphitheatre." This corresponds with what you saw.

It's been a couple of years since I last messed about in there, and memory fails at my age...
 
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