Horseshoe quarry 01/04/2011

Adam, Johan and Juzar were round pretty promptly for 10 and we set off for Castleton YHA, absolutely flew up the M1 arriving in under 3hours. Our rooms weren't ready so we dropped our bags and headed for Horseshoe Quarry. We got there and headed for the upper tier, we were also joined by Darren and then James and Dan. we set ourselves up on the upper tier and got some routes sorted up to F6a. Though one of the F6a's was pretty tough and it was a struggle for me to get to the top and rescue the kit. We climbed there completing a number of routes and top roping the newcomers until it got dark. Then headed back to the hostel. Dropped our kit and headed for the pub but just as I ordered food we realised that the others were arriving at the station in Buxton. So I set off for Buxton without having my soup. Unfortunately when I got there the trains were delayed and would be an hour late, did have phone reception though and so met up with Nick who was waiting as well. We had some diet cokes in the pub then picked up the other 3. Back then to the barn as the pubs were closed.
Up for 9 am and it looked like we would be climbing but then it started to spit with rain so we went for a walk instead. We walked along the limestone way up a path then down again to Castleton and had tea and scones in the hidden tea rooms. Then we visited speedwell cavern and the underground boat took us on a fairly long journey underground down what used to be a mine. After that we walked back to the peaks cavern or devils arse and saw where they used to make rope and where queen Victoria had visited. We then stopped for lunch and decided that the weather had brightened up enough for climbing. I went to Hathersage with Dan, Ashleigh and Megan and set the girls off for a walk along the Derwent valley way whilst I purchased a beta stick. Back then to horseshoe quarry and tried an easy route on a small crag but Adam got stuck when my karabiner wouldn’t open so had to rescue him by cutting one of my slings. We then set off for a harder and longer route the latrine which Johan lead. There was no time for me though and I rushed back to Hathersage and met the girls at seven pm. We drove back to Castleton to find there was no water and we couldn’t get our dinner reservation. Had to therefore drive to Hathersage and ate in the pub we ate in before there before driving back to the black bull for my first drink in a pub. Didn’t stay up very late afterwards.
Up early but not early enough as the cavers arrived at 9am. We rushed around and I got a mouth full of cornflakes before heading off withe cavers to the giant’s hole. we got changed into our kit and I had my knee pads and elbow pads on as usual as I knew what to expect, we had three guides Simon, Sam and harry, Sam was quite small and she set off at a rate through the crab walk, but I was able to keep up much to her surprise, Adam was having more difficulty squeezing through the gaps. Of course it was different when we got to the vice, I couldn't get through that one and had to go low and through the water, filling my wellies in the process, but no one else besides Sam made it through. We abseiled down a vertical shaft then and continued. On to the giants windpipe. The water wasn't too high but was cold. We then had a few climbs involving ropes with knots and these were fine and helped to warm us up a bit. We got to the abseil and abseiled down to the crabwalk. I did the abseil in the dark as I forgot to switch on my head torch. Getting cold now and pushed on back to the cavern where we climbed up using the wire ladder before heading back to the surface, where unfortunately it was raining, but it stopped halfway through getting changed. Back then to Buxton and the railway arms to meet the walkers and I swapped Adam and Johan for Megan and we got home though a bit slowly as we got stuck at some road works.


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