February Trip 2010

Fermanagh 20th – 21st Feb 2010 

 

Trip with Dave M, Shane and Thelma (later). Hit the road with Dave and Shane at 9. Quick stop in Swords for gear and another for food in Virginia. Reached the Marlbank in terrible fog. Parked in Monastir car park and had a poke around in the field across the road and found Pollbwee. Shane and I changed across the road while Dave organized the call out. All kitted up we headed for

 

  • The Monastir Cliff Caves: We had a look at Pollbwee and didn’t fancy rigging it. Doable but led to a tight rift and we weren’t sure if we should bring Shane on his first STR trip there. Instead we wandered down into the west gorge and we had a poke into Tim Fogg’s dig. Rushing water at the end of it. Cool. After that I had a go at the crawl cave at the opposite side of the gorge. Having lost Dave before the first cave we headed back to the car only to see no sign of Dave. I went back to the gorge and yelled. Dave appeared. We then took a look at Monastir sink cave but didn’t get too farbefore the water got deep. Back on the surface we went and looked at Compass pot and Shane found Bruces Pot. We went to look at Templebawn after that. After Templebawn Dave went off to get rope for Bruces and Shane and I looked at the gorge above Templebawn before returning to the top of the cliff. I scraped away in Compass pot with my crowbar and eventually passed a tight squeeze on my back to the top of a pitch 5 m in. In Bruces Dave had rigged and I was the first to descend. Had a little poke around. At the bottom before I was joined by the other lads. I reached the lake section and decided not to go for it. We returned to the car having visited 6 caves.

 

The rest of the eventing consisted of checking into the bridges hostel, aetin lots of food in wetherspoons and then consuming several bottles of ginger beer beer before Thelma arrived and we went to bed. Next morning we got up at the crack of dawn cos Thelma said so and went to Wetherspoons to get breakfast cos Thelma said so and it was closed and we said where did you get that idea that spoons would be open at this hour and she said you said so and we said that we said nothing of the sort and how did you get that idea in your head at all and we dragged out of be for nothing. So we went to Blacklion but there was nothing to be gotten there and we tried Swanlinbar to no avail after we had a look at the road to the top of Cuilcagh to gauge the situation given the terrible cold weather. It looked doable so we had a lovely fry in Wetherspoons and then went to Gortalughny where Queens already were. A few of them had a lash at the hill up and failed. We parked at the bottom and walked to the top and reached Pigeon Pot after 20 minutes. 

 

  • Pigeon Pot II: Lashed the rope to a hawthorn sceach and rigged to the bottom of the ice palace that was the first waterfall. I sucked on an icepop stalictite waiting for Dave to motor on down and with that done he headed off to rig the second pitch. Everyone down I was first to try the second pitch. Nice pitch but close to the wall. Once everyone was at the bottom I headed back up and swung across to the ledge in a most precarious manner and then visited the third pitch. Worth a visit some day. After making my dodgy return to the ledge head I swung down and prussiked up to the pitch head annoyingly close to the head of the wall. Uneventful exit. Outside the cave I went for a walk around and went as far as the Legacurragh gap before returning. Took great pleasure in crawling in the snow to clean my suit of mud.

 

 

Gunned it to Monaghan via Enniskillen. Stopped for food in Shanes house. And fine food it was. Left the house with mud all over the downstairs WC. Made it home in record time. - Petie