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Lifeline

by Tim Large.

BROWNS FOLLY MINE: Under an agreement between the landowner and the Council of Southern Caving Clubs this mine is now gated. There are two gates - one at either end of the system.  All other entrances have been blocked.  The Club has a key and details of how to obtain it will be published soon.  It is important that parties lock themselves in when on a trip in order to prevent unauthorised access.  This agreement had to be made to ensure continued access, even if somewhat restricted, otherwise there was a definite risk of the mine being closed.

WITHYHILL CAVE:  Just before Christmas the gate on this cave was tampered with in a similar manner to the previous occasion.  The cave is at present closed while repairs are carried out.  Any information as to those responsible for the damage would be gratefully received.

EASTWATER: Recent digging by Tony Jarratt at al in Morton's Pot has revealed s silted beddinmg plane which takes the stream. Prospects look good. Work continues.

Many of you will recall the fatal accident that occurred towards the end of last year during a rappel trip trough part of the Easegill system.  Many rumours were put about concerning the cause of the accident and the true facts are only just coming to light.  In actual fact no belay broke.  A previous party were rappelling through and their rope became jammed, and was therefore left in place temporarily.  The victim of the accident put her descending device onto the rope, assuming it to be a fixed rope, whereupon the rope jerked free.

Rappel, or 'pull through' trips are now fairly commonplace in those Yorkshire systems where it is possible to enter on the top of the hill and leave later by a lower entrance.  The Principles of this method are simple - take a rope twice the length of the longest pitch, abseil down the doubled line, and pull it down after you.  The same rope is used for every pitch and escape routes back upwards are removed - you have to continue down.