Wapping-Cumberland - Ann Soulsby
Present: Ann Soulsby, Alan Brentnall, Irene Healy & Sigi
Peak Cavern trip was off due to Hurricane Bertha depositing oodles of water over the Peaks. Discussing alternatives Holmes Bank Chert mine was mentioned but Irene said that she had done this previously and it was quite easy. She preferred to do something a bit more difficult. This comment would haunt her for the rest of the day. Alan suggested Cumberland / Wapping saying that the only problem was a bit of a climb to get in - then it was like a walk in the park!
We duly piled into his car and merrily set off for Matlock. Once changed we headed off to the entrance and looked in amazement at the obstacle in front of us. The wall was about six foot tall with quite a tight gap at the top which required a nifty little move to turn round at the top enabling the climb down at the other side. Alan went first leaving me to try and give Irene a bunk up. We eventually managed to get her perched on the wall but she was hanging over the other side headfirst... With a lot of encouragement and assistance we managed to push one foot and then the other through the hole enabling her to turn her body so that Alan could help her down the other side.
Once inside Irene looked forward to the nice flat cave that Alan had promised. Unfortunately his memory was a bit lacking as we proceeded over boulders, climbs and muddy ramps. Irene did extremely well in spite of the fact that her leg was still trembling due to the adrenaline. We saw all the graffiti and went as far as the spiral staircase in the old showcase.
After a quick look up the staircase we decided to head back. Irene coped a lot better on the return journey but she was obviously worried about the exit. Once in sight she stared at it in disbelief. It did look a lot higher from this side. Once again Alan went first and left Sigi and I to help Irene up the climb. It took a few attempts but we eventually got her perched on the wall. Alan wanted her to go headfirst over the other side but I said that it would be too scary for her. We therefore had to once more help her to get her legs through so that Alan could help her down the other side.
Her knees were still shaking all the way back to Castleton. Well done Irene - What an achievement!