Freesteel Blog » 2012 » June
Tom had unfinished business at Dent de Crolles and took advantage of the four day Jubilee weekend to pad out meagre holiday allowances, as well as some caving victims keen in being guided through this famous cave system by someone who already done the necessary homework. A few years ago his caving buddy had an accident attempting to abseil down the pull-down side of the rope and they were stuck for thirty hours until the rescue call-out arrived.
Thirty hours is about how long it takes us to drive from the northwest of England to Mollard Bellet in the Chartreuse mountains (near Grenoble in the south of France) — each way. Such an undertaking should be made for no less than two weeks quality time out, during which time there should be no rain, and you don’t have a rhinovirus infection. We had only five days, it poured, and I snivelled the whole time. Fortunately the job of completing the famous 600m deep pull-through trip from the P40 entrance at the top to the Grotte de la Guiers Mort resurgence was done on the first day.
It’s not every day that a completely random French dude jumps into your pre-trip group photo
I had the honour of almost repeating Tom’s buddy’s mistake on the entrance pitch as I meticulously threaded my totally worn out Petzl Stop on the rope under the knot, and even clipped into the knot for backup, before realizing my mistake (akin to setting off to drive on the left side of the road in France), rapidly standing up from the ledge in horror, and shredding the backside of my oversuit beyond repair.