Freesteel Blog » The Large dig enlarges

The Large dig enlarges

Sunday, March 24th, 2013 at 4:11 pm Written by:

Update: Video included at bottom

The supposedly dire snowy weather didn’t seem to get in the way of attempting another dig in Large Pot. It did, however, put enough folks off that Neil’s plan for three waves into the front actually ended up being a trip with two and a half people (Beardy had to leave early). The only compromise was we had to get changed down in Masongill and walk up the road for an extra half an hour, rather than start at the foot of the track. This turned out to be a good thing given the howling winds and complete lack of shelter, which wouldn’t have fun trying to change in when you are wet.

As usual, it’s quite a long trip to get in and out to the dig face, and some of my repairs to my wetsuit since the zip broke last trip have been questionable. Not too much water had dribbled into the dig, so it was quickly cleared not long after I got the kayak pump and pipe to work, having taken in a knife, screwdriver and jubilee clip. The crinkly pipe broke again as soon as we were done with it.

Three people is enough to work the dig. A fourth person gives the third person some company while they are throwing mud up the slope, or backwards over their shoulders as I was, to get it out of the way as each digging tray of mud gets tipped out. It would be better to cycle through the positions more often, but you never feel like wanting to as it’s such an heavy crawl to get in and out once you’ve got stuck in to your job of either digging, hauling or throwing.

The trip in its entirety is like that too: another hour of digging is always easier than an hour of getting yourself back out the cave, so it’s tempting to put it off. And we could because I had brought a couple of bottles of lucozade for liquid energy to make a change from those thirst-making chocky bars. Neil thought it would make a good product placement photo, except you couldn’t see the label for mud.

So here is the state of the way on now: very tantalising, but still can’t see how far it goes.

It was getting late, and a real drag to get up and out of the dig.

Turns out, a lot of it has to do with the sheer weight of clinging mud.

This is the before and after cleaning self in the trickle of water from Colossus pitch.

I had a semi-waterproof fleece on the outside of my wetsuit for some extra warmth, and it was like stripping off a chain-mail vest in terms of its weight.

It was so cold and late outside we skipped the pub. Neil whizzed off, and it was all I could do to dial for Becka’s parents with ham-fisted numb fingers to see if I could stay there and get fed. I could barely work out what I was trying to do.

That evening, I was scrubbing the mud off my brand new Olympus “Not Very” Tough TG-2 camera, and the corner appeared to be missing — on its very first trip. This has got to be a record, even for me. You’re supposed to be able to drop this baby 2.1m onto a brick floor, yet a gentle mud wash and no apparent bashing around, had finished it off.


I’m not getting on too well with this buying flash gear on the basis of now having a salary. Doesn’t seem to make things work better.

And the damn thing seems to be taking movies in this stupid “Windows Live Movie Maker”-incompatible MOV file format, so I can’t edit the clips easily. In the interests of researching the potential for cloud enabled products, I am attempting to edit it using the online YouTube editor. Unfortunately, you need to upload about a Gigabyte of unedited videos before you can play, so the results will be delayed if they work at all.


Got the video we had edited up:

1 Comment

  • 1. Freesteel&hellip replies at 24th May 2013, 5:03 pm :

    […] documented the digging trips here of March 2013, January 2013 and November 2012. No report of the trip when we began it, but there’s an […]

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