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Scialet de Malaterre - Experimenting at the entrance series

More photos from the proper trip down Scialet de Malaterre.

The Bridge in the middle of the forest. Massive cave underneath - 120 meter free drop. (52 meters to a sloping ledge)

Looking down from the middle of the bridge. 52 meters down to a sloping ledge - 120 meter all the way down.

I brought all the kit for abseiling down my 50 meter 11mm dynamic rope. This would be the sort of rig I'd imagine a bridge jump to be done with. The green sling is extremely handy for rigging on a large metal structure.

I was having serious internal quarrels whether to lower myself down or not - 50 meters is a long way and when you are completely by yourself it's also a little bit uncool if you couldn't get up again.

But - boy, does it look good or what? I got all the kit on and rigged the rope, but LUCKILY I had forgotten the foot slings for the hand ascender which ment that the little solo stunt would be out of the question. Pfeww - what a relief.

Instead I played around with some rope jumping experiments which as a grand final ended with me lobbing off my rucksack filled with stone (very heavy!) with the green sling wrapped around it. Full fifty meters - boy it looked so cool until the sack smacked into the ledge at 52 - I was lucky to have something to pull up again (that was quite a project by the way, it's easy to throw off a 50 kilos rucksack, but how do you haul it up again?). The rucksack was in a pretty bad state - the sling also (damn, it was such a nice sling), and the stones was crunched to unrecognisable little miserable bits of limestone. Glad it wasn't me at the end of that rope!

Photos from the real caving trip.

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