Sunday, 4 November 2018

Mossdale Session 73

Mossdale Session 73

Sun 7th Oct 2018

(Simon Beck)

'A slow to reach destination, is no less a destination reached'

Hadn't expected to visit Mossdale at all this weekend. The outlook earlier in the week suggested a total washout. But the good weather Saturday brought surprise enough to check the forecast. Sunday's weather was suddenly too good to excuse.
Little rain had appeared to fall since the previous weekend so I expected quite low water. Not the case at all.

With only surveying on the cards, it took just that little extra oomph to get going.

At this time of year, the prospect at dawn can seem quite unsettling. But once off, those early morning weaknesses are eventually left behind. If I don't feel this from time to time then I know I'm not trying hard enough.

'Fear is the best gauge of effort'

The moors seemed that bit bleaker and unfriendly that day. I met somebody on my walk over who disagreed. Had they known where I was going they may well have understood.

Mossdale Beck took me by surprise, with expecting far lower levels. For once there appeared purpose in that falling water, beyond the usual gravity.

The sky turned slightly while I changed, and the odd speck fell. I did question why the forecast hadn't been checked a final time before losing mobile data. All appeared fine when I woke up, but that was the last time I'd looked. The outlook for now five days ago was really bad.
Oh the mind games I've played in this same spot, on and off since the age of 25. I can honestly say those early trials have made the past year and a half, seem almost effortless regarding that side of things. I don't see my decisions regarding the weather as life or death here anymore, and never really did. I just see a long uncomfortable wait if I did get it wrong. With those above over-reacting being my main concern.

For those planning to visit in the near future, please tread carefully in the entrance series, especially in the vicinity of the 2m climb, just before Fossil Chamber. Above the climb there is a loose block which with care is of little danger, it's loose but still well housed. But at the base of the climb, to the left (looking towards entrance) there is a block the size of a chest of drawers, which is now almost completely undermined. This hazard can be avoided quite easily but is also easily missed if you didn't know it was there. I will try and get round to dealing with this during the winter months, but for the time being just be careful, assume that everything is loose and waiting for clumsy mitts.

Because of the delay I sensed there would be in writing up this series of visits, I posted a few words on Facebook after this one. Dependent on how much effort I place in my journal entries, the essence of any given session can easily be lost, especially with a long delay transferring it to the blog. My facebook post for this day does a far better job than I can now do with said journal entry. So I will finish with that instead. Aside from the fact it was a surveying only visit, there was little else that jumped out at me worth mentioning.

It may well be a few more weeks before I'm up to date on the blog so will say a few words here. 
The change in season appeared final these previous two sessions. I was better prepared for conditions today but session 72 (last saturday) was dreadful! Wishful memories clashed with intimidating dark waters as I waded those turbulent swims. 
Work today fell purely to surveying. Mapping all the new stuff is now the priority before any further pushing work is done. Although there are a number of leads I could be working, I've a feeling there will be an easier option, which the survey(ing) may well reveal. 
Black Edge Choke is not a friendly place, likened to the High Level Mud Caverns, and staying warm whilst surveying/working is beginning to cost on progress. Time to invest in an oversuit, to compliment the neoprene, and maybe begin taking a dry set of wetsocks to change in to once down there. 
Based on my previous visits to Mossdale, those I know of for sure, before the Sessions began, I've definitely surpassed the 100+ visits mark.
A descent article may well be on the cards, back end of year, once I've got some definite figures and a bit more time to write, aside from the blog, which is enough of a chore on it's own.

Trip duration: 3 hours

The author pretending to look longingly at something, that on that day, could only be described as a grim prospect

Surveying, Featherstone Chamber

Next Installment: Mossdale Session 74 

© Simon Beck, 2018. The copyright for this article and photographs, remains with the author. It should not be reproduced without permission.

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