17/02/17 - Tonight was going to be a dual purpose trip. Bob had been wanting to do Titan for a while, so after a bit of refresher training in the days before, Rob had agreed to escort him down whilst I bimbled off to rig Ride of the Valkyries in order to make tomorrow’s trip easier.

After a last minute rush to get all the kit sorted we met up just after 6 at the end of the Titan track and got kitted up. I set off across the fields loaded with rope, whilst Rob reassuringly reminded Bob which bits of kit “make you go up” and which bits “make you go down”.  I’d not seen the shaft since it’s been repaired and they’ve done a top job of it. Opening the lid does now feel like you’re doing a challenge from the Crystal Maze though, trying to blindly unlock a padlock through 2 slots just big enough for your forearms. All it needs is a resident bald man with a harmonica shouting “30 seconds!” threatening to lock you in if you can’t open it.

Descending down to the rebelay, I rigged the final pitch just as Rob and Bob appeared at the window and made my way to the ground, leaving them to it. I stashed a bottle of Lucozade and a Snickers at the top of the choke and shuffled through with the remaining tackle bag. It wasn’t too long before I was climbing my way up the ladders in Stemple Highway and made it to the base of Calcite Aven. I’d dressed pretty minimally, opting not to wear a furry knowing that I was going to be on a bit of a mission, but definitely got a bit chilly in the water tumbling down Calctie Aven. The two short pitches down to Balcombe’s Way are still rigged with decent looking rope and I set to, rigging the traverse out across to Ride of the Valkyries. I had a brief peer up the aven (tomorrow’s objective) and could see a few studs sticking out where the previous guys had made their way up, but not much else and steadily made my way across to the pitch head. I’d not done RoTV before, so this bit was all new and it’s a really impressive series of pitches, really worth doing. It’s only marred slightly by the amount of grot that’s been left on the hangers from groups doing pull-thrus. The steel krabs weren’t so bad but there’s also an assortment of mallions and ali krabs which have essentially turned to mush at the 1st rebelay. Rigging it as a regular pitch, as I was, meant this made life quite tricky as you can just squeeze a maillon onto the hangers in some places.

Feet back on the ground, I retraced my steps back through into AI passage, up the boulder choke and back into the base of Titan, where I downed a bottle of Lucozade and munched down the Snickers which, for future reference, is a terrible idea right before ~180m of prusking. Approaching the Event Horizon I could make out Rob’s torch high up at the window who’d waited for me whilst Bob set off out the entrance shaft. Whilst I’d been gone, they’d descended down to the traverse line where, suitably impressed by the place, Bob understandably thought better of going any further and was content with heading out.

We made it to The Moon for about 10ish, too late for food but plenty of time for beer and after heading across the road to the hut, lit the fire and started getting stuff ready for the next day. One day done, two to go! (Rob, Mike, Bob)