Thursday, April 2, 2009

Mucara 3 - The Great Ascent

So after a few hours surveying and exploring the cave we headed back to the hole we dropped down from. Looking up we can see the long climb ahead of us - about 60 or so feet. It is hard to tell from the photo, but these are vines hanging (never did see where they came from) and not the rope. It is pretty vertical and Jeff and Jose and I haven't done this type of climb before.

So here I am (Katrina) scaling the wall. I didn't quite have my foot straps adjusted quite right or maybe the Ascender and Croll were spaced poorly. I wasn't getting full leg extension to get up as fast as I think I can. Also my harness around one leg was a little loose and I now know that isn't good! So I inched my way up to the top and just when I could see the little lip I needed to go over the rope shifted and I did a little swing to the left. Turns out Ron was moving the rope a little to make it easier. Then I was trying to continue on but was pinned to the wall because my husband was pulling the rope tight on the bottom. I was tired. After the rope shift and after Jeff let go of the rope I managed to inch my way up the lip to the top! I am fairly strong, but a little more muscle mass would have been nice for that final bit.

Ron is up top moving the rope cover so Jose can pop over the final lip. He was tired too. It is easier to go up a hanging rope than one that is against a rock wall. He was happy to get up and we both rested while Jeff and Bro came up and sent the rest of the gear up.
Then we had a 30 minute walk through the woods, and meadows and stickers to get back to the cars. The walk in and out is always a nice one and a chance to learn new names of things - "don't touch that, it is Oretega" and things like that after your hand is burning. The day started around 9 and ended at the cars around 6 so it was a full day of fun. Ron was pleased to get some surveying done that connects this cave (Mucara) to another mapped part of Aguas Buenas. Now there is some data and the two sets of data overlap to represent the system a little better. Bro is pleased to go into any cave any time and is always a huge help for us beginners. Jeff and I were thrilled and can't wait to go again! Jose I think was tired (but enjoyed himself). Oh, and Ron was mostly pleased to be out of the bat shit....Jeff and I cleaned up the best we could and headed out for sushi at Ichibanas. We ate a "boat" of sushi and I had some drink called a Dragon. At nine o'clock we were home and the cats were waiting. Nice dreams and gear cleaning the next day. Can't wait to go again!

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