Abime de Mas Raynal
Updated: Feb 16
It occurred to me that I hadn't been to this wonderful cave since about 2003. I was very much looking forward to rigging it this time, rather than being pushed back behind 'some bloke' who always assumed that it was a man's job. Bollocks to that, I say.
In 2002, on only my 3rd SRT trip, I went 'over the edge' and did the main hang or 'super direct' route which is 106 clean metres straight off a rusty iron bar in broad daylight on a single rope.
The only interruption is a re-belay some 30m from the crashing river below.
The water heads North West to Source du Sorgues and is typically blue and cold.
The multi-pitch route is friendlier and has some snaggy, slimy green slopes on route to the final hang.
It is partially P-hung and partially requires spits and hangers - so it's advisable to take some hangers.
Ashley, my CDG trainee, wanted to do the main hang on 8mm. He rigged it but only ascended it and used our ropes on the way down.
The cave is like Alum Pot on speed. I think it is a little bigger in dimensions but the main hang is about the same.
Sunlight pours down the main shaft and the chilly gloom of the massive side inlet makes for some great silhouette photos.
I'm very proud of Rich who, from a climbing background, is not a fan of hanging over big holes on a single rope, never mind in daylight. He managed to de-rig most of it mostly without complaint.
Me in 2002, abseiling the Mas Raynal, Super Direct