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Report - Taking The Plunge - Feb 08

Discussion in 'UK Draining Forum' started by Zero, Feb 13, 2008.

  1. Zero

    Zero Guest

    Colossus of the south, a major drain network in Brighton which houses two levels. The main sections containing the sewers and storm reliefs and then lower levels, a 3km long storage tunnel buried more then 100ft beneath the beaches. The most predominant feature of the two being a monster plughole known as "Eddies Vortex" which drops the flow down into the storage tunnel..


    One night we were thinking, where the other drain networks atop the other plug holes, and could we get to the via rope?. This quickly ended turning into, "hey why don't we just abseil down the main plughole?". The idea seemed crazy enough to work so we set a date and each migrated down to Brighton.

    Today was the day, myself, Dsankt, JD, Loops, Littleelvis and Alias were kitting up near to our entrance. The weather was perfect so no need to worry about rain or anything else. We headed over to our entrance, popped the manhole and down we went.

    Now i am not a climber, i have never done this before in my life apart from a brief hour lesson on a rock climbing wall at school. That was more then 15 ft high with about three people basically doing all the work for me, so its honest to say i was amix of adrenaline and doubt. I was hoping to get some kind of practice before the main event but we decided to adhere to a "learn on the job" style.

    After a brief look around we headed towards our main target, and after 40 minutes or so of discussing futures plans we arrived to, well a storm. Although the water coming from the top was minimal when it hit a bit of overhanging rust it sprayed it everywhere, causing a mighty cascade of water. The doubt started to form.

    We headed up top to a small metal platform which sat directly overhead. From here we assessed our options and decided, hell why not its just a little bit of water. Master craftsman Dsankt began setting up the first rope but due to it being mega short of reaching the bottom we had to use the backup rope too. Once the ropes were attached i was given a crash course in abseiling. "pull this level to go down, let go to stop, simple!". Dsankt was first to go. Climbing up and over the railings and after a quick double check pushed off.



    The decent was to be undertaken in two parts. The first from the platform to the lip of the vortex where we would transfer to the longer rope and head down the sinkhole. It was now my turn to go and i was defiantly nervous to say the least. I checked my kit, double checked, triple checked and climbed over.

    Woah damn, i looked down to see the pit of never ending darkness beneath my feet and a small bit of rope holding me up. I paused for a few sections and off i went soon joining Dsankt on the platform. After a quick change over i was good to go. Now due to the fact the second rope was tied a bit to far down you had to jump into the plughole and wait for the rope to tighten and catch you. You only fell 2ft or so but it felt like 20ft.

    After posing for a few photos :), i continued down, slowly but steadily passing the spray and getting very wet, until i touched the floor. Phew i was relieved to have my feet on the ground as i was unsure whether i would do it or not but now i was overflowing with confidence and adrenaline. I wanted to go again.

    Back up on the platform JD was kitting up and ready to go. After taking a few pictures he set off down and once he touched down i made my second decent this time armed with the batman cape!. All was going well until i started getting a awful burning in my thigh it got worse and worse and i just kept swearing it was so bad i had to get down, and fast. All control of the level went as the pain kept getting worse, another 20 seconds i was out. I had a bouncy ride to say the least. After a careful inspection i was displeased to find a foot long red rope burn mark along my thigh. Ouch!.





    That was defiantly my last attempt for the night so i re climbed the stairwell and rejoined the others. It was now 4am and we were all very wet, but we had enjoyed it. We headed back to the car and after a quick lift to the station went our separate ways. Id like to give a big thanks to both JD and Dsankt for supplying the kit and teaching me how to do this crazy stuff.
    #1 Zero, Feb 13, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 13, 2008

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