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Crackhead Pot

Sunday April 17th 2016

Members present: Alistair Rollinson,  Joshua Young,  Peter Newbery,  Will Scott

Report by Will Scott

On Monday morning I woke up feeling extremely refreshed but also slightly bemused…..I had dreamt about a caving trip in vast detail. I toyed with myself for a few minutes wondering if I had in fact been underground but on checking my gear I found it to be bone dry………west!
I will now tell you about this fantastic dream as I believe it warrants a trip report.

Meeting Peter outside my house, Josh at the store and collecting Ali on the way at efficient start was made. Breakfast finished and back into the car we efficiently changed and found the entrance with ease, naturally the Peter Newbery of my dreams had printed off a black book description, which I always find to be fantastically accurate.

Abseiling down a tube I rigged a Y-hang and descended on a fig-8 meeting a ledge I wacked in a devo and finished off the pitch like nobody’s business. Looking back up and shouting rope free I enjoyed gazing up at the sunlit magnificent shaft I had just conquered. Ali was quickly down but had the wrong bag and so faff ensued as I waited for the correct bag, it seems not even the dream world of caving is faff free.

In my dream the tackle sacks were made from newspaper and this made things very interesting when they got wet, but somehow the rope didn’t disappear into the bottomless pit off my sleep. An entertaining section of SRT followed down through the Kendal Flying Pig series so named because there’s loads of pesky flying pigs that swoop down and try and alter you butterflies while you’re abseiling. Word of warning for those visiting Crackhead Pot don’t be tempted to eat all the bacon at the bottom of the Lost Forever in my Own Dreams Pot Aven – it’s truly rancid, probably some vegetarian imitation.

While recovering from my disgusting snack I consulted the description and actually discovered I’d gone too far down. Free climbing hand over hand for 10 m I returned to the ledge where we took a crawl into the Tit Galleries which then becomes a very easy and fun traverse known as the Cresta Roll. Passing a deep pit on our left I saw too beady eyes looking up at me and then I noticed some very large teeth, naturally this is called the bear pit.

An interesting climb down and a little squeeze with Peter folding himself into a paper ball which Josh then threw through the squeeze, if only this worked in real life Quaking Pot would be a standard evening trip. The bottom of this broken climb brings you into a streamway of baked beans, Ali took a huge mouth full of them and those behind him in the following crawl paid the price. This crawl soon became flat out; manoeuvring the now completely sodden newspaper tackle sacks we emerged into a decorated fourways junction, we were all completely covered in bean juice but sprits were high. Taking the route straight ahead we made solid progress through Trousershake crawl, following the description with great adapt we found ourselves at the bottom of a shaft, it was definitely the right place as the chamber was defined by a reasonably large calcite column to our left. The way on was a rather intimidating handlined climb up what was effectively a chimmey. Using a chimmey climbing technique I made steady if a little unnerving progress, reaching a little chamber I asked Ali to tie the tackle sack onto the handline which incidentally was made from a string of sausages. Having pulled the bag up and lobbed the sausages back down the climb I posted myself up through some boulders and into a fine passage way. Finding a nice rock to sit on I contemplated eating the sausages but then realised the rest of the team wouldn’t be able to make it up the climb. Turns out I could have eaten the whole string because Ali, Peter and Josh all emerged through the boulders on a flying carpet. We cracked some Aladdin based jokes before consulting the description and finding the head of the pitch into Lion Cavern, this part of the dream I found rather odd because Lion Cavern resembled Lyle Cavern in the Lost John’s system but no other part of the trip rang any bells.

After a little break for some food we climbed up what is described as a calcite tube but is actually just a small sloped climb into a streamway. Following this streamway with a mixture of walking stooping and crawling and Ali on his carpet we came to an ominous looking piece of passage.

Known as the Tube this section of passage way takes all the water from Crackhead Pot and is a sideways crawl with a tight 90 degree left hand bend. Ali rolled up his carpet and made his way through with ease, next followed Peter. Removing my SRT kit I went in for the kill, passing through the first section with ease I met with the corner. It was a bit of a sod as the bend was just above my knee and I wasn’t sure I’d be able to get my legs around. Swivelling onto my front I shuffled round the corner, it was done. Feeling blazed off my success in passing through the Tube the remainder of the trip flew by with ease.

A free climb up continuing to follow the water and a little squeeze brought us back into Lost Forever in my Own Dreams Pot Aven. I made my way out and enjoyed the sunshine on the surface, some immense amount of time passed and after some extraordinary faffing the derigging squadron arrived back in the land of sunshine.

The trip was enjoyed by all and took us about 6 hours, 2 hours short of the recommend 8.

If anyone can recognise this trip from my mental dream please do let me know as I’d love to experience it in real life.