Recent reports

Alum Pot

Saturday November 12th 2016

Members present: Adam Walmsley,  Adrian Turner,  Asher Caswell,  David Willis,  Jean-luc Heath,  Joseph Smith,  Joshua Young,  Martin Albacete

Report by Joshua Young

Following a delayed departure due to some unnamed late sleepers, and some thumb twiddling in Inglesport waiting for Walmslers, we parked up by Selside farm. Due to the torrents of water we saw pouring out of the hills, and the fact that the path down from the caves could have been traversed by canoe, there was initially some scepticism about the feasibility of the trip, but eventually we reluctantly changed and began the wade up. Some procrastination ensued as we went to admire the nearby entrances in flood, and some acrobatics and tree climbing ensued to find some signal for a callout.
We eventually made it to Alum, and split ourselves up between the NW and SE routes. This was my first time rigging on a trip, and the perilous drop made the experience no less stressful, but to make up for it the normally fantastic descent was made even more epic (and wet!) by the surging waterfalls. I was quickly joined by Jean-Luc, then Asher, and Walmslers arrived from the other route, who speedily rigged the final pitch and he and the freshers headed down. I was then joined by Martin, David and finally Joe, who gave a wonderful show in his disastrous attempts to stay dry. Unfortunately Ade had decided against descending after seeing his rope dropping straight into the surging waterfall.
After their brief adventure to the sump, the first people began the long prussik out. Some found the climb significantly easier than others (more practice on the long prussik is in order!) but all were agreed that at least it was better than staying in the spray. The cold ensured an efficient change and by 16:00 we were all on our way to the glorious buffet & beer that awaited us at the 35th anniversary celebrations. Walmslers gave an accurate estimate of a 4:1 caving to faff ratio, but it was overall a nice and light, yet enjoyable day out.