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Alum Pot - A dream about a quickie

Thursday May 6th 2021

Members present: Christopher Edgar,  Jean-luc Heath,  Paulina Poterlowicz

Report by Jean-luc Heath

Whilst deep in slumber I imagined a fantastical world in which I would have multiple days off work. In this strange land, I found myself in a rather trying situation, Chris had a day off McManaging and wanted to go caving. Troublesome. Worsened still by the insistence that he must be back in York for the pub at 1730. Nidderdale was discussed and callously discarded. We opted for Alum Pot, knowing it would be rapid. Somewhere during this process, Paulina was recruited. However, this was no ordinary Paulina. This was a new devil-may-care version from an alternative reality. Although perpetually present, this quality only really came to the surface when she was binning off classes from her medical degree in order to go caving. Was it the morphine dosing class? Nobody knows. Lives may be at risk. But they're dream lives, so it's probably fine.

In the car by 0800, a dreamy drive through the northern dales to avoid Harrogate instead delivered Hawes. Hawes is nice in dreams. Probably nice in the flesh too. Soon at sunny Selside, sandwiches scoffed, schoolchildren saluted and swanky suits selected, saw us sauntering slowly uphill towards Alum pot. We were soon over the stile in style and set about rigging. I felt generous so talked Paulina through rigging off trees. Check they're alive and not too wobbly. The usual anchor tree appears dead. As this is a dream we use it anyway. The second tree is very alive and makes a nice Y-hang. I set about rigging the next two hangs and soon begin my descent, ensuring I bounce off the wall a lot while I can still reach it (this advice brought to you by Toby Buxton, results and side-affects may vary). This enables a not too elegant scrabble onto the big traverse ledge below the greasy slab and above the bridge. Cheeky. This is the superior way to enjoy the NW route, all the exposure, much less effort. Scrumptious. Paulina soon joins me and takes over rigging. The rigging is good. You may have noticed I've not mentioned Chris much, he's still here, and doing quite well thankyou, so mind your own business. Me and Chris have a natter about what a nice route it is. I offer pointless advice to Paulina. There's intermittent snow. We take the route to the right of the big slab/bridge thing if looking directly at it/the pitch out. The Y-hang bolts are positioned quite cheekily on the underside of the big ol' slab, but they provide a pleasant hang to a deviation on insitu tat (byoc(bring-your-own-crab)). All of this was rigged in a very nice way by Paulina, none of my usual dogshite fig.9s all over the place. The bottom of the pitch was wet as always. We took the high traverse and pitch on the left side of the continuation towards the sump. This is much more exciting than the option to the right. We went to the sump. There was foam, water, and rocks. The waterfall from Diccan was substantial and very very loud, I must go back there. I wonder about where the alum pot sump goes and what the dive is like, I must research it. We soon head out with Chris leading the way at the perfect pace for me to derigg with no dead time. For the hard of learning, Paulina is in the middle harassing old men by telling them they're called Chris and should take the tacklesack off her. Upon seeing all the overhands and non-stopperknotted bowlines they use, I decide they probably deserve it. We continue leaving. On the final big pitchy bit, I clove hitch the bag to the rope providing a nice bag-free rope-walk. I pull the bag and rope up after me using my pulley, I like this old man style of caving. Upon reaching the very top, I give the other two the rope and bag to unknot and coil. I slip. Slipping isn't normally scary, but add an 80m drop, and there's some spice. I was clipped in. Always use protection. My shin is grazed. The walk to the car is rainy, but we are happy that it's only 1400. In reality, this would probably mean we could be home for a committee meeting or some shit. But this is a dream. So instead we head to a nice tea room by the railway for a nice cuppa and a bit of trainspotting - lovely.