Recent reports

Notts Pot Adamson's Route

Sunday January 9th 2022

Members present: Adrian Turner,  Christopher Edgar,  Henry Sanders,  Max Kellermann-stunt

Report by Max Kellermann-stunt

It was a trip of many firsts. The first time I caved with Chris, the first time I caved in my brand-new gear and the first time I caved to derig. The day was full of anticipation as we met in stores, however to our surprise at 8am, stores were closed. I was informed from someone working behind the desk in the sports hall that they could not give the keys, as they were closed till 9am. I could not convince them to undergo the herculean task of opening the drawer and handing the keys, so we would have to wait for Ade to come and help. While waiting for Ade’s rescue, Chris was busy untangling some rope he had, alas the rope appeared to get more tangled as time progressed. Thankfully, Ade arrived, and we could finally pack rope for the trip.

When we arrived in the Yorkshire dales, eager to get into our kit, I could see the mixture of envy and disgust on the group’s faces as I pulled out my over suit and SRT gear. It was of course far too shiny, and Ade suggested I find a muddy puddle immediately to wear it in. Once we were ready, we made our way to the entrance of Notts pot. Along the way Henry struggled to stop informing us in an extremely loud manner, how he always carries the heaviest tackle sack. After listening to Henry’s complaints, we arrived at the first pitch. I could no longer wait to try my new descender with the Freino carabiner. As I started descending with it, I heard a click. Suddenly the rope came out of the Freino and I was in free fall…for about a metre until I reached the rebelay. While trying to figure out what went wrong, I decided to try again at the next pitch. All seemed well until I heard the click again and I plummeted downwards…another metre to the bottom. After asking Ade for help with my descender, it turns out I was putting the rope in the Freino the wrong way. Some useful advice for the future, make sure you know how to use new kit before entering the cave. As we made our way through the cave, Henry noticed I had my spotlight on instead of my flood. After asking Ade for help with my headlight, it turns out I was pressing the buttons incorrectly. Again, some useful advice for the future, make sure you know how to use new kit before entering the cave.

All seemed well while we made our journey to Adamson’s route, until Chris realised that we did not pack the rope for Birthday pot. It was decided that we could still make our way to the lower streamway but could not go any further. Luckily, this meant I could take my time with derigging and did not have to rush. Indeed, every cloud does have a silver lining.

Once we were down the lower streamway, Ade pointed out the connection to the BT route. It was a tight squeeze half submerged in water. Dare I attempt to go through it? I could feel the temptation build inside me until Ade stopped me to remind me that I forgot to bring spare underwear and I would be soaked. I definitely did not chicken out and totally would have done it otherwise.

Going back up it was finally the time had come for me to derig. It turns out, I am very slow at undoing knots but on the other hand, Chris did say that I coiled the rope beautifully. A moment I am sure I will always cherish. Along the way I made several mistakes. For starters, if the bottom of the rope has been coiled, it is best to put this in the tackle sack before you ascend the pitch. Multiple times while pulling up the rope, it kept getting snagged leading to awkward manoeuvres and a free climb to get the rope up. Thankfully, I can say that my first derigging experience was worthwhile and great fun.

On making our way out of the cave, with the group having to wait a long time due to my slow pace, Henry pointed out that my kit was still too shiny and somehow my helmet was cleaner than it was on entering the cave. Someday my gear will look normal…someday.