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Black Shiver Pot - 09 Sep 2006

Saturday September 9th 2006

Members present: Gary Douthwaite,  Kevin Francis,  Laura Bennett,  Matt Ewles

Report by Gary Douthwaite

This is a cave I've wanted to do for AGES and the weather looked settled so off we went! Considering I didn't have my trusty GPS we had no problem finding it. Andy in Bernies helped a lot by describing the entrance. An initial climb down leads to an interesting bedding plane crawl which soon opens out to a spectacular cave with some superb SRT.

Black Dub pitch is the weirdest place I've ever seen in a cave. I got down the pitch into what looks just like a sump pool extending under the walls all round. In the middle it’s over waste deep so I had to work my way round the edge on a small ledge to the far side of the chamber where there is a scummy wet bedding plane for about 30m. It’s not half as bad as it looks though.

The big pitch at the end was the biggest challenge as I got down the first 30m section to a rock bridge to find that the P-hangers ended and we were on to bolts! Problem was, Matt still had them in the tackle sack at the top of the 30m pitch! The water was so loud that it made communication really hard and eventually he came down and we both crammed ourselves onto the small ledge while I put the spits in.

From a single Y-hang on spits lead to a deviation off a large chock-stone across the chamber (?!). The chock-stone had about 5 bolts in it, all but one of which had no threads left (ahhhh, I thought!). So after backing it up with a second sling over a large boulder I continued down the amazing 60m pitch.

The bottom was like a thunderstorm had opened up with no escape. The water was crashing down across the entire chamber. Matt came down to the bottom with me but we decided that it would take far too long to get everyone down and decided to turn back as I already couldn't feel my arms and legs!

A bit of a disappointment we didn't all reach the bottom but we gave it a good effort and had a superb trip. I defiantly wouldn't want to do this pothole if there is more than a trickle of water at the entrance or it looks like it might rain.