Large Pot - 13 Jan 2007
Saturday January 13th 2007
Members present: Adam Wilkinson, Gary Douthwaite, Matt Ewles
Easy to find, follow the road up from parking at Masongill, through the gate, and where the road turns right, continue into the field straight ahead. Follow the wall up, and on the right after about 100m are the twin shakeholes of Large Pot (with the metal lid) and Little Pot (an open hole about 10 m deep).
The entrance 'climb' must be rigged... I couldn't have climbed it! It leads down to a further slot downwards where the rope may be re-belayed. This drops a further few metres into a small chamber (care from falling rocks from above!). A gentle squeeze down leads into a low chamber from which the narrow crawl leads on.
Selected caves is correct about the narrow crawl... feet first on your left hand side. Once most of your head and body is in the slot, you feet feel as if they've hit a dead end, however, the passage bends to the left (in the direction your toes are pointing). But manouvering your legs along the bend, there is an opportunity to pull your head through to a sitting-up position to see what lies ahead. A consitricted pitch head is reached (there's no risk of falling down it during the squeeze). The pitch head is reminiscent of the top of bar pot, though less spacious at the top, with no room to stand up. It would be a case of hauling yourself off the rope and immediately into a squeeze!
The decision was made by Gary and I to abort the trip at this point. While we had every confidence in Adams ability, we knew that there would be no hope of assisting anyone on or off this pitch... there is only room for one! Therefore it should be stressed that a good amount of experience in awkward take-offs and get-offs, and squeezes should be held by any person attempting this trip, and complete independence is important. It would be very hard to offer any assistance to a person struggling at this point!
The guy in Inglesport was kind and allowed us to use his rope for Collossus Pitch (which we of course never got to), which saved us carrying a 60 m rope in its own tacklesack! Worth hinting at on future trips!
So we returned to the car to collect the rope, and trotted off to Marble Steps. All went to plan, and we made it to the top of 'The Ninety' pitch, for which our rope was a few metres too short (we hadn't packed for Marble Steps!) so we called it a day. The prussik out was dangerously wet however. There had been a downpour while we were underground, and the deviation that was bone dry on the way down was now in the middle of a VERY heavy waterfall. Gary was able to re-rig it onto a higher peahanger to take the deviation out of the water, however the rope below still passed right through the middle of the fall. It wouldn't have taken much more rain for the devaition to have become impassable altogether! It should be considered on future trips where there may be immenent storms to rig the devaition as high as possible!
A fun day, we had a good look at Large Pot, and a return trip is essential. And a nice romp around Marble Steps.