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Bar Pot - 14th Nov 2009

Saturday November 14th 2009

Members present: Chad B,  Flori De Castro,  George Bunyan,  Jack Ling

Report by Chad B

In terms of fun, the caving was 5, but being stuck behind Leeds both going in and out of the cave was not fun at all. Ultimate Faff beyond any scale!

There seem to be hundreds of people from Leeds in various groups going up and down Bar all day, and along with us had a permit, so we were a little screwed. I had thought about going down Small Mammal, but decided against it. The last Bar pot trip I was on took an hour to do all the pitches, on this occasion it took an hour to wait for the Leeds team to get down the first pitch which was already pre-rigged! It seems like it was their training session.

Finally after they were down I could set about rigging (by this time I think Chuck’s team had just reached the entrance) annoyingly there was a ladder rigged on the first p-hanger at the pitch head, this made me very uncomfortable with a Y-hang that I had rigged behind it. If the ladder was on the second p-hanger I would have been far happier. Once we had all got down the first pitch, we again caught the Leeds team at the main pitch, where three routes were rigged, two ladder routes and an SRT route. Fortunately there was no one on the SRT route so I could set about rigging. After we had all got down past South East pot, my plan was to head to Sand caverns and beyond (which after looking again at the survey was North West Extension). This was part of the Gaping Gill system that I had not yet been to, but I was suitably impressed with it. This was certainly the fun part of the trip. I could tell that Flori and Jack were enjoying the formations that we were passing by. The area around Stream passage pot was very pleasant. We continued further, and there were some nice straw and stall to be seen. We encountered some crawling and kept thinking is now the time to turn back, but no we were all keen to carry on. Eventually we came to a quite slippery traverse which George and I went though and thought yep, time to turn back. It was so muddy beyond this traverse that George nearly lost his wellie! I would certainly want to go back to go on further and have a look down some of the side passages. So off back we went to head to the main chamber and show Flori and Jack the fantastic underground waterfall. The trip beyond Sand caverns and back again was a good hours worth of caving. Once in the main chamber while the others were admiring I went for a potter along the passages that lead to Mud Hall. I had never saw Chuck’s team, so I thought that they had already must have gone out as they were only planning on going to the main chamber. This was confirmed by the Krab in the figure of eight knot at South East Pot, so we were de-rigging, which George did very efficiently.

Unfortunately for us at the main pitch there was a load from the Leeds team going up the SRT route, along with some people going up and down the ladders. The wait was well over one and a half hours. I reckon that all the hold ups added three hours to the trip in the end. I was starting to become concerned that Jack and Flori would become cold; I must admit I was getting quite cold, and so we started moving around a bit. After they were finally up, I went up first and decide to run up on my foot jammer as fast as I could so the others could get moving a bit. I pushed myself so hard that I felt as though I was going to be sick at the top. After that I waited at the top to help spot Flori and Jack off the pitch. As Jack was coming up there was another team coming up the ladder, as I became worried that we would get stuck behind another team which might have meant that we’d miss out call out so I explained this and they were happy with holding back.

The tight part at the back was made more difficult by the ladder, my metal work and tacklesack got tangled around it. But finally we all got out, I don’t think anyone enjoying getting off the pitch head.

It was not until 10pm by the time we got back to the car, which was far latter than anticipated.

A big well done to Jack and Flori, it was quite a challenging trip in the end with all the stuff we did in the North West Extention, but they were both very happy at the end of the trip, if not a little battered and bruised.