Monday, 17 January 2011

A Damp Weekend at Bull Pot Farm

It rained. A lot. Even Lancaster Hole was impassable on Saturday so we settled for a quick look at Bull Pot of the Witches but didn't really get out of daylight.

Bull Pot of the Witches

Caves attempted:

Lancaster Hole

Estimated time underground:
  • Kathryn
  • Olly
  • Adrian
  • Serena
  • Matt
  • Alex
By Sunday morning, although it was still raining, water levels had dropped sufficiently for Lancaster Hole's entrance pitch to no longer have a waterfall entering part way down. We thought we'd see how far towards Cape Kennedy and the 88 ft pitch (the route to Link Pot) we could get before turning back. Despite intending to turn back every few minutes, we kept deciding to go just a little bit further and ended up going all the way, which is very satisfying as it's a crucial bit of route finding for some of the longer Easegill through trips.

Fall Pot was very muddy and slippery, and things weren't any better towards Stake Pot on the high level route. By the time I'd crossed Stake Pot, Olly and Serena had found the start of the passage towards Cape Kennedy. We followed our collection of surveys and descriptions along a rifty stream passage and up Canuck Climb - a 5m iron ladder, attached at the top by not very much. Next we followed the (mainly obvious) route through a series of low chambers and crawls - the Earby Series. A couple of downward slithers brought us to a traversing section in a rift with another stream raging away a few metres below. Finally, after a climb down we found the top of the 88ft pitch.

The crystal pool
 Carrying on above the pitch, we almost found Cape Kennedy. I'd gotten as far as the crystal pool which my description mentioned as being very close to the chamber we were looking for. Unfortunately, I'd forgotten to put the description in a plastic wallet and by now it was in several soggy pieces and unreadable, so I missed the climb up and we headed quite a way down Maple Leaf Passage by mistake. We decided it was time to turn round at this point so as not to miss our call out. On the way back, Olly spotted the climb up that I'd missed, so at least we know how to get to Cape Kennedy for next time. Olly, Matt and Adrian headed out ahead of the rest of us to make sure somebody got out before our 7pm call out. This was a good move as there was a bit of traffic at the entrance pitch and it has well past 7:30 by the time everybody was on the surface.

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