Sunday 14 March 2010

12th March 2010 - Sylvester Pot

Prologue - A chance meeting.

Making the most of the stunning weather and to break up the journey home, Dick and Mat were taking a stroll from Bull Pot Farm over to Sylvester pot, the team's objective for the evening, hoping to bump into us.

Seeing two cavers, they waved and went over to speak them. The two old timers had been digging and were puzzling over why their dig had filled with water, as there hadn't been any water in it before they'd started. Asking Dick where he was off to, "Sylvester pot" came the reply. "We found Sylvester", said the old timers explaining how it had got its name from the jack they had used to haul out boulders from the entrance crawl, "not many people go down there anymore, what are you off to see?". Dick mentioned that we hoped to go and see the formation of Newton's Wonder, "That's named after me!", replied one of the pair.

Sylvester pot.

Having met Dick at Devil's bridge, just Phil and myself headed back up to Bull Pot farm, with the Sun just starting to set over Morecambe bay in the distance. A solitary hare ran across the road as we caught our first view of Ease Gill and the last remaining patches of snow coloured with the rays from the setting Sun.
A fantastic set of instructions allowed us to locate the entrance without difficulty and the promised crawl through a pool of water fortunately failed to materialize. Leaving a small chamber via a sandy passage that soon lowered to a crawl, we could soon hear a stream somewhere ahead. A large hole in the floor gave us our first glimpse of the streamway, though we continued traversing above it for a few metres until it became just a short climb down into the water.
Turning back on ourselves we followed the stream over a couple of small cascades and arrived at the pitch head. In a first for me, we rigged the pitch from a couple of spits backed up to a natural thread, before I made the slightly wetter than expected descent of the pitch.
Landing in a wet, spray lashed chamber, high above Phil tried to improve the rigging of the pitch to make it slightly drier. With us both down, we found the way on and rather than continuing further towards the main chamber and the eventual way on into the main Ease Gill system, we took a sharp right and headed down Route 880.

 Newton's Wonder

The low crawls brought us out into quite a large chamber which, on its far side, revealed a beautiful gour pool with a stunningly decorated aven above, Newton's Wonder. Pictures taken, we decided that the delights of the loose main chamber and the Rocky Horror show beyond would have to wait for another day and headed back to the surface.

Our thanks to Jim and Lionel for digging out the pot, not once but twice!

No comments: