Saturday 27 November 2010

26th November 2010 - Pool Sink

In the bacon slicer

With poor Tom unable to join us having fallen off his bike earlier in the week and Phil and John otherwise committed, it was a slightly reduced team that set off onto the moors from Bull Pot farm.
With temperatures in the last couple of days having fallen well below freezing we followed a ribbon of ice over to a very dry Easegill, Pool Sink seemingly a misnomer under these conditions.
Entering the cave was like stepping off a plane in Southern Spain having boarded it in England, the exertions that followed adding to the rise in temperature too.
Once through the entrance S bends, the sink opens up into a fabulous meandering passageway before the first pitch is encountered. Given the complete lack of water, the initial Y-hang gave us the desired free hang with no need to deviate and use up one of our precious krabs. Gearing up at the car we had realised that most of the maillons must be with Tom, but by cobbling together all the krabs taken off bags and found in the car boot, we hoped we had just enough.
While the way on lay down stream, we deviated up stream to have a look for Magpie Grotto. It felt like we were very close to the surface again when we stopped in a small chamber, presumably the Grotto, decorated with stal but with boulders and a large of amount of mud spilling into it.

Dick in Magpie Grotto

On again downstream before a traverse over a couple of deep holes led us to the second pitch, split by a small pool.

Rigging the second pitch

To gain the third and final pitch we needed to make a rising traverse up "Jacob's ladder". A brilliant final pitch in this classic Ease gill entrance.

Heading up Jacob's Ladder

Following the water down from the base of the pitch we were soon in familiar territory, the unforgetable "blades" of the bacon slicer cutting into the passageway. Mindful of the return journey through the entrance passage with our tackle bags, we set off back up our ropes towards a stunning star filled sky and the sofas in front of the fire at the Barbon Inn.
John you'd have loved the last bit.

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