Friday 16 December 2016

8th December 2016 - Witch way?

Every time I've visited Bull Pot of the Witches I've been somewhere new and so I was excited to be once again making the short walk from Bull Pot Farm. We crossed the style and followed the airy path around the edge of the open pot, dropping down in even more exposed position to the small, eye hole entrance.  The free climbs at the end of the passage brought us out close to the bottom of the main pot and we headed down slope, past the waterfall, until the sky disappeared once again.
Past the little museum and the rope leading up into the gods we dropped, until we came to the small slot that drops into a rift leading to the Gour pools and the upstream sump. In a recent visit Dick and I had utterly failed to find this, but here it was clear as day??!! We slithered down and a few metres along the bottom of the rift came to the polished climb leading to the Gour pools.  Tony had, slightly more excuseably, also failed to find this on his most recent visit but made no mistake on this trip.
The Gour pools are a beautiful sight and it was great to see they were as white as on our last visit a good few years previously. Climbing up the well decorated slope above the pools we were able to drop into the top of the rift and continue our traverse. At its end a rope snaked down a steep slope into the darkness. With no SRT gear this didn't look inviting, but a few metres back Tony found a way down through boulders that offered a more pleasant descent to the river.
A dive line led further upstream, but the lowering airspace and the temperature of the water put a damper on further exploration. Retracing our steps, back past the Gour pools, we made our way back towards the open pot. Just before reaching this though, we took a right hand turn down Burnett's passage, once again I was covering new ground.

1 comment:

Stephen Oldfield said...

Hi Alistair

The cave and limestone expert Tony Waltham is seeking to use your pic of the Gour chambers in Bull Pot of the Witches. He wants to include it in 'Caves and Karst of the Yorkshire Dales Volume 2' and will credit you. If you are ok to give permission (it's a charity so no payment but fame is great!!!) please mail me at

Many thanks: Stephen Oldfield (A Three Peaks Up and Under) love your site by the way!