Monday 27 December 2021

23rd December 2021 - A Yorkshire Pilgrimage

Mike's thoughts:

Early pass- Pen-Y-Ghent Pot (23/12/21)

Most pot-holing  excursions are evening based, a quick escape after work on a regular Thursday evening slot seems to fit fairly easily into the demands of the working week. The expectations of work, family, children usually complicate weekends and holidays, thus the opportunity for a full team ‘early pass’ on the eve of Christmas Eve allowed the possibility of a trip further afield and further underground, with the knowledge that success would make upcoming festivities even more appreciable. Such opportunities are not to be wasted, cherry picking to be done, Pen-Y-Gent to be assailed!

We were not disappointed, a midday stroll up onto a clagged out fell soon led to aqueous commitment along the canal from the outset, leading to a developing streamway and the tremendous main pitch chamber. The following rift a continual concentration and entertainment of route choice, rigging (or not) and thrutching until the final inspiring main streamway into the depths of the fell. Physically and mentally demanding throughout, with the added niggle of a slightly drizzly forecast in the back of our minds, all put to rest with the best resurfacing butties I’ve eaten for a long time, an evening trot back down the fell and a wonderfully sustaining and relaxing pint in the pub. Happy days, may the festivities begin!

Al's ramblings:

Holidays mean that we can be a bit more flexible about our Thursday meeting time.  Instead of the usual 5 pm at Devil's bridge, we can go earlier and further afield. A high pressure sitting over the country also gave us more options than the usual set of wet weather alternatives. So it was that the classic Penyghent pot was chosen as our objective. Despite having done it before, Mike was more than happy for a return and it would be new cave for Tony and I.

The beginning of the week brought stunning cloud inversions across the country, social media filling with summit photos surrounded by a sea of cloud and island peaks. By the Thursday morning though, the forecasts were not as certain and I began to have my doubts. While the others met at Devil's bridge to drive over to Horton, I stopped off in Ingleton to pick up the last pair of neoprene gloves in Yorkshire and some valuable local knowledge from internet influencer, Inglesport Johnny (better known as Wild swimming Yorkshireman).  Rather than flocks of birds and poor animal's entrails, the oracle consulted forecasts and river gauges and gave the nod. We were good to go.

The others were almost changed as I pulled into the layby in Horton, but I still found time to get one of Tony's fantastic egg mayonaise butties down me before pulling on my gear. Then it was onto a strangely deserted 3 peaks motorway.  The last time I'd been along the road to Brackenbottom, youngest and I were struggling in the heat, overtaking a myriad of walkers as we completed a round of the famous peaks.  This afternoon though, it was only the three of us who stomped up the road, before heading up onto the open fell.

3 fields later we turned left, off the main drag, a couple of dog walkers guessing our intended destination.  The rusty red gate in the description no longer red nor rusty, replaced by a newer galvanised version.  Mike as ever led us directly to the pot's entrance as opposed to the aimless wandering over the fellside that usually ensues when multiple, multi-million pound satellites and I try to do the same. Here it was, a small scaffolded entrance with a wire mesh lid. 

I dropped down into the entrance and almost instantly found an awkward section in which to entangle my tackle sack, not the most promising of starts. The drop down into the canal initially offered relief, its ample dimensions being easy to pass through and my new gloves keeping my hands lovely and warm. After a while you realise you've been crawling for quite a way and yet the passage continues ahead, an impromptu carol from Tony being the only relief from the monotonous crawling. They say a change is as good as a rest, but I don't think they had in mind the roof changing from a few feet above the water to about a foot. This lowering did though signal that the pitch was nigh.


14th December 2021 - Collecting the ropes before the seasonal rush


9th December 2021 - Lost John's exchange

 tony pete mike

25th November 2021 - Classic Yorkshire: Lost John's pull through


18th November 2021 - Cracker/Boxhead exchange

 dick, tony & mike

11th November 2021 - Cracking trip to Lyle caverns

 tony mike

3rd November 2021 - Alum pot antics

 tony mark and mike

21st October 2021 - Pool sink to County

 tony mike

14th October 2021 - Still too big!

 toyland tony

7th October 2021 - Too big for Toyland

 with mike

5th September 2021 - Cutting the rope!

 cncc rescue workshop

17th-22nd August 2021 - Pack raft epic


23rd July 2021 - Escaping the heat

 em, sian and the lads

19th June 2021 - A day with the Rock Doctor

 cncc geology day

27th May 2021 - Washfold pot


13th May 2021 - Hanging about with mates

 tony, mike, alex, tania

6th May 2021 - Through Heron

 dick tony alex mike

29th April 2021 - Bull pot

 Alex tony dick

22nd April 2021 - Heron through trip

 dick and tony

9th April 2021 - Bull pot of the Witches highlights

 tony ruth

3rd April 2021 - Mackenzie Magic

 tony, a & E

30th March 2020 - Department meeting

Doc, steve


17th December 2020 - Plumbing the depths