Flood Escape Route

This important route provides the least complicated means of escaping from the Main Drain via County Pot under flood conditions.

The route starts from MAINLINE TERMINUS in the HIGH LEVEL ROUTE

In Mainline Terminus take the eastern branch of Mainline Passage, walking and scrambling leads to where the floor rises suddenly, with the way on being a shattered crawl sized passage. This is followed up and to the right through a slot into OLD ENGLISH Chamber, whilst straight on leads to CARROT CHAMBER A small muddy hole to the left of the point of entry into Old English Chamber is the low and narrow Spangle Passage Various obstacles and short traverses at roof level lead on finally to a narrow descending rift. Care is required here as the rift ends 3.7m above the boulder strewn floor of BROWN & SMELLY Chamber. The climb down is quite awkward due to the greasy nature of the walls and a short line or a couple of slings can be of great help. A route in the floor via a couple of squeezes connects with Upper Pearces Passage near Cotton Chamber and a connection to Lower Pearces Passage. The main way on is a crawl out of the chamber to the left at the bottom of the climb, followed quickly by a drop into a small shattered passage. This soon rises over muddy boulders and to the right here is the top of a 6m pitch with a fixed ladder in place. For those slim enough it is possible to by-pass this pitch by continuing forward into Cono Crawl - a very narrow rift and corkscrew descent emerges over the top of two large unstable boulders at the end of the chamber encountered at the bottom of the fixed ladder. From here a short crawl brings one to a short descent into a muddy fissure and a way on into a low cobbled crawl via a gap between two loose boulders. Ahead leads into a low bedding chamber with the route on being up and over some large fallen blocks on the left. A short scramble and a few metres of walking sized passage emerges in the active streamway just upstream of the spout in SPOUT HALL Upstream from here via Showerbath Passage enters OXFORD CIRCUS and via a climb on the left in Broadway to the first pitch in County Pot and out to the surface.

R.R.C.P.C. 2003