Mancunian Way

In MOLLUSCAN HALL several ways on are possible. An ascending traverse and awkward climb up leads to UPPER MOLLUSCAN HALL and a connection to DISMAL BYPASS. At a lower level holes between the boulders rejoin the stream before it runs into a low bedding plane passage which can be bypassed by climbing a chimney into a wide muddy passage above. The branch on the left is another oxbow back into MOLLUSCAN HALL, while a series of climbs and traverses over block fall regain the stream. Here a dry branch enters from the left, large passage continues downstream for some distance until the main EASE GILL water is met at SURPRISE JUNCTION, where all ways on quickly end in hazardous crawls beneath masses of loose collapsed blocks.

One of the branches beyond the oxbows downstream of MOLLUSCAN HALL enters an 11m high EASE GILL AVEN. Scaling this leads to a series of large passages running back to the left entering THE SURPRISE, a large chamber with THE MANCUNIAN WAY EXTENSION leading off beyond. To one side of the chamber is a 3m climb up into THE SIDELINE, a low crawl which emerges 6m up the wall of SNAIL CAVERN in the HIGH LEVEL ROUTE of LANCASTER HOLE.

The other route from the top of Ease Gill Aven, THE MANCUNIAN WAY, leads via a series of low chambers and crawls to a larger passage which enters CORNES CAVERN from behind a tremendous dropped block.

Beyond THE SURPRISE the well decorated passage is NICE WAY which splits after about 100m at Bi the Way. To the right about 15 metres of crawling under a false floor to a flowstone blockage. To the left a bedding can be forced until iit becomes too tight.

To the left at Bi the Way continuues as a crouching walk followed by hands and knees to another fork. To the right is low and blocked by boulders. Near the end of the left hand branch after Bi the Way a hole on a shelf in the right hand wall leads down a 5m pitch to a dug out and blasted section. After a short flat out crawl there is a second 7m pitch with a scaffold bar in place. This is in a rift and is tight and awkward on the return. At the bottom of the pitch is a larger passage, up dip quickly chokes close to passages in SYLVESTER POT Downstream through a shattered chamber leads to a stream passage which can be followed down to a 9m pitch down CLOUGH'S AVEN in CLOUGH'S PASSAGE

This route provides yet another round trip in the EASE GILL SYSTEM and is a quick route out of the far reaches of THE MANCUNIAN WAY by using a 20m rope to abseil the three pitches described above. This should only be attempted in dry conditions to avoid being cut off by flooding at DISMAL JUNCTION.

R.R.C.P.C. 2003