A Trilogy from Graham

Swinsto Hole:  Party:-  K. Lewis, M. Woodhouse & G. Leach,

“Is this it, Keith?”,  “No!”,    “What about over there?”,  ““No!  */??I@@??,”     After locating the hole, we lowered ourselves into a very cold stream & on to the first pitch which is already laddered. Down, & into Swinsto’s long crawl which ends in a short drop, a coup1e more pitches & we arrive at the Main pitch which is broken by a large ledge halfway down. The belay for the second half of this pitch is a very dubious looking bolt (Much care exercised here). We pass Turbury Inlet on the right & down to where the water sinks into a crack, a couple of pitches & the water is joined again. A further pitch & past Slit Pot aven down the final cascade to arrive at Swinsto Great Aven. We slip through East Entrance passage and into the Master Cave.  Along the Master. Cave we find that the ladder we left at the top of the pitch in Valley Entrance is conveniently five feet short of the ground. Three nig-nogs are standing at the bottom of the ladder looking at it & willing it to grow. After some acrobatics on Keith’s shoulder I manage to get up the ladder & lengthen it with a tape for Keith & Mark to follow me. The nig-nogs are still at the bottom of the ladder & making no attempt to climb, they are offered a lifeline which they gratefully accept. Another nig-nog arrives from Valley Entrance direction wearing a tweed jacket. We warn him we are taking the ladder out. He goes down. We roll up our ladder & look forward to the duck near the entrance Brrr!

Stake Pot Series  Party:-  A. Hall, C. Wilcox & G. Leach,

Across the fell to Lancaster Hole, after dragging ourselves away from Multicoloured Swap Shop and down the entrance pitch. Andy tries desperately to lose me in Montague East due to the fact that he can’t see further than his feet because he’s got the wrong bulb in his lamp. Stake Pot is eventually reached & we turn right into the Stake Pot Series. The passage is fairly easy going to Maple Leaf Junction, near there is a very nice crystal pool (alas damaged) and a narrow upward slit emerges in Cape Kennedy, beyond are Fire Hydrant & Straw Chambers. We return & proceed up Maple Leaf Passage. Chris is beginning to have trouble with the carbide lamp I lent him but after much cursing it’s persuaded to work. We plod on up the easy passage traversing over a pitch to the lower series, the water below making a lot of noise, Eventually the way on is a hands & knees crawl in freezing water to a small waterfall. Andy decides this is as far as we can go, and anyway his feet are cold. While Andy feels his way back along the passage with his white stick, Chris returns to Straw Chamber to collect my bottle of carbide which he just happened to bury. The journey back was quite fast apart from some delay in Montagues where we met a bunch of nig-nogs.

Bull Pot of the Witches  /  Casterton Pot    Party:-  C. Wilcox G. Leach, R. Stevens,  J. Newton &      .                                                                                     H. St.Lawrence.

After dragging ourselves away from Multicolour Swap Shop again, we descended Bull Pot, on through the Gour Chamber, through the duck and on to the little hole in the wall. Bob passes the squeeze easily, I pass it after a few minutes grunting & pushing & Chris zooms through. The original dig is abandoned quite quickly & a high level route is investigated. One boulder about a hundredweight is moved out of the way, but there is a much larger one behind it stuck right in the wide part of the keyhole passage. After about an hour, trying different methods of moving it, it is eventually dislodged & it plummets to the floor. The passage is just wide enough for Bob to wriggle into, but he abandons it as too dangerous to tackle alone. Obviously a quest for Andy when his toe gets better.

On coming out of Bull Pot, we meet Jim who wants to go down Casterton Pot. We have a cup of tea while he gets changed and then proceed over to the hole. Jim & I descend the pitch to find that the loose rock has shifted, blocking the way on down. Much rock & loose debris is moved, just in time for Hugh (who has turned up late) to wriggle through. I returned back up the pitch & left them to it -- the only find of the day -- a football!

G.. Leach.


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