NETTLE POT    -   DERBYSHIRE.

Party:-  T. Taylor, G. Egginton, C. Bennett, B. Fleet & D. Irons.

It was a crisp, clear night when I finally climbed out of the lidded entrance, the gibbous moon throwing more than sufficient light down on to the snow clad moor to see by; just as well, as my Oldham had just expired.    Exiting from the. 160 Loot entrance shaft seemed to take a long time, the final sixty feet, “The Narrows”, proving difficult to de-tackle. Finally, the SRT ropes were taken out of their hauling sacks. and trailed up to the surface.   Nettle Pot is Derbyshire’s nicest vertical trip, and Terry, Gordon &. I, three of Red Rose’s Birmingham contingent, together with Clive & Bob from the Cave & Crag Club had decided to do the trip via the Beza Shaft Route.   We had to dig the entrance out and were lucky to find it, as the area in which it is situated had multitudes of shallow, snow filled depressions. Leaving the daylight, I quickly abseiled down through the tight stuff and landed in a bedding plane area known as “The Flats”, the bottom of the entrance shaft. All the tackle was then slid down the rope, rapidly followed by Terry.

From here, 2 short pitches lead down a gulley, crossing one opening into Elizabeth Shaft on route. A few feet on, water showers from the roof onto boulders and a small hole between them is the head of Elizabeth Shaft proper.

Terry &.I had been down this fine 170’ pitch on a previous trip and through the then recently opened connection to join the Beza Route in “Shakes’ chamber. This connection is tight & wet, but for thin folk it makes an excellent exchange trip possible. On this trip, however, we had all decided to go down the Beza Route. To reach this, a short crawl beyond Elizabeth Shaft leads to a traverse forward for a hundred foot or so, down into a bouldery passage. At the end is a tight hole below hanging boulders which is the top of Crumble Pot. We laddered this pitch as it sounded unsuitable for SRT, but in fact, free hanging, about 90 feet deep. About 70 feet down one lands on “Footholds”, a pinnacle like boulder is calcited onto a ledge at this point. This provides the belay for Beza Shaft, the way on being down the far side of the pinnacle.

This 160’ pitch is a fun one, narrow all the way down, but nowhere really tight. The walls are smooth, orange brown calcite and a light spray of water helps to keep you cool on the wriggle back up.
Below
Beza, a loose rift climb of 50 feet leads down into “Shakes” chamber and assembling here, I sent the rest off to look at the connection and down the crawl which leads to the final choke at the deepest point. I started back out having looked at both on my previous trip down Nettle.
The trip out went fairly well, apart from tackle
jamming in the entrance shaft, and everyone enjoyed the pot.

 D. Irons.

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