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
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
The trip out went fairly well, apart from tackle jamming in the entrance shaft, and everyone enjoyed the