Boundary Pot

Andy, Peter M, & myself were doing the usual Sunday morning discussion on where to go, when Andy had the novel idea of Boundary or Borehole. Both Andy & I had been to the bottom of the 50 in Boundary Pot, but got no further as we had to rescue Bob Stevens, who had a 100 Kg. (viva metrication) lump of rock fall on his leg luckily the rock’s fall was broken by hitting his head first.

So we decided to go down Boundary as we both wanted a look round Hiroshima. Peter, because of his dislike of tight spaces decided to duck out. By the time we had changed Jim had arrived, he tried to make us change our minds, saying such encouraging things as “Your wasting your time, there’ll be too much water sinking at Boundary Pot”. I couldn’t help thinking the same thing however, not to be put off, we set to across the fell, Jim & Peter in the other direction to their dig. When we arrived, all the water was sinking 40 foot upstream of Boundary (Peter M & I have dug here and the water goes into a 4 inch bedding.) Most of the way from the entrance to the 50 foot pitch is crawling with occasional climbs down; the biggest being about 15 feet. The final crawl in Bar Stewards Passage is well named & ends in a tight tube about 12 feet long, the tightest part being on the furthest side. In fact, it’s not so much tight as awkward.

Once on the other side, the pitch was soon rigged and we lifelined each other down, keeping a close lookout for loose rocks. One of the first things one notices when down is how slippery the rocks are, and this is  all the way to Hiroshima. This was as far as either of us had been before. At the opposite end of the chamber we found the flat out crawl that I remembered should be the way on. This was somewhat longer than I had expected, but we eventually emerged in the main streamway. The passage: on the survey looks deceptively large, this is on account of its width not its height. Eventually the roof began to lift and we arrived at the beautiful calcite cascade which is marked on the survey. Further on we passed a 60 foot high aven with some really marvelous curtains completely untouched by human hands and like most formations in this cave they were very active. After this the passage lowered again and we found ourselves stooping under a false floor which was slowly being eroded by flood water.

Hiroshima is singularly unimpressive & much smaller than I had imagined. The stream sinks at one end in a boulder choke and directly opposite is the obvious way on but alas, this is calcited up.
Just above the false floor as it enters Hiroshima is a small eyehole which goes through to a 15 foot pitch (It’s certainly easier going in than coming out). This is marked on the survey & as we had brought a ladder along we decided to use it, even though it looked free climbable. We both decided that the dubious. looking belay was alright after various tugs & kicks. I volunteered Andy to descend first & he was soon down. I set off and was about 3 feet down, when the belay gave way and slipped down about 5 feet, coming to .rest on a jammed boulder, I was a little shaken. I climbed back up, dragging the ladder with me, to find that I had pulled a large slab of rock away from what appeared to be a solid rock wall. Andy free climbed the pitch and we decided to make our way out, having a poke up most of the inlets as we returned. The water enters Boundary just below the 50 foot pitch, so we followed this inlet for some way and came to two waterfalls. Presumably this water comes from the sink just up from the human entrance. This was certainly an interesting area.

Once up the pitch we decided to split the tackle different to when we came in (Andy taking most of it on account of his size) I found the tube a lot easier on the way out (presumably because of the lack of tackle), we both decided that ropes are .a real pain in this crawl. Yet again Boundary Pot demonstrates that it is a place to be careful in, yet it is well worth a visit for the unspoilt beauty and lack of footprints.

G. Leach.



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