Hurnel Moss Pot  

February 15th

I’d forgotten it was the official club trip to Hurnel Moss, so it’s just as well that Andy’s car wouldn’t start at the farm or I would probably have missed the trip. When I arrived 50% of the clubs membership had its head stuck under the car bonnet. ‘What about the plugs?’, “It’s probably the condenser”, “How about the points?”. Too many cooks .? Anyway it still wouldn’t start so we deserted him and set off f or Clapham.

After changing, 6 of us, Paul, Jim, Alan, Bill, Steve and myself, set off on a one hour hike over the fell to the entrance which lies at the bottom of a huge shakehole. A grille of icicles partially obscured the entrance and half had to be broken away to gain entry. An awkward take-off for the first pitch of 20ft. followed immediately. At the bottom the whole floor area was very unstable and the greatest care had to be exercised, as any boulder dislodged had a good chance of rolling over the edge of the 200 foot pitch.

A long belay was rigged and 200 foot of ladder edged carefully over. After two were down we began bringing one up before the next went down. This as to save time and any possible problems, getting the lifeline down. I set off down about fourth. I thought the huge ledge just before halfway would come in handy on the ascent. It isn’t until the descent of tile second half of the pitch that the true magnificence of the shaft is revealed. Towering, huge and inspiring, the sort of thing that memories are made of. At the bottom I began to think how I could illuminate it for a photograph. I certainly couldn’t do anything today as my camera was at the top of the pitch, but next time I’ll be prepared.
In comparison with the shaft the rest of the route to the sump was rather dull. In less than 10 minutes I was back at the ladder and to my surprise the climb up wasn’t half as bad as I expected.
After de-rigging we had a pleasant stroll off the fell to arrive back at the cars shortly after 5.

Boyd Harris

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