Gale Garth Pot

 

The meets list had “Washfold Pot” down for the 16th. but overnight rain put paid to that. When I arrived at the farm with Antony at 10:30, Keith was in the process of sorting out his gear to do Deaths Head with Graham & Paul. “Are you doing it on ladder or rope?’, I asked. “What do you think?”, answered Keith, cynically. For those readers not “in the know”, he was doing it on rope.
Jim eventually arrived and as he’d spent last weekend with Peter digging out Gale Garth, I decided to have a look down it with him.

So off we went, fearless leader Jim in the lead with Antony, Mick Doran and four ”extras” Mick had brought along. The entrance shaft was ingeniously held open with old doors, shelves, meccano, etc. It’s a good job the shaft wasn’t any deeper o’ the kitchen table night have been next. Following a loose, wet boulder slope down through a rift I landed in a roomy chamber. A low bit followed then a drop down into another chamber, followed by a low, muddy grovel into a roomy passage.
We soon arrived at a hole in the floor which was laddered for Mick to investigate and Jim to follow on later. Meanwhile the rest of the intrepid explorers followed Jim to where he exclaimed “Ah, this is the bit I can’t get through. Unfortunately I was next in line and as I couldn’t think of a plausible excuse to let somebody else go in first I had to push on. What horrors, lay ahead? Jim mentioned something about a tight S-bend which he’d heard about from the last lot to get through.

I slid head first into a low passage which immediately made a 90 degree turn to the right. Squeezing my way round I then came to a similar bend but this time to the left, then into a tight passage which emerged into a wide, low chamber. The rest of the party then followed through except for Jim who went off to explore elsewhere.

Then we were all together we carried on to a very nicely decorated chamber with a boulder slope at the far end. Unfortunately, one of the “extras” lit a cigarette just as I was setting up to take some photographs and in no time the entire chamber was filled with dense smog. I’m sure Jim must have bribed him to light up so I wouldn’t get any decent shots (Lies, all lies. ed.) I waited for as long as possible before taking a few but I wasn’t very hopeful.

The trip out through the squeeze proved relatively uneventful, except for a few stuck bums. I had to be different and get my foot stuck, but as I was last out (again) there was no-one behind to help. After a quick “panic” I managed to free myself. On the way out I descended the ladder we’d previously rigged down the hole in the floor. Following along a rift, I met Jim & Mick emerging from a low crawl, both were completely covered in wet, slimy mud. I quickly followed them out to the surface then to the farm for a brew.

Boyd Harris.

 

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