Looking for something new to do in the Dales
is not easy when one has been caving in the area for a number of years. So,
when someone finds a new hole it automatically becomes to priority for investigation,.
I recently did a trip down this new find with some friends from the Cave & Crag and S. Wales C.C. Having only the briefest details about the place we went well armed with ropes and ladders. The entrance is of the dug-out manhole type and lies adjacent to the prominent rocky shakehole of Little Pot on the Marble Steps area of Leek Fell.
Once inside, a free climb down a nice little shaft leads to a narrow crawl with bends. At the end of this is a pitch of about 40ft The take-off is a little tight, but opens out to an easy climb. Transporting tackle through this section is the only tricky part of the trip. Below the pitch a small climb leads into a chamber from which a 25ft pitch leads to a. short narrow passage to a junction. Following the stream down, and then along a traverse, one arrives at an 80ft, wet pitch, which can be rigged from a small earthy chamber above the traverse. At the bottom is a l0ft climb where a sling is useful, leading to another section of narrow walking passage with muddy walls.
The next pitch is about 40ft and again is wet. A further 15ft. pitch follows immediately, belayed to a flake or the left wall. More traversing then leads to an awkward little cascade pitch of about l5ft with no obvious belay. The way on is then though a low gravelly crawl with pools, but just as things are beginning to look gloomy the roof rises and one can walk along a pleasantly decorated streamway for some distance.
This section ends where the stream disappears into a small square crawl in clean rock. Beyond can be heard the crash 1mg of the stream. The crawl is wet but short, and is followed immediately by pitches of 25ft and 20ft to the terminal passage and sump. Only one of our party went to the sump as we had no ladder for the last pitch and had to lower the one from the penultimate pitch on our spare belays. ( Shades of Heap. Ed.)
On the way out we used a
rope to pull the gear back through the entrance crawl, finding this easier than
trying to carry or pass it. Quite a nice trip. Night was closing fast as we
surfaced and we were rewarded with a fine sunset view over