Moking Hurth / Moking Pot - Sunday 26th. May.

After a week instructing seventeen year olds how to brick themselves on a twenty foot abseil, I headed, for Teesdale with Stu. Wilson and family from the Eden Valley Centre! We reckoned that Moking Hurth might be a suitable trip for course student and decided to check it out.

Parking near the Langdon Beck Hotel gives a straightforward walk of half a mile or so to the entrance in the obvious scar above the obvious limekiln. Unfortunately, there are two scars & two limekilns. Give me the coordinates, Scotty. Once found it is unmistakable and. a nice series of lofty cross rifts make for some interesting route finding in search of the stream. There are in fact, four entrances and all soon converge on the main stream passage, which is followed at first across three traverses of varying ease before a drop into the water lets the explorer ,“loose inside the bowels of the earth”, on a romp up a pleasant streamway, 30 feet high. Calcite chokes & one or two tight bits are bypassed by phreatic lifts that oxbow over the obstructions, and soon the end is in sight. At least the end for mere mortals. Complete idiots & connoisseurs of the Aygill Bypass route (!) can force themselves through a ridiculously wet crawl to reach the downstream end of Moking Pot. In deference to the manufacturers of a certain yellow over suit, I retreated as soon as one nostril was submerged, and a naughty brachiopod grabbed hold of my attractive yellow attire. It’s probably quicker to go out and round to Moking Pot anyway, located in a shakehole over a wall to the north. Removing oil cans reveals a 25 foot rift which is likely to be more awkward with a ladder than without - jugs abound and there’s plenty of holds for your fires! Another phreatic lift can quickly be located and followed to the stream which soon reaches the daft connection with Making Hurth. Upstream is far more pleasant - easy walking in a fine rift with good formations for 600-700 feet until the going becomes progressively more difficult, and crawling is called for over sharp noduled limestone. Enthusiasts of Yoredale caves can pass several loose blocks and pursue the passage into Fossil Crawl which is best left for the naughty little brachiopods. Not wishing to become fast in the passage, thereby creating anew fossil species, the Trollobite, we sounded the retreat & headed for the sunshine. The beautiful & rare Alpine flower, Blue Gentian, can be seen in the locality before a pint & crisps are enjoyed at the hotel. An ideal day out for the caving family.

H. St. Lawrence.


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