Washfold Pot. June 16th.
R. Abram, T. Abram, K. Atkinson, F. Hardy, G. Leaoh, A.Srnith, C. Spurr & J. Tessyman
fells seemed quite dry with very little water running off them, but even so the
sky had quite a few clouds, giving overcast periods as we walked to the hole.
The trip got off to a bad start by a feature which was to reoccur throughout
the trip the entrance climb had half a rotting, festering sheep, half way down.
The rest of the sheep being scattered along the next ten feet of stream passage,
along with copious amounts of maggoty wildlife. The passage stank and one could
not get down it fast enough. No matter how many expletives are fired off, it does
not reduce the smell one bit.
The following passage was quite restrictive (for me, anyway.) even more so due to our sense of urgency to put as much distance between us and the entrance. A short bedding crawl was interesting & a subsequent drop down brought us to a small chamber, conveniently situated 20 feet from the pitch, such that SRT kit could be assembled in comfort.
sitting in this chamber waiting for Charlie to rig the pitch, I noticed the
walls were flecked with calcite. Then came the horrible realisation that the
“calcite” was moving. Ugghh. Maggots were climbing the walls everywhere, the
stream was awash with them & they were climbing out of the water at every
The pitch was rigged as a fine free hang from the end of the traverse. 50 foot of marvelous shaft, then the deluge of water hit us, the rest of the abseil was somewhat wet & maggoty. Once into the water one was too busy abbing as fast as possible to get out of the downpour (especially myself, who was advised it was a dry hang, so wore dry kit.) to notice the rest of the shaft.
Along the following passage some rather wet. crawling was followed by some interesting climbs, then traversing & more climbing brought us to the two short pitches which were both quite wet, Charlie & John declined a visit to the sump, saying they had been before. The somewhat insignificant sump was infested with the by now ubiquitous maggots (unfortunately too buoyant to do the through trip). By the time I had climbed the two pitches above the sump I was wetter than anticipated, but the two free climbs in the rift were easier than they looked on the way down.