Hurnel Moss Pot.

On the whole, it looked, as if it was going to turn out to he a Wallies trip (If I can coin this phrase without causing too much upset in the club, not to mention a nervous twitch for Charlie Spurr.) Derek, Steve, myself & half a ton of gear had set out to do Hurnel Moss Pot, which lies up by Gaping Gill. Locating the entrance was proving difficult, but after sampling a particularly unpleasant entrance, wandering about the fells for half an hour - like pratts, we finally found it.

The square cut entrance leads after a short crawl to 25 foot pitch, which we laddered. This short pitch lands on a boulder slope, where we geared up for Poseidon pitch - which is 200 feet broken by a mega ledge, 100 foot down. Traversing out into the shaft, I hung the rope on some Whernside Manor bolts then started to abseil down. The pitch is in a massive, clean washed rift, which really impressed me. Landing on the ledge I waited for the others to descend then set off down the second part of the pitch, which lands in a big boulder strewn chamber. The others again rejoined me and we had a quick explore round the chamber before following the water down a rift. After a short pitch the passage meanders for a way then closes down into a piddly sump.

The inward journey of Hurnel Moss had been short but sweet. The journey out was a bit more exciting. Steve clipped on to the first part of the 200’ & made his way up. When he reached the ledge, I started up. By the time, I reached the ledge, Steve was at the top of the 200. Clipping in to the second half of the climb I started my way up. Suddenly there was a bang from somewhere up above, a whistling sound, then a great deal of pain in my chin as my left leg interrupted the flight path of a four inch, circular boulder. My groans echoed round the chamber. Derek, who by now had prussiked up to the ledge, de-rigged and offered much needed encouragement as I one footed it up the top 100 foot. Another rock whistled by. The feeling of being stuck 50 foot up a rope whilst at any moment a rock could hit you, is to put it in a nutshell, bloody frightening. Derek will testify to this because two boulders whistled past while he was ascending the pitch.

Derek was last up and de-rigged, whilst I was one legging it up the 25 foot ladder, thankfully life lined by Steve, a task which proved quite interesting. Where the falling rocks came from exactly is a mystery, because Steve swore blind that nothing fell from where he was. After getting out of the hole, we had one slight problem: I could
hardly put any weight on my left foot. With that and all the gear we made little to no progress. Luckily however, we met some kind hearted walkers, who half carried me to Clapham Show Cave, whereupon another kind person gave us a lift to the car park. At Lancaster Infirmary, Derek roared with disappointment, when he found out that I only had a badly bruised leg. “There isn’t even  any blood!” he was heard to cry.

Other than falling rocks, I would recommend Hurnel Moss as an excellent short S.R.T. trip.

Andrew Lomax.

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