Gavel Pot / My first Pothole.

With living some distance away from the club, transport was my problem. It had been arranged for some time [about a year.. Ed) that Dick would take me to a Red Rose meet.
After leaving the pub at Kirkby Lonsdale, on the Saturday night, we drove up to Bullpot Farm. On arrival the place was empty, we waited for an hour and then decided to drive back to Ulverston and return the next morning. After a greasy breakfast, to settle the stomach, we drove back to Bullpot Farm, we then found out that several people had slept at the farm, arriving there shortly after we had left.

Next stop was Leck Fell. After getting changed into a boiler suit, best work boots, a borrowed larnp and a helmet which had been nicked from a building site, we started to plod along the fell, breaking the ice as we went. There were six of us in total, Jim (leader), Frank, Dick, Helen, Andy, and myself. We approached a huge shakehole surrounded by a fence, by now I was nervous. A steep path descended down to the top of a short (which looked huge) chock stone pitch. Jim rigged the ladder, and Frank climbed down, struggling at the top to find the rungs of the ladder. A lifeline was tied onto me and I started to climb down, it didn’t seem too bad after all. Taking it slowly I reached the bottom in one piece.

My lamp was loose on the bracket, so Jim bashed it with a rock which soon fixed that. The entrance was a hole at the top of a small pitch.. The ladder as fixed by Frank and then we climbed down and entered the cave, we were in a small chamber. A walled shaft was the next obstacle. This was a fairly trick climb down with plenty of loose rocks and boulders to add to the excitement. Frank took the quick way down! The sound of water could now be heard, after a low crawl we entered the main stream passage, a dry oxbow to the right led t a narrow passage before. Glasfurd’s Chamber. Dick decided that this hole was too small for the size of his body (so delicately put. Ed) so he waited. there ‘The crawl was on sand and it went on like a helter skelter opening into small chambers decorated with fantastic formations. I could not believe that so much beauty could be found underground. The chambers went on for some time each one increasing in formations.

This ended with a pool and with the roof coming down with about a 1ft gap. The water came to just below my waist, after rounding a corner the pool ended in a ‘muddy crawl, a passage to the left bypassed the pool so Helen and Frank went that way and didn’t get wet. The muddy crawl ended in a 20ft. climb up very loose boulders, there were signs that somebody was having a dig there. This was not the way on. After returning to the main passage three of us decided to continue up a large stream passage called The October Series The roof of this passage gradually lowered as it went round a series of Z bends, Frank turned round and returned outwards not wanting to crawl in water without a wetsuit. Andy was now some distance in front of me., he was wearing a wetsuit. I continued for some time and then decided to turn
around and go out. By now I was completely soaked by crawling in the
ice cold water. After several members of the party got lost Jim finally found the
climb back out. A group who were doing Short Drop asked us if one member of their
party could be taken out by us as he was suffering from exposure. Jim
and Dick lifted the young lad up the ladder. By now I was knackered and
found it hard work to climb the last pitch. The lad was assisted up the
steep path and across the moor, back to his minibus by two of our
party.
Getting changed on a freezing fell in the middle of winter is not
a pleasant experience, but an extremely enjoyable trip.

Neil Pacey.

Back to Contents Page