Little Hull Pot Revisited

Friday. 30th. December. 88.

On the Thursday I was hoping to meet some of the club at Clapham car park at 10.30. I arrived at 10.45, (surely not, Frank. Ed. ), and they had gone. They said they were going down Stream Passage Pot. I did not recognize any cars so I went to Ingleton and met John Tessyman and John Lynch, they were going to walk over Ingleborough -from Clapham to the Hill Inn, so I joined them. We had a good day, although there was thick fog on the top of Ingleborough; afterwards, over a meal in Bernies, we decided to meet on the following morning and do a pothole somewhere.

We arranged to meet at 9. 00. One of the party didn’t turn up until 10.00 ( NOT ME ) and it was gone 11.00 before we decided what to do. We had + finally decided on Little Hull Pot after going through the book. When we gut to Horton in Ribblesdale the car park was full , so we drove up the lane end and parked on the other side of the gate at the top. We had just about changed when a landrover came roaring up the lane. We thought that a farmer had come to turn us off. Anyway it turned out to be Fred Weeks and a party of the YSS. They were alreedy changed so they piled out of the land rover and set off over the fell. They had come to do Little Hull as well. So, packed our ropes away again and carried them over to the pot and down it.

I saw a bag of rope just inside the entrance but they had told us to leave it wasn’t needed. When I got to the first pitch they were still rigging rigging it and going down. After a while a voice from below shouted up that they were a rope short for- the next pitch which was the 100f t one. So I had to go hack for the bag of rope at the entrance. It took half an hour to get to the entrance and back with the rope so the two Johns were getting a bit fed up by this time. Fred explained it was the pantomime season, They all went down and I followed on with the bag of rope.
About 15ft down you swing through a window in the opposite wall and drop down a few feet to a traverse, I threw the bag down from here as they wore shouting for it, then I started on the rope traverse. I was not feeling too good, as at the farm the night before Neil had kept plying me with Vodka. I vaguely remembered falling out of the bunk and crawling on my hands and knees to the toilet to vomit. So I was still feeling a little bit drunk and dizzy.

I clipped my cows tails on to the traverse line and worked my way along the ledge, which was just a thin incut ledge in the smooth vertical wall. I found out later that it is best to clip your cows tails onto the bolts and lean out on them, but as I have not done much traversing, and not one like this before, “ I did it my way”. Anyway I got down alright.

They were taking a long time to rig the next pitch, which follows on. They ware rigging it from the pitch head as their leader did not feel like doing the traverse over the top. There was quite a lot of water going down so we were going to get quite wet. The two Johns decided that they had had enough by this time, so they set off out after making me promise to come straight back nut after doing the big pitch.
It was a rather wet descent, although not too bad. When I got to the bottom Fred said he was going on to the next pitch although he did not have a rope for it. I could not resist doing this last bit, so I went along with him and two others. I had forgotten about the very wet low crawl or I don’t think I would have bothered. A short way further on we had to climb up to a traverse which leads to the chamber above the third and final pitch. Fred said that it was free climbable — but the rest of us didn’t fancy doing it without a rope or ladder. So, we returned to the big pitch and set of out.

When I got to the traverse on the first pitch, Colin. who had rigged it all was waiting there and he told me how to tackle it properly. I found it much easier as long as you have confidence in your cows tails. I thanked them for allowing us to go down on their ropes Johns were looking a bit annoyed with me (or keeping them waiting to long. Especially when I told them that I had not come straight out as I had promised!

They dumped me on a car park in Ingleton where I had left my car and I joined them later in Bernie’s for a meal. Steve Round was handing free beer round later, but I could only accept a half, as I was driving home and then on to the Lake District for the new year. I finally got to the Lake District for 4. 3Opm.

Frank Hardy.


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