Committee Pot / Notts 2

19 November 2011

It’s been ages since my last club trip, I decided to take the opportunity to pay another visit down Committee Pot. This was co-ordinated by our illustrious “Presidente” Ray.

The initial venue was 10-30 am at Cowan Bridge community car park. I didn’t have to wait long before Ray appeared. I approached him with a ‘Good morning, and immediately ended up assisting him on a balloon “blowing up” exercise. Other “normal people” on the car park, were quite bemused by this. Hilarity ensued as one of the cheapo balloons exploded. More of this later.

More people started to show up. It seemed the trip was going to be popular. As they arrived, the balloon blowing up continued. Eventually we got round to sorting transport (Three cars per Leek Fell permit). True to form, Ray had sorted the permit. So, how many people showed up? Andy Hall, Starkers, Sam and Julian Carradice, Heather and Tim Eastwood, Sam Lieberman, Steve, Ray and me. Can’t think of anyone else. Apologies if I’ve missed someone out.

Ok, off we all went. Parked by the first gate on the road. This is very close to the entrance. The Leek Fell weather was unusually ktnd to us whilst getting into our caving gear. Usually it is akin to, “A cold wind blowing up the Khyber”. Once every one was ready, we all headed through the gate in the wall. A notice had been placed warning of the instability of the recent “breakthrough” boulder choke into Lost Johns. Within minutes the lid to the vertical entrance shaft had been lifted. Ray led the way down.
I have been in this cave twice before. The entrance seemed to be smaller than ever. I was the last one down. The shaft is really impressive. Scaffolding, aluminum ladders, breeze block. concrete, blood, sweat and tears. I take my hat off to the guys who made this trip possible. The vertical shaft seems never ending.

At the bottom there is a horizontal, descending, slot, which brings you into the cave. From here everything on the tourist route is walking size passage. The way on is large and presents no problems. Eventually this passage intersects with a streamway. Water flows from right to left. I was led downstream. Eventually climb down, into a large chamber, leads to a lowering of the roof. At the end of this passage is a sump. The leaders of the throng were heading back from the sump as I was approaching it. On the return, we all assembled at the climb for photos.

Now we headed upstream. Past the entrance passage. Past the ladder leading to the new breakthrough.(Marked as still unstable). After a bit of chilly wading in water, we arrived at the taped off formations. The formations are a real treat. These are well worth the trip. Words cannot relate the beauty of them. Wow!!!

Eventually we all met up back on the road. After the usual change of gear, we parted ways. Most of us would meet up later to celebrate Jim Newtons birthday. Obviously this was the reason for the earlier ballooning session.

The evening session at the farm was well up to previous standards. The lane full of cars. Loads of beer. Some high jinks. Met people I had not seen for years. The arrival of Jim was the highlight of the evening. Drank too much, and retired to my sleeping bag around midnight.

Another day with Red Rose. You can’t beat it.

Alan Kerr

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