Alum Pot - 1st. Day in Advent
Party: Bill Nix, Phillip Gillespie, Jack Overhill
I arrived in Alum Pot as the sun setting in the west created a beautiful evening view. Jack was keen and ready to go having arrived first. We sorted the ropes, so Jack went off ahead whilst Phil and I got changed and followed with the other gear.
Dark was falling as we changed, the temperature well below freezing made getting kitted up some what of a challenge. This was why I said we usually drink 3 gallon of tea in Bernies Cafe before venturing out - it warms the inner man first!
Other groups had long since left as we walked up to the pot. Slipping in through the short crawl near Diccan Pot first cascade we went down the climbs arriving at the Dolly Tubs. Jack had already rigged so we were soon at the window. An impressive sight in daylight, it is no less impressive in the dark. Somewhere so familiar had suddenly taken on a different experience!
Jack had left the bridge pitch rope at the top of the Dolly Tubs so now sporting two bags I carefully descended to the Greasy Slab, along the ledge to him. Having carried both rope bags + his bag I was surprised to see it left for us ( we had a bag each), things yet to be learnt about Alpine Caving me thinks! However the rigging was very nicely done to a reasonable standard.
The cold was creeping into our bodies whilst we waited as the Bridge pitch was rigged. Then within a few minutes we had all regrouped at the bottom in various degrees of dampness!
Due to the nature and timing of the trip we had decided not to go further than Main Shaft base. A quick turn round after Jelly Babies, saw us arriving back up to the Bridge, along the ledge, across the Greasy Slab and back to the window. We stopped here for another few minutes to try an experiment but unfortunately the new kit was not wanting to work as I had hoped. Phil and Jack scampered off up the rope whilst I packed it all away.
I climbed up to the ledge then when the rope was free climbed the rest of the pitch. We de-rigged and exited out of the cave via differing routes, which also proved to me at least the way we went was quicker! - We had all left the same point at around the same time!
A few stars gazed down on us as we walked back across the fell to the lane. A quick change and off to the Helwith Bridge for a very welcome pint and a Grand tea!
Thanks to Phil and Jack for this Stirling effort!