Grange Rigg Pot
Saturday, 8 July 2006

Scared by the thought of a caving-less weekend, I resorted to the use of alcohol to convince Chris that installing his burglar alarm should wait another weekend, and that we should get a good caving trip done instead! The plan worked, maybe a little too well, as the hangover made its presence known the next morning.

After ingle-thief’s finest ‘spaghetti on toast with cheese and three sausages’, and ‘victoria sponge cake’ (not all at once of course), and a belly-bulger breakfast for chris, we set off for Clapham, and finally Grange Rigg Pot via the aptly named ‘Long Lane.’

Our late-start meant we didn’t get underground until just before 2pm. The entrance quickly led to the first pitch equipped with p-hangers (4 p-hangers). Quickly passed this and continued downstream in a fine, clean-washed stream passage that was missing it’s stream, but had a few stagnant pools and some black slime to make up for this instead. Quick and easy progress was made down the next few pitches (rigged using combination of naturals & p-hangers. However, needed two hangers for 4th pitch) and along anemolite crawl to Battleship passage which has some really nice formations before the fifth pitch (again, p-hangers & naturals)

At the bottom of the last pitch, a way-down through boulders leads to a narrow slot that drops into a crawl to the appropriately named ‘drainpipe’ that quickly leads to a small chamber and the sump, which is particularly small and pathetic! A green hose pipe was followed up a climb to where, i assume, Pay Sank enters in.

Very pleased to have reached the bottom, we set-off out. Quick and un-eventful progress was made back to a climb between the first and second pitch, which required combined tactics to get back up (the drilled thread and p-hanger suggested a rope would have been useful here…). Soon back at the entrance though after a very enjoyable 4.5hrs underground. Then down to Clapham for a couple of well-earned drinks in the New Inn.

Awesome trip! Cheers Chris.

NB: It looks as if there has been some movement in the boulder choke (Sledge Hammer Pot) at the bottom of the last pitch, as the narrow slot at the bottom of the boulders is apparantly a lot narrower than it used to be…