Hammer Pot
Friday, 20 July 2007

The conclusion to Tank Passage is it gets too tight beyond the squeeze, the credit for the find in the caving literature goes to Mike Cooper not me (BPC Bulliren 1965 vol4 no5 pg 13).
Sunday 20th July. This wasn’t intended as a digging trip. An invite from White Rose lads Ian Cummins and Simon Beck (with their permit), saw Mike Cooper and I, tag along.

There was lot of water about and a fair sized stream flowing down the first pitch. The master cave was mighty wet. We went up Incline Passage and Ian (the thinnest, shortest man) volnteered to go down the Pit which turns out to be 10604 mm deep and choked with mud at the base. It’s very awkward to ascend and tight. A 10000 mm ladder with sling and spreader and 12 to 15 m lifeline are required There is a good thread to the left of the pitch head in the roof. Further up Incline Passage to visit the end, Simon spotted a hole in the floor with a fine draught and so Mike and I started digging. The hole was enlarged to almost body sized and we could see 3-4m down was a floor and an apparent bedding approximately 1m high leading off…

Then once Simon returned to fetch the hammer from the the start of Inclined Passage, Mike Cooper and I heard a streamway which hadn’t previously been heard. A hasty retreat was made along to Sludge Crawl with a touch less air space in the flat out part of Sludge Crawl.

A very reliefed group arrived at the end of Sludge Crawl, once again able to stand up and thankfully being above the foam marks for the first time in it what had seemed like ages. There appeared to be
no further rise in the stream in the cave. Once on the surface there was no conclusive evidence of it having rained. However, Simon, saw the end of the Kirkby Stephen to Settle cycle race ending in heavy rain as highlights on the news later that evening so maybe the cave had been flooding.

Any how nice to have gotten out OK and not having to sit out a flood and a fine lead to return to just needs some capping gear.

All the tatty old ropes were removed.

Sam Allshorn