A foul day for foul pot
Saturday, 23 February 2008

Given the dire weather, I wasn’t particularly enthused for a trip to the dales to do sell gill, juniper or rift again etc etc. However, a recommendation from Sam Allshorn late on friday night and the arrival of a keen and enthusiastic german saw us destined for Foul Pot, a relatively recent addition to Fountains Fell (i.e. isn’t in northern caves) which although fairly short, reaches a modest depth of around 120m.

After picking up some ropes from Horton we proceeded to fountains fell. A 10-15min walk saw us up at the entrance, which is close to echo pot. None of us had much idea of what to expect…..all i had were the ropes lengths and rigging info, but good and easy progress was made down the cave. At the bottom of the second pitch, a short section of narrow rift proved too much for mark and so he set off out leaving martin, john and myself to continue on.

Beyond the rift, a short crawl led to a superb section of streamway with impressive straws in the roof, thankfully well above head-height. The fine 30m third pitch was soon reached, and careful rigging required to avoid rope rub. The second half of the pitch was suitably moist!

Another two pitches followed, the last of which dropped into a large chamber. A pleasant section of passage followed down a climb and some cascades to the final section of passage to the rather squalid sump.

Then back out, with plenty of stops for photos. As John wasn’t carrying anything, we managed to convince him to bring one of the old ULSA bags out, which is now at the craven hut. There is still plenty of crap down there to bring out though.

Good progress saw us back at the entrance for around 6.30pm after a very enjoyable 6.5hr trip. Given that we were taking photos, a trip time of around 4 – 6hrs seems reasonable. Grade-wise, 3-4 seems about right.

Comments

An excellent trip! It’s the kind of cave that makes you fall in love with potholing again! Very varied and with many nice formations on the way (although some of them are at risk of being muddied in the
long run). Also, the terminal sump with its mudbanks is very exciting. Maybe the third pitch could do with a diviation half-way down.

Martin Jahnke

Tuesday, 26 February 2008

There is nothing to deviate to and if you put in a deviation the rope is likely to rub in the rift near the top of the pitch. Whilst at the moment the lowest section of the pitch has to be done with your feet on the wall which isn’t that bad!

Sam Allshorn

Wednesday, 27 February 2008

I’ve noticed the lack of a point to diviate from. As for the rubbing, two deviations then. I was just thinking about waterlevels rising (was fine when we were there though).

Martin Jahnke

Thursday, 28 February 2008

Why place bolts (as there are no naturals) where bolts are not needed as it is possible to safely descend and ascend without any diviation it just needs a little care?

Sam Allshorn

Wednesday, 12 March 2008

Images
John on 30m third pitch
Posted by: Mike Bottomley
Size: 77kb
Width: 568 pixels
Height: 426 pixels
Posted: 25 February 2008
Fine straws
Posted by: Mike Bottomley
Size: 92kb
Width: 426 pixels
Height: 568 pixels
Posted: 25 February 2008
John in stream passage between 2nd and 3rd pitches
Posted by: Mike Bottomley
Size: 87kb
Width: 426 pixels
Height: 568 pixels
Posted: 25 February 2008
John on climb below last pitch
Posted by: Mike Bottomley
Size: 73kb
Width: 568 pixels
Height: 426 pixels
Posted: 25 February 2008
Final section of streamway
Posted by: Mike Bottomley
Size: 98kb
Width: 426 pixels
Height: 568 pixels
Posted: 25 February 2008