Clapham Bottoms Pot – Troubled Waters Series
Sunday, 30 March 2008

After a ‘particularly’ heavy night at the Helwith, a short caving trip was required to cure the nasty hangover. I’d been keen to visit clapham bottoms pot ever since hearing about the WRCPC breakthrough into the Troubled Waters Series.

After tom arrived back from inglesport we set off to clapham, and a very pleasant walk in the sunshine saw us up at the entrance by early afternoon. There was certainly no rushing today! I was still feeling rather grim at this point but was convinced that I would feel better once we were underground.

Tom led off, and just inside the entrance is a short ladder pitch. At the bottom, we followed a series of dry crawls with the occasional chamber or cross-rift providing relief from the easy but very sweaty
crawling (due to wearing neofleeces).

Eventually, a low section led to a small chamber with some pipe leading down into a squalid looking low-airspace duck. It looked to close down round a corner though, so a little confused, we set off back out looking for the way on. A couple of crawls were looked at but we soon arrived back at the bottom of the 1st pitch.

Here, we found the way on, and an easy crawl led to a traverse over a fairly deep pit to further crawling to the 18m pitch into Olympic chamber – a fairly sizeable chamber! Various ladders could be seen leading up into holes in the roof but the way on was down a very loose looking scaffolded section in the floor.

I set off down this and soon arrived at a crystal clear pool. After submerging myself in it, I could see the way on was through a low airspace duck (about 1.5 – 2inches). I could feel a larger airspace with my feet, so without putting my neoprene hood on (d’oh) I floated through feet-first into a small airbell chamber. Brain freeze set in and I shon my light back for tom. I think it was at this point the hangover was scared into submission! We were now in the Troubled Waters series, which is accessible through diving from Hallucination Aven in Far Waters i believe.

A short section of neck-deep wading with the occasional lower airspace section led to a chamber. More stooping height canal led to where an reasonable inlet entered on the right down a very pretty section of flowstone/gours. To the left, the stooping height/crawling canal continued and was very well decorated in parts. A superb section of passage!! Definitely has the Sam Allshorne character as Far Waters.

Soon later, a wriggle over flowstone led to a wet flat-out section which soon ended at a blockage.

Then back out, feeling a tad cold but free from the effects of the hangover. Quick progress was made back to Olympic chamber and then up the pitch and through the crawls to the entrance. We emerged to a superb evening and a pleasant walk in the sunshine soon saw us back in Clapham….still cold!

An excellent trip with plenty of variety and the superb Troubled Waters series to end with, although I now believe there is still some more to be seen. A return will be made at some point with camera gear. The weather the previous day had been awful (nearly 30mm), so I expect the low-airspace ducks are probably not normally as low.