Hammer Pot
Sunday, 25 May 2008

An excellent trip down Hammer Pot on Fountains Fell.
An efficient start saw the group at the entrance at around 10.30am(ish) and good progress made through the entrance series, which is certainly in need of a good wash…..rather smelly! Stemple Rift proved to be easier than expected, with some good footholds and wooden stemples in places. Just awkward really rather than tight.
Once past the climbs at the end of this, a short section of stream passage led to the fine fourth pitch, and a longer but easy section to the fifth pitch. Sludge crawl followed, but again this wasn’t too bad. Mind you, it hasn’t rained for nearly 3 weeks.

The roar of the Out Fell Master Cave could soon be heard. A superb section of stooping height/walking stream passage followed….the floor comprising lots of milled potholes, some of which looked pretty deep. This ended all too soon at a cross-rift swallowing the stream. An exposed step down led to a side passage and a dry parallel shaft with an impressive calcite flow down the far side.
Once at the bottom, a short section of stream passage led to a crawl bypass on the left, and more stream passage to the sump. Back at the final pitch, I decided to climb the bypass, which was fun and straightforward in the low water conditions but definitely obscure.
We also had a look in Incline passage on the way out……an interesting side-trip, and I followed the streamway up a sharp and low crawl full of milled potholes to a small but impressive upstream sump.
Good progress saw us out of the cave just after 5pm…….that felt slightly wierd as normally, on an ULSA trip, we’d have just arrived at the sump. 🙂
Really good day out! Thanks to Patrick and co. for the invite!