Quaking Pot
Saturday, 25 July 2009

Excellent, if a tad physical, trip down this classic grade V pothole. Sam Allshorn and Mike Cooper formed the advance rigging team and were underground for around 9.30am. The rest of us followed on an hour later, with much lighter bags ready for the big clean-up (i.e. trying to remove as much rubbish and old ropes as possible from the cave).

Good progress was made down to the crux, where we could hear Sam Allshorn and mike ahead. Once again the crux was passed relatively easily and i crawled underneath to get mine and toms bags – easy going in but rather awkward to reverse. Tom and I carried on, into new territory for both of us while the rest of the team tackled the crux.
From the crux, the narrow winding streamway continues on with progress being made at stream level. There is one awkward little constriction along the way. Eventually, it is necessary to follow explorer’s prerogative – a traverse at roof level with the occasional squeeze between formations. At the fifth pitch, a handline climb led down to the streamway, and a couple of squeezes brought us to the 6th pitch – care is needed on second squeeze as pitch follows immediately.

Both the 6th and 7th pitches are superb, well-watered pitches though, and at the bottom of the 7th, SRT kits were bagged up and we progressed through the wet but easy W-bends to the climb up into fly crawl – pretty straightforward but wetter than expected. This led to the next pitch into the large bridge hall. Things then turned bigger, but looser and muddier as we progressed down the next pitch and grotty climb back down to the streamway.

This was then followed easily to the top of the last pitch….passing lots of rubbish along the way, into gormenghast – a spacious, but smaller than envisioned chamber at the bottom of Quaking.
Tom Clayton soon arrived and informed us that simon and tim had turned round at the crux. And so (after a few photos……i don’t think Sam Allshorn was happy!), tom baker, me and tom clayton started on the journey out collecting rubbish as we went…….but with a plethora of hoses, foam, crowbars, thick muddy ropes and orange bags, the bags were filling up fast. By fly crawl, we each had a full bag and coiled length of rope that we had to lob ahead in the crawl. Thankfully, a hole at the top of the fly crawl climb was large enough to pass some ropes and gear through rather than bringing through the w-bends.

A chain had to be formed at the top of the 6th pitch to get all the rubbish and gear up to the 5th pitch, where the decision was made to head out with a full bag each and return on a later trip to get the old ropes.

Good progress was made back towards the crux, which tom baker went through first. I was given the less-than-glamorous job of ferrying bags along the bottom of the crux to the bottom of the very tight bypass squeeze where tom was waiting and could grab them. By now the crux had claimed the first of its two victims…..tom’s welly which had become detached part way through.
Tom clayton followed, then Mike Cooper and Sam Allshorn………while i waited shivering in the bottom i had to watch each of them progress through the crux……which doesn’t do great things for the nerves believe me.

Once everyone and bags were through, i reversed back and squeezed up to the start of the crux. Coming back out of the crux is pretty unpleasant really, and disaster struck half way out when i dropped my helmet!! Bollocks!! Once safely through, i went back into the crux armed with Sam Allshorn’s sling and spent 10-15mins trying to lasso the helmet and flick it along the passage. Perserverence soon brought success and helmet was securely attached to my head (after a brief swearing at said helmet!).

Steady progress was then made towards the entrance, which was reached at around 9.45pm to a calm, pleasant evening after an excellent 11hr trip (12hr for Sam Allshorn and mike cooper).
Quaking certainly packs a fair old punch, constantly presenting obstacles and strenuous sections of passage. Add to that the worry of having an accident, which certainly doesn’t bear thinking about. An excellent trip though, and a very satisfying tick!! Many thanks to Sam Allshorn and mike for rigging/de-rigging and to everyone for their company!! Good stuff! 🙂

Comments

I huge thanks to Mike B for letting us totally hijack the CPC trip. Thanks to everyone who helped us get the rubbish out, only one more return is necessary. The pitches were all a lot more pleasant to come up with only one rope rather than the muddy spaghetti it was on the way in.

Sam Allshorn

Monday, 27 July 2009

Can i suggest early september for the return trip……..as pretty booked up with GG for august!

Mike Bottomley

Monday, 27 July 2009

Job, jobbed. Very quick trip.

Sam Allshorn

Sunday, 16 August 2009

Images
Kitting up at entrance
Posted by: Mike Bottomley
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Width: 600 pixels
Height: 450 pixels
Posted: 26 July 2009
In Gormenghast
Posted by: Mike Bottomley
Size: 90kb
Width: 600 pixels
Height: 450 pixels
Posted: 26 July 2009
Sam Allshorn just before the w-bends
Posted by: Mike Bottomley
Size: 83kb
Width: 600 pixels
Height: 450 pixels
Posted: 26 July 2009
More typical quaking passage
Posted by: Mike Bottomley
Size: 86kb
Width: 600 pixels
Height: 450 pixels
Posted: 26 July 2009