Little Hull Pot
Thursday, 1 December 2016
An early start on the train, enabled by me packing all the gear the night before, allowed us to be at the entrance by half 11 after surprisingly little trouble finding it (no map, never been there before). Before this, we had an excellent breakfast of bread, cheese, boiled eggs, tomatoes and olives on the train while Kristian read aloud to us from Chris Bonnington’s book ‘Quest For Adventure’.
I headed off to rig the first two pitches while Nadia performed her usual faff. This involves some quite fun traversing and a big swing to a rebelay at the bottom. I then got Kristian to rig the third pitch, which involves an exciting traverse through a hole and a large hang with a big deviation. Meant to have 2 deviations but he couldn’t find one. We could certainly have used the much more direct wet route as the stream was barely a trickle, but Kristian decided to practise the more technical route. At the bottom is a very easy 10m or so free climb which in wet conditions would probably merit an abseil. Then on to the last pitch via an annoying wet crawl and a slippery rift, in which Nadia somehow managed to get stuck for 10 minutes. Nadia rigged the last pitch, which has been rebolted using IC anchors since the release of the CNCC rigging guide. There is a backup on the right hand wall next to the original p bolt and then a y hang from bolts on the left wall. Then head down a very unstable ramp of loose boulders to a rebelay bolt. A 25m rope should be fine for this.
From the bottom of this, there are a number of interesting stream passages to explore. Heading upstream past some small cascades leads to a flat out cobbled crawl past a confluence of 2 inlets, one heading into a tiny crack and one heading up a waterlogged cobbly crawl still upstream. I continued up this until I could see water heading down a waterfall through a small gap which would have required excavating to pass. Downstream, the 3m climb was negotiated and then a short crawl over clays lead to a larger passage. From here, it is possible to double back on yourself after heading down the slope and heading upstream. There was a large very shattered black hole in the stream floor which was dry. Climbed down into it and a bassy shout produced a reasonable echo. No real draught.
From the clay covered crawl, it was possible to head left in a bedding and then turn right to continue in the original downstream direction, but now it was heading upstream in another inlet. This lead along a very waterlogged silty crawl similar to the HPI and then broke out into a shattered looking bodysized passage winding up. This was followed to 3 independent chokes (possibly all part of the Sam Allshorne boulder choke along some kind of fault), each with water emerging. Not much water by this point and no real draught. The sump was very dry and could be followed from the dive line for at least 15m.
Then we headed out with me derigging. Out at 5:30; 5 and a half hours underground. Then off to The Crown Hotel for a pint and chips kindly provided by Kristian. The train home was very sleepy; then back to Graham View to watch the Underground Eiger and learn the safe working load of dynamic rope (1). Cheers all!