Monday, 24 April 2017
A cheeky evening trip to ‘celebrate’ Rob finishing his dissertation. Opted for Washfold as it seemed like a nice short sporting trip. Parked on the lane leading up to Alum Pot and found the entrance with very little trouble by walking up past Long Churn then skirting north following the wall and keeping the limestone pavement to the right.
Rob disappeared off down the entrance and Beth and I followed down the entrance climb. For most of the time you just follow the water downstream and climb up and down when obstacles present themselves. Route finding was easy enough with only the one wrong turn when we carried on too far in the roof level bedding crawl before the climb down into ‘the Depot’, where we initially missed the climb down, but was easily corrected. Rob rigged the first pitch and we descended without any issues missing any water by a clear mile with the traverse along a rift and optional deviation. We agreed that Beth should be promoted to whatever the equivalent of a SUSS ‘equal’ is after successfully not glazing the 8mm rope.
Lots of climbing was had down some dubious looking boulders and shattered rock down to the second pitch, which is not really a pitch at all. Some climbs also had in situ rope and bits of tat but it was deemed poor form to actually use any of it. I rigged the third and last pitch, albeit rather slowly, eventually resorting to a knee bar in order to reach around the corner to the rebelay bolts after repeatedly falling off the slippy ledge a couple of metres below third pitch (which I thought was quite good but no one else was impressed). The last pitch immediately followed and basically lands in the sump pool leading me to wonder why we even bothered descending it. We swiftly headed back the way we came, Rob de-rigging on the way out. Beth got a bit upset with mine and Rob’s singing efforts. ‘Fackin’ ell’.
Beth threatened to throw a wobbly after seeing the many cave spiders that adorn the entrance, somehow missing them on the way in. We emerged into a very chilly evening with just a hint of last light on the hills and a snow covered ground, very nice. We skied back to the car and made haste for Settle Booths, plundering the bins with great success. The cave was alright but didn’t leave that big an impression on me. The passage was all quite varied but not very memorable, still makes a decent evening trip.