Car Pot Bolting
Sunday, 30 April 2017

Up at 7am after a pretty light night at the pub before. A coffee and an egg sandwich later and Mr Allshorn showed up to provide the transport. After discussing caving, exercising again properly, politics and more, we arrived at Inglesport to get some wellies. Suitably equipped, we headed off to Clapham, where we had a run-in with the geodesist aka Jez North aka Kevin Dixon. We walked up to the pot via Long Lane, a very pleasant route with excellent vistas of the surrounding glaciokarstic geomorphology. A lot of DoE teenagers didn’t detract from the enjoyment, and Sam Allshorn was proved to be right when Peachey had to remove his oversuit partway up and then lost his chocolate bar.

At the cave entrance, Sam Allshorn began rigging on the IC bolts he had placed on the first 2 pitches on his last visit. The approach and head of the 2nd pitch is a bit awkward, and the Letterbox and Baptistry Crawl are a bit awkward and Baptistry is annoyingly wet, but overall its pretty steady and not too far. We dragged bags through Baptistry on a rope with them tied on at both ends so they could be pulled from either side. We then got on with bolting the 3rd, 4th and 5th pitches. Whilst Sam Allshorn and Peachey did the bolting on the 3rd pitch, I rigged the 3rd and 4th pitches off the spits that were there. The 5th pitch had some very poor spits on it, and the head of it was awkward to bolt. At least there was a pool of cleanish water for cleaning the holes nearby. Peachey went down and rigged the next pitch and found the lower rebelay apits to be in horrendous condition, and we decided that it wasn’t worth putting 2 more spits in so we could finish the trip and bolt the handline climb at the bottom so Sam Allshorn installed 3 IC bolts for a y-hang rebelay and a deviation at the 3rd ledge on the final pitch and we then headed out, finishing the bolting as we went. There are now 5 bolts on the final pitch, with 2 in the ceiling at the start along with the thread belay as an additional anchor. There are 2 bolts in the ceiling of the 4th pitch, and the 3rd pitch has 3 or 4 (can’t remember what was decided here). All pretty safe now and the rope lengths should be very similar to those stated in NFTFH by Mike Cooper. Less than 6 hours underground in total, great success.

Down the hill in excellent light and conditions, we then headed home where I had the first food since breakfast, which Sam Allshorn seemed to think was rather odd. Thanks to Sam Allshorn for driving and the trip, still need to go back and get it ticked off properly though. Good to be exercising properly again. Glad to have been able to engage with the program, I’m really starting to feel like I own it.