Voldemort Hole pull through out Notts II
Wednesday, 1 November 2017
After another excellent day poking around, we headed off to Voldemort Hole on the recommendation of Richard Bendall, one of the initial explorers of the cave. He told us that the cave was rigged for a pull-through, and that the Haywagon was spectacular. He was not wrong.
The entrance was located quite easily despite the dark with the aid of Richards excellent description and CSJs GPS. Go to the GPS location, then look for a small covering made of blue plastic and a small metal grille with moss over the top. Alternately, if without a GPS, walk up the wall from the Notts II parking area, go past two big shakeholes, and at the second follow the small dry valley/line of shakeholes for 40m southwest of the wall.
A short spate of crawling lands you at the first drop. There are in situ ropes for all traverses, and all pullthrough bolts are well placed pairs of resin ring bolts, some equalised with chain and with a rappel ring. At the bottom of the first pitch, there is the option to go and look at the amazing formations in the Haywagon, which consist of really spectacular long roof straws, translucent curtains and funky helictites. Well worth a look, but be very careful, its obvious not many people have been there to disturb things and it would be good if it stayed as pristine as possible.
Thence on to the next two pitches, easy rigging but quite a bit of loose material at the top of the Incredibles pitch (#2) so care required. A long wet crawl follows which looks like it floods to the roof in very wet weather (it was pretty dry today). After this you reach Oliver Lloyds aven, which is 35m tall with 2 big ledges. There is an in situ deviation for when it gets wet to take you out of the water. On the second ledge it is possible to rig a second pull through, but we decided to try it as one big pitch. A test run proved that there was no jamming on the pull down so we left it as one, but be warned that it is possible for the pitch rope to become caught up in all the big boulders on the second ledge, necessitating some aggressive pulling and the possibility of pulling some big rocks down near yourself, so use your own judgment to decide what to do.
CSJ met us at the bottom of the pitch, and then we swiftly exited after about a 2 hour trip entrance to entrance. Overall, an excellent trip, which would be good as a Sunday trip for more experienced groups of cavers. I’d go again.