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Nettle Pot

I wrote a rant. You could too.

Nettle Pot is draughty


Trips members: K Brook, G Tawy, D Botcherby

The winds were high as we met at the Oxlow car park. Just bought my simple and this was a god send for the upcoming trip as I had only ever caved on a stop, and the constricting shafts of Nettle would not be kind to that sort of attitude. The change was interesting as the winds of storm Malik were blowing our stuff and ourselves all over the place and Botch would not stop laughing about the situation. Changed, we headed to the cave and we ran the entire way as the wind at our backs would not allow us to stop.

The plan was to head to Hell but I had been caving with Rob Eavis a couple of days before and his suggestion, as I had never done nettle before, was that Hell was shit unless you have business there and Red River Series just beyond was more worthy of a visit. We also forgot a lighter for testing the air quality and this factored into the decision to not pursue the lowest reaches of the cave.

At the cave entrance we realised we did not have a Derbyshire key (a spanner) and were worried that we would not be able to open the lid as a result. Nettle however does not require a spanner to open it and this would be to our advantage. Botch rigged the first couple of pitches down to Crumble and Beza where I took over the rigging to the bottom. My primary thought whilst descending was how much of a nightmare it would be to rescue someone from this cave but those thoughts would come up on another day.

The cave is wonderful with loads of tight pitches with spacious enough rebelays and pitch heads to allow for easy enough access. All the pitches can be found easily enough using the rigging guide as long as you go the right way at the flats when you reach the bottom pf the Narrows.

At the Base of Beza (which was rigged from the Y hang with a 45m rope to be JUST long enough) we headed down the first slope which had some ropes prerigged but was very free climbable. The larger way on eventually turns into a narrow chocked rift and the main way is through a crawl at the base of the right wall. This leads to a in situ rope leading down a 12m climb. Whilst it is free climbable I preferred to use to rope to abseil and use it as a safety on the way back up. A crawl leading from this climb leads to the entrance to Hell which was highlighted very handily sigh posted. In fact there is quite a bit of graffiti at the bottom of nettle which seems to have mostly come from the diggers and is all in good jest. We headed onto the red river series which was more spacious than what we expected from the bottom of Nettle. After a brief try at Drat Sab (spell it backwards) we called it a day and started to head out. Uneventful trip out beside Gwen dropping one of my precious Krabs (which she retrieved) and we were on the surface in double daylight and we ran back to the cars in order to get out of the winds that did not relent whilst we were underground. One last proud mention was that on the way back I did not remember to pick up my tackle bag. Gwen noticed this and being the long suffering partner she is she picked it up and hobbled half the distance back to the car before I noticed how slow she was being. I was about to chastise her as the best runner of the group I expected her to be in front. I realised my error and quickly took the bag and did not say sorry for making her carry 200m of rope.

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