Diccan Pot Solo by Ian Cummins

Diccan Pot: Ian Cummins (27th June 2010).

I chose to get out late and miss that football match, remembering that it was pretty much 4 years to the day since I crocked my knee at Chapel Head Scar and took a break from climbing – but at least that got me caving again.

Dropping off the hammer from Black Shiver at the YSS hut, I decided to pop into the Helwith for refreshment and feeling a bit…..’relaxed’, stopped off at the farm to pay before parking up in a deserted Alum Pot Lane.

A beautiful warm afternoon and I decided to wear just a neofleece, not being a fan of oversuits anyway, reckoning that this was going to be as dry as Diccan gets.  Wading through the clear pools, the water felt almost warm and I was soon rigging the diagonal to fix the hang to the base of the first pitch, taking time to admire the fine surroundings in the absence of the usual spray, particularly the fine calcite flow down the back of the rift.

Remembering how 80m of rope had been more than enough for the last pitch, I decided to dump the 30m I had for pitch 2 and do a bit of minimising to get to the bottom on the same rope.  Traversing to miss a few bolts and taking a few swings to miss re-belays, I managed to reach the ledges about 10m from the base of the pot, leaving an easy climb down.

The climbs up the cascades on superb, clean rock were savoured before returning back for the jug up.  The minimal restriction of my kit made for easy work and the sections rigged against the wall were a joy to fly up with the Pantin doing its job nicely.  Unclipping 1 deviation led to a wild swing through the air, but in the calm, quiet surroundings I even spotted some rusty old pegs hammered into cracks that must have been there for many decades, normally obscured by the raging falls.

Arriving at the top of the first pitch, I just had to haul and pack the ropes before the short trip to the surface, getting back to the car to turn on the radio and find out that I had missed absolutely nothing of worth!