Wakebarrow Pot by Denis Bushell

Wakebarrow Pot, South Lakes: Ian, Jane, Denis (24 October 2015). 

Met at Curlew Crafts café in Ingleton 1000am on a brief. We concluded Slanting for Kingsdale would be silted up or sumped. I suggested Wakebarrow Pot which I had visited before in running gear, vest and shorts. It is a thirty minute trip from Ingleton. My descent was only as far as daylight would allow this being a narrow tight rift. Wakebarrow Pot is one of the three only caves in this area.

Thirty minutes saw Jane, Ian and myself arrive at Raven’s Lodge below the impressive face of White Scar Cliff. The cave is a dry trip so no heavy wet suits to haul and only one length of rope. We made steady progress to cave with usual format, Ian a distant figure in front, Jane and I bring up the rear. It was a warm humid day; the cave entrance a welcome sight. We changed and set off down.

The tight rift seemed a lot larger now with all our bright lights. We struggled over the bedding plane which had a 90 degree left hand bend realising we could have put our SRT on after this section. Rigging pitch to ledge for re-belay we noticed  a considerable amount of water on lower hang. Not being prepared for a wet trip we sought a drier descent via a passage full of moon-milk which took us to final drop over large lip to a good sized chamber full of floor debris made up of large square blocks and walls of flowstone. Had no natural hang points or artificials. No option but to let rope abrade. I said “Let’s go for it “. Being my rope we agreed knowing final lip into chamber would create problems on exit. Jane elected to stay at this point. Ian and I dropped final pitch into chamber which had two rock bridges. After a look around we started back up both exhausted with our battle with the lip to be greeted by Jane.

The next section was a vertical slot through moon-milk which caused Jane problems the rope slicing into said moon-milk like a knife through butter. Jane led this section, Ian and I thinking how we would tackle it. Answer – part free climb.

No particular problems on last part of ascent to small chamber before bedding plane and daylight. SRT gear off made progress along bedding a lot easier.

Changing in bright sunlight for long walk back to Raven’s Lodge gave us time to reflect on the nature of our surroundings: a lot more fertile than the Dales in this case. Back at cars we all went for coffee at garage then went our separate ways. Back home I examined the rope for damage after removing the moon-milk deposits. Rope A1, no visual or internal damage.

Thanks to Ian and Jane: great trip.