Small Mammal Pot by Denis Bushell

Small Mammal Pot: Ian, Lief, Adele, Fay, Denis, Simon (28th January 2017). 

Met at Curlew Crafts Café, weather sleety and cold, and cold wind. All fuelled up we set off up the fell for Small Mammal via Ingleborough Cave and Trow Gill. At the cave we stopped for a drink and a chat with John Cordingley. On reaching Small Mammal we opt for changing at small alcove in Bar Pot, it being warm and sheltered. We noticed Bar was rigged. Ian and Simon were to rig Small Mammal; Lief, Fay, Adele and myself to be tourists. This trip was to be Adele’s greatest amount of ascent up to present.

Once down the entrance we quickly warmed up in the narrow confines of the rift, patiently waiting our turn to descend. All down then lost our way to head of big pitch in Bar Pot, trial and error. We arrived at the big pitch spirits lifted. Our route was traverse to South East Aven. Only Fay had done this route. Clean-washed rift pitch very enjoyable. All down we de-kitted and off to Main Chamber GG. We knew it was going to be spectacular due to the very strong draught in South Passage. Adele had not visited main Chamber and conditions were perfect. High volumes of water cascading down shaft so it was decided to let Adele lead the party into the Chamber which I am sure she will never forget. Daylight almost blanked out by volume of water. Photos duly taken and all frozen we turned for home.

1490270197_GG Main
GG Main Chamber in flood (Photo © Leif).

Steady progress saw us all kitting up at the base of South East pitch: where Ian told us to speed up progress. With us being a large party he would take Adele and Simon to Bar Pot pitch and use in-situ rope while Fay and myself and Lief would ascend South East pitch. Ian climbed first so as to assist Adele at top, Simon saw her safely on at base. In our team, Lief must have had a jet pack on! Before I could suggest if he ascended first he could photo Fay and myself on the ascent he was shouting down ”Free”. All united at head of Bar Pot main shaft except Simon who had returned from Bar Pot to de-rig South East pitch and traversed to Bar. From here Ian waited for Simon, Adele, Fay, Lief and myself.

Continued up in-situ ropes to entrance pitch of Bar. I ascended first followed by Adele and then Fay. Lief told Fay he would exit via Small Mammal to save time.

Next to exit was Simon with a huge bag of tackle from the lower reaches. Final member our leader Ian exited via Small Mammal with last of tackle.

All cold and shaking on the surface we made our way down to Clapham and a welcome pint in the pub. All warm and happy, Adele blown away by the main Chamber with all its noise and excitement.