Small Mammal Pot by Jack Upsall

Small Mammal Pot: Jack, Phil, Fay, Peter (15th March 2017). 

It was the simplest bit of route finding; it was the most complicated bit of route finding. It was a tale of 2 guides – Phil’s covering a side of A4, highlighted to thread the way through a maze of passages; Jack’s barely 4 sentences long. Phil’s from the trusty internet; Jack’s from the trusty CNCC rigging guide.

Well, a gentle but long walk got us to the entrance and spot on, a fine 15m pitch just inside the entrance. We found a rift to go over and a bedding plane and a passage keeping to the RIGHT, just as CNCC said, which leads to the top of Greasy Slab … except it didn’t and there was then another rift…and another climb…and a bolt at the top of another pitch which only got mentioned in Phil’s guide, but not as the way on…meanwhile, Fay had kept to the LEFT, and arrived at the top of Greasy Slab. Hmmm.

Brownie points to Fay as we all joined her, on the way having looked longingly back up the entrance pitch to Bar wondering why we had spent about an hour grotting around in SMP, when 15m above us was daylight…

An easy traverse/safety line around the balcony above the main pitch and then the splendid free-hang down. Off round SE Pot and that slightly-longer-and-slightly-lower-than-is-comfortable-passage to Main Chamber. Which is still wonderful after 47 years.

And back out, to a glorious cloudless sky, a stupendous view of Ingleborough, and a lovely a walk down in the late afternoon light. And a bonus for Fay and me was seeing a sparrowhawk flying across the entrance to Ingleborough Cave carrying prey in its talons. A good day in and under the hills.