The Discovery of Stukbar Pot, Langstrothdale by Richard Bendall

NGR 89818 78860 Alt 371m Length 69m Depth 29m

Survey vectorised in colour by Steve Warren from original drawn by Dave Ramsay.

Photos by kind permission of Hugh St. Lawrence.

Having recently acquired the skills and necessary tools for capping it was time to put training into practice on a new project and so Jack Pot was to receive our attention.

Friday 18th March 2005 – Phil Parker, Richard Bendall…later Dave Ramsay, Bill Sherrington.

Excursion to check on Jack Pot, Langstrothdale only to find someone had already blasted the acute bend and the cave nips in ahead.

Dejected, wandered about. Lifted a few boulders. Into a descending rift to streamway. Slight outward draught. Capping rods out, into action. Third round, pin securely wedged. Doh!

Raced back to Ingleton to pick up Bill and Dave and necessary tools. Back to new hole to rescue stuck rods and allow entry. Mission executed with precision by Messer’s Ramsay and Sherrington. Rods recovered and access to new hole gained. Body size streamway to right hand bend, forward small inlet, passage turns left with flake and rib obstruction. Cobbled floored passage of caveable proportions ahead.

Wed 23rd March 2005 – Phil Parker, Richard Bendall, Steve Warren.

Entrance debris cleared. Pickle, my dog, ran back to the cars and had to be retrieved.
Cobble crawl accessed. Bucket service required to improve access area. Streamway appears to split but runs parallel. Last few caps, good echo ahead.Stukbar Pot

Mon 25th April 2005 – Dave Ramsay, Richard Bendall.

Over a month since last visited. Many rounds of caps fired and shuttling back and forth to clear deads out of the entrance. Way ahead now clearly downstream and echo resounding.

Thursday 28th April 2005 – Phil Parker, Richard Bendall, later Dave Ramsay, Bill Sherrington.

More capping forward until Bill and Dave arrived. Wishing to retain their holding in shares of this most promising of prospects and to increase productivity a second entrance was dug. 
For bucket service only, tight chimney above the pit and corner was opened up. To prove the value of their investment, more rock was removed and swiftly despatched up and away through the new sky light.

Monday 2nd May 2005 – Phil Parker, Dave Ramsay, Richard Bendall, Hugh St Lawrence, later Bill, Ruby and Buster.

A fine Bank Holiday Jolly to the sunshine valley. Blindfold St Pirate of Bentham led up the hill by Dave. Croppers Blue Barrel trimmed and inserted to stabilise top of hauling entrance whilst 
activities resumed at the front end. European Working Time Directive observed with regular change of shifts and tea and cake breaks over an eight hour period.  After Hugh’s mutterings on the new small caps and combinations of old and new Dave up’d the anti, reverting to the 
larger ones with improved efficiency. However, he must have awakened the Gods. So, when the Gods began capping in the heavens and the normal trickle of water in the cave increased over 20 minutes to make the whole proceedings miserable for all, we ran. Or were we washed off the hillside? Anyway, fled the hills for the comfort of the George at Hubberholme.

Friday 6th May 2005 – Phil Parker, Richard Bendall
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Last view down the passage had been of 1m high, 15cms wide streamway turning right after 2 – 3m. Objective today was to work the left-hand wall towards the bend so Monday next we could get there and see what’s around the corner. A new concept of Divorce O’clock governed our activities so with only another 2 holes required on the left-hand wall we had to leave it.
 All looks set for Monday and going round the bend!

Monday 9th May 2005 – Phil Parker, Richard Bendall, Dave Ramsay, Hugh St. Lawrence.

First round of caps allowed Dave to peek around the corner. Floor dropped 20cms, increasing the height of the passage but width only 15cms. More capping and the corner was negotiated although an immediate left and right bend will slow progress. Decision taken to call in 
greater fire power and take the lot out in one. Another productive 8 hour shift but measured in feet per hour not so good at the moment. Great echo still and getting closer.

Monday 16th May 2005 – Dave Ramsay, Richard Bendall.

The Big Guns could not make it out at the weekend so Dave and I were left to our own devices to continue capping forward. Eight batteries drained, 47 holes and 180 or so caps later we could do nothing more so retired to the George at Hubberholme after another 8 hour shift.
 Plane sailing for those who can make next Monday!

Monday 23 May 2005 – Dave Ramsay, Jim Stevenson – Log by Dave Ramsay.

Returned to continue where Richard and I left off last week. A slow start when not much progress was made was followed by rapid progress when I switched to using only big caps, (why did small ones work fine last week and not this?). After the last round was fired the larger loose rocks were shifted back to await removal next week, there will also be some chiselling to be done first thing.
I removed my ear plugs and helmet and pushed forward to see what I could see (and hear). The dribble is closer, as is the echo, about 1m from the current end the passage appears to turn left but the floor drops away. I grabbed a small stone and lobbed it in the direction of the drop, it fell out of sight bouncing off various ledges along the way. I chucked another and it seemed to hit less ledges on the way. Ladies and gentlemen, we have a pitch!

Sunday 29th May 2005 – Chris Smith, John Clarke, Richard Bendall.

Having walked over the area yesterday failing to locate Stukbar and “do the job” I showed J&C the way today intending to continue to Hagg Beck Active Sink to help there.
Impressed with the progress C&J insisted in contributing, so after one charge and walking up to HBAS to retrieve a longer drill bit and let things clear a little they could not resist and put another 5 holes in at the end.

Monday 30th May 2005 – The expected ‘high turnout’ turned out to be Richard Bendall, Dave Ramsay and Hugh St. Lawrence! John Clarke and Graham Huck later. Log by Hugh St. Lawrence.

After weekend demolishment by the White Rose bang gang, there was much rock removal to be done as an entree. John and Hucky thankfully turned up to help which made it a lot easier, and after some final capping by Dave a 2 second plus drop was announced. Bolts were placed and Dave made the descent of what turned out to be a roomy 8m pitch which narrowed at the 
bottom.
However, a way on down a slot could be seen which looked an easy capping job. While John departed, we set to drilling and capping. Soon the way was open and Hugh slid through into a cobbley bedding full of straws (well, it was!), which almost immediately turned into a trench in the floor dropping onto a 10m pitch. The pitch head was too narrow but over to the left a squeeze opened onto a larger hole. While Richard went back for the remaining ladder, H & D decided to cap the narrow slot to save the nice flowstone formation by the larger hole.
A few rounds of caps and the way was open. Richard descended to announce another tight continuation which would need widening. We all went down for a look and H almost squeezed 
through an oxbow to the left, but it was just too necky. The way on looks fairly open though initially low and wet. Roll on next Monday!

Thursday 2nd June 2005 – Bill Sherrington, Richard Bendall.

Persistent rain insufficient to deter the Sherrington appetite. Remarkably, given the amount of water peeing out of the hillside, Stukbar was as good as dry! Even new inlet at top of 2nd pitch only a trickle.
Bad start when drill & capping bag accidentally dropped down first pitch narrowly missing William (shaken but not stirred) Sherrington. Rift into chamber capped out and view into bedding continuation was enough to call it a day. Bedding only 20cms high, entrance 0.6m wide but enlarging to 1.5m ahead. Cobble floor, small trench and ceiling straws. Good echo again, pitch ahead? But, draughtless. View ahead fogged up. Needs second opinion before launching into capping extravaganza and totally destroying chamber formations, but they are 
not that good once you are in there!
 Upstream inlet has good echo, something above us, but no main beam to look as power crapped out and LED’s switched to brail setting.

Monday 6th June 2005 – Dave Ramsay, Hugh St. Lawrence, Richard Bendall.

Access to small chamber enlarged to aid bucket work. Cobbles and mud removed from chamber to reveal smaller roof dome and wide bedding going off. Cobbles removed to gain 3m in flat out squalor. Return planned so can’t be a write off yet!

Monday 13th June 2005 – Dave Ramsay, Richard Bendall.

Not the easiest start with a mother of all hangovers from Mr Jim’s Sunday night when at about 2pm, the whiskey came out. Stupidity if ever I saw stupidity, staggering around with a tumbler of the finest 40 year old malt after a few litres of taste bud numbing red.
Well, Dave picked me up and with Inglesport breakfast on board headed, slowly, to the sunshine valley. A white bag of bones accompanied Dave to the bottom of the second pitch where they were left in a corner to sip hot flask of tea and eat cake; whilst 3 hours of solo bicycling for Dave in cobble filled bedding pushed 8m to small roof dome. With tea and cake all but consumed exit made and life force returned.

Monday 27th June 2005 – Dave Ramsay, Phil Parker, Richard Bendall.

Final trip to tie up outstanding business.
 Survey completed, more photos taken, ropes, tackle and digging paraphernalia removed. 
Stukbar is dead, long live Stukbar Pot.