Sunday 23 January 2011

Yorkshire Caving - Heron Pot

Having taken part in the Peak Cavern trip photographic extravaganza for Jess' birthday, we thought we'd better take a camera to Yorkshire for Mark's birthday caving weekend.
Saturday saw us joining Heather and some friends from Crewe to do an SRT trip in Bull Pot of the Witches - with 15 of us shimmying up and down ropes it became an exercise in logistics as well as ropework! As we were out by half 3, we popped off for a quick through trip from Calf holes to Browgill to finish the day off.
Sunday we set off to find Heron Pot - as recommended by Andy G. Armed with O.S. coordinates but having mislaid the GPS, we nonetheless managed to pinpoint the pot straight away - or so we thought! It fitted the description perfectly so we kitted up and slid in to the first find that we way on was a very tight flat out passage. We hummed and hah'd over the fact that Andy said it wasn't a tight cave, and the description didn't mention it either. Climbing back out rather despondantly, we then noticed a very obvious cave entrance only feet away, which we'd been standing with our backs to, doh!

Once we got into the real Heron Pot we really enjoyed the trip - full of formations, interesting passages and not much water. The pitches weren't the most straightforward to rig but by combining Andy's advice with the couple of descriptions we'd taken, Mark managed to rig the pitches quickly and efficiently. We explored the cave down to the start of the through-trip wet crawl, including a climb up to a well-decorated chamber and a look at the upper fossil series, which is accessed up a calcite slope. We decided to give the "long wet crawl" to the valley a miss as we weren't doing the through trip, and returned to the pitches.
At the bottom of the first pitch I managed to swing right into the waterfall as I started prussicking up, which was a real incentive to prussick fast as I spluttered to Mark "Hold the rope! It's not going through my ascender!" It was at this point Mark remembered Andy had mentioned something about a deviation??? Sure enough, half way up there was a p-bolt that wasn't mentioned in either of the descriptions, but would have just kept that rope out of the waterfall :0(
We were back at the car and toasty again just as other cavers were popping out of holes all over the hillside - such is the beauty of Yorkshire!

There were formations throughout the cave, including the famous "pickled onion" formation (above).

The passages were full of calcite curtains and flowstone.

Present: Heron Pot - Mark "the chin" Burkey and Jess "Globetrotter" Harding

1 comment:

  1. Great write up and photos, sounds like an eventful weekend