Streaks Pot - Alan Brentnall

Tuesday, 1 April, 2014

The Streaks Pot through-trip never fails to impress - particularly for those who have never been through.I specifically noted in my email that this wasn't a beginner's trip, as some of the squeezes, climbs and flat-out wet sections can be a little testing, but we still had a very good turn-out of ten on the roadside opposite the Delph. This comprised six TSG members plus two Crewe, plus two Eldon - a really good team.

After walking up the busy road (that's the really dangerous bit!!) we followed the Streaks Footpath to the top entrance, where I rigged the 40ft pitch for SRT. About half the team elected to SRT the pitch, while the rest of us crossed to the far side, and descended the "free climb", using the ropes as necessary. Dave Jackson, who had chosen to do "a bit of SRT Practice", rather than the full through trip, kindly volunteered to de-rig for us, and to carry back the SRT kit for those who had used it.

The climb down to stream level was entertaining, as usual, but, despite heavy overnight rain, the stream coming out of Western Choke was absent, and we all crawled up past Alexander and Telescope Avens to have a look at Lu Blue Sump - pretty as ever, but very low. Returning to the twin-crawls, we set off downstream, carefully weaving over and under the sharp, scalloped rocks until, after a narrow "technical" section, we met the stream and followed it into a lower section leading down to Donkey Dong Inlet.

At this point you start to wonder whether neoprene might have been a good idea after all, but the cold wet passage is short-lived, and you soon reach the low duck known as the Mousehole, and you're faced with the decision of taking the drier, tighter right-hand line, or the wetter, larger but still tight-looking left-hand side. Fortunately, everybody managed the obstacle in good order, and we were soon regrouping in the roomier dry chamber to the right of the stream.

This leads to Route 66, but you've already had your "kicks", and all that's left now is a pleasant sandy crawl leading past some "Owd Mon" to the short but sweet (and getting tighter with old age) crawl to the oil drum exit. Everybody agreed that it was a brilliant and satisfying trip, showcasing the full potential of Stoney Middleton. If you've never done it, put it on your "To-Do" list. you won't regret it!