Nott's Pot - Wayne Sheldon

Saturday, 13 March, 2010

Present: Glyn Roberts and Wayne Sheldon

Nott's Pot is one of my favorite Yorkshire trips and its also a classic trip. I requested it for the meets list so it was only fair that i went so myself and Glyn drove up for the day. Breakfast was had in Inglesport Cafe, we couldn't complain before driving to Leck fell which was rather mild today, compared to the normal sideward gales, freezing tempertures. We have done all of the trade routes so we looked at the guide book and picked Buss Route and Dubious Tactics Route; Handshake Route is listed as being for thin masochists only so we stayed clear of that one.

Ropes were sorted on the Fell, as this was happening, Tim Allen turned up who was digging in Boxhead Pot so we chatted to him for thirty minutes. A gentle stroll with Tim was made to Nott's, passing Boxhead on route where we left Tim. The shakehole was descended to the low crawl to the first climb down which was rigged with a short handline. There was no water flowing down here which made a change. Quick progress was made to the first pitch of the left hand route. A 4.5 metre descent, brings you level with the circular passage on you left when facing the wall, nice handholds on the wall aid progress into the passage. A small handline is in place but the belay is dubious to say the least.

Small circular crawling passsage led to junction, right is soon blocked while left leads to Mud Pot, a 6m pitch rigged of naturals. At the bottom, several holes lead to the same chamber with a major shale bed. Short rift crawl to left leads to Fossil Pot, old spits are there but backed up by naturals. A 2.4m descent, then swing to a window on the left, this low window led into a chamber. A larger window to right was found on the way out which goes to the same place. A low crawl leads to the constricted pitch head of Thutch Pot, the 6m pitch lands above the steep chute that takes the water into the main Fossil Pot of the Buss route. The 2nd pitch of the BT route comes in from the left, while further around is the BT Inlet where the water comes into the system. Traversing over to the right is the 3rd pitch of the BT route.

Dubious Tactics starts at the head of the 3rd Pitch, instead of descending the route, traverse forward along the constricted rift (careful as its above the 3rd and 4th pitch of the BT route). Long belays from naturals are required. An ackward step across a deep hole in the constricted rift leads into Dubious Pot, 6m pot with a constricted pitch head (ensure you can return before you descend) to a small chamber. The ropes for the bottom pitches were left at the top of this pitch, as we had ran out of time. From the left corner of the chamber, tactics pitch follows, supposely a free climbable pitch of 4m but once you are past the pitch head, it opens up, and you can't reach the walls. A low crawl at the bottom leads to 4m handline climb to the floor of the 4th pitch in the center route.

We then turned around derigging behind us, some of the constricted rifts and pitch heads were not that bad on the return journey and we were out in about one hour. We surfaced into mild weather that still shone down on Leck Fell and you could see the cars from the shakehole. Quick change then pint of Shandy in the Martin Arms prior to driving home.

By undertaking this route, you see how this cave fits together. A full entertaining trip well worth it but beware that you have to use naturals, as the bolts are shoddy to say the least, if they are their at all. Its a shame more TSG members didn't come along to sample the delights of these routes but maybe next time.