[wcg logo]

Home Page

Back to Regional Index

Content and images
© WCG 2003-2015

Click images to enlarge
Last Changed: 26/1/2015

E-mail webmaster

Powered by Apache

Site driven by NetBSD

Trip to Alum Pot (via Dolly Tubs) -- 3rd Feb 2007

Group: Paul, Mary, Dave, Dennis

We planned a trip to Yorkshire as a contrast to the muddy caves of North Wales and also so Dennis could join us. We set off from Merseyside in heavy fog, but this started to clear and by the time we arrived at Selside it was a brilliant sunny day. There were a couple of cars already parked in the lane and while Dave paid the trespass fee the others changed. It was shortly after this that Dennis discovered he had all his caving gear apart from his wellies. Even worse the only footwear he had were a pair of slippers and leather town shoes. Paul offered the use of his trainers, but these were a bit tight and so he opted to potter around the van while the rest of us picked up a load of rope and SRT gear.

We headed up the track and had a look into Alum Pot before hastening to the lower long churn entrance.

Once inside we managed to negotiate both double shuffle and plank pools without anyone falling in despite carrying a lot of gear. This luck didn't last long as Dave managed to slip climbing down a ravine and landed rather hard on his back which surprised another party. Fortunately the rope filled tackle sack took the brunt of the force and so it was mainly a loss of dignity and a bit of bruising. The other group (from the cars seen earlier) headed back out while we dropped down to the Dolly Tubs pitch and Dave rigged this while Paul & Mary got their SRT gear on. The descent to the bottom of Dolly tubs was uneventful.

Dave couldn't find the eco hanger for the greasy slab (it's got to be there, we used it last time, but in the gloom it wasn't visible or we were looking in the wrong place!) and so just rigged the rope and protector around the large boulder. The pitch was absolutely true to its name with a lot of organic matter adhering to it.

A walk around the ledge led to the drop to the bridge which was rigged and then having crossed this the main pitch below it was rigged. The rigging Guide shows a deviation at a little way down, but the rope hung pretty freely and so we just abseiled down.

We didn't have enough rope to rig the pitch down to the sump and so we just admired the view and took a few photos. There was a fairly fresh body of a mountain hare which must have gone over the edge and plummeted to its death.

As time was passing and we decided it was better to get back out before Dennis started worrying. We headed back up the pitches to the chamber with the cheese press.

At this point we had a mental aberration as to the way we had come down and so we ended up climbing up the easy pitch and crawling through the cheesepress. This was OK, apart from having to shove the tackle sacks through!

We re-crossed both pools without event and decided to slip out of the low watery crawl, rather than continue on to the entrance to lower long churn. Just has Dave and Paul were almost out Mary heard a shout and after a short exchange realised it was Dennis come to look for us as he though we were only going to the base of the greasy slab and expected us back a lot earlier. We waited till he came back out of the entrance, dressed in full caving gear and wearing a rather knackered pair of town shoes...

We headed back to the van and changed. The final twist was that Dave had left the lights on and no-one had noticed and the battery was flat as a pancake. Fortunately a very nice man from the RAC sorted the problem out and we were just left with a long drive back in fog. Everyone enjoyed the trip except Dennis.

Overall trip time about 5 hours.