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Trip to Heron Pot/Gaze Gill -- 1 Sept 2013

Group: Ian, Roger, Hannah, Dave

With a settled day forecast we headed off to Ingleton and then got waylaid by the magnetic attraction of the caving shops. I blame Hannah for the delay, but it did mean she acquired a nice new over-suit and since everyone else brought something from one or other shops the delay was justified :-) About an hour late we headed up Kingsdale, parked up near Yordas and got changed. The Kingsdale Beck was dry and there was just a small trickle of water down Gaze Gill. We headed up through the gap in the wall and soon reached the entrance.

A bit of crawling led to a narrow twisty rift passage which made progress easier, though some crawling was still needed in places. A T-junction was reached with an inlet on the right, but there was very little water in evidence. More twisty rift passage led to some passable flowstone formations and a bit further on the floor dropped over a series of small cascades.

A couple of P bolts marked the start of the two pitches on the classic route. There was a length of red rope hank-ed up and tied to the first P bolt on the traverse - We were a bit puzzled as it looked like dynamic rope and it seemed to have just been left there. We ignored it and Dave climbed up the flowstone on the RHS to reach the start of the high level traverse, our chosen route. This was fairly easy to rig for the taller person as there are hidden ledges for your feet, however the last section before the Y hang is a bit more awkward as the ledges disappear and it is necessary to bridge quite a gap. A flowstone bridge under the Y hang makes getting on and off the rope easy and the rope hangs clear of the rock and well away from any water.

Once everyone was down we headed along the passage which had a fair draught in it. After a couple of twists and turns we came to a right angle bend where there is meant to be a climb up to an area with some more formations. It didn't look a particularly easy climb, but after a bit of floundering Dave headed up and found it actually looked worse than it was. The formations weren't particularly spectacular, but are probably worth seeing and its good exercise.

After everyone got down we headed onward through slightly deeper pools until we came to the smooth floored passage heading towards the exit into Gaze Gill. This section was quite roomy and seemed interminable, but eventually there was light at the end of the tunnel and a short low wet section led out to the hillside.

Roger and Hannah headed back to get change while Dave & Ian headed back to the upper entrance to de-rig. With everyone back at the car we headed to the Marton Arms for a well deserved pint...

A good trip, the high level route makes a nice change and if we had taken a longer rope it could have been done as a pull through. Overall trip time 3.5 hours