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Trip to New Goyden Pot -- 27 Sep 2009

Group: Paul, Mary, Ian, Dave

This was another trip which had been planned a long time ago, but kept being put off due to wet weather and general malaise. We had an early start and headed up to to Nidderdale getting to the reservoir by about 12.00 O'clock. The weather was set fair and the water level in the reservoir was about 5 metres below the spillway and so we were confident we wouldn't be drowned. There was a big party parked up to go down Goyden Pot and they suggested parking at the picnic site just up from the farm. We changed in warm sunshine and then headed to the farm and along the Nidderdale way looking for the entrance. Mary spotted a lidded access pipe in the streamway (Thrope edge pot or Frog Pot?), but since the GPS showed we still had a few hundred feet to go we plodded on. Dave found the entrance under a large tree and crawled in to confirm that there was a pitch.

After donning SRT gear we headed in. There is an obvious P bolt for anchoring the rope, but the Y hang is a bit away from the shaft and a deviation is used to get a good free hang. There is a bit of tat near the top of the pitch, but someone has attached a karabiner to a scaffold pole over the pitch which provides a perfect hang and makes it a lot easier to get down the pitch with a minimum of faff.

We headed down and after a few steps along a passage, the second pitch is found. Another very straightforward rigging exercise and we were soon down in the streamway and able to remove our SRT gear and leave it on a convenient ledge.

The streamway was quite impressive and the walls were 'decorated' with intrusive layers of rock which had resisted erosion better than the limestone. There was a fair volume of water flowing in the passage (more than we thought given how dry it had been). We headed upstream towards the duck which connects to south aven and thrope edge pot, but no-one really felt like getting very wet at this point so we looked at the tiny airspace and then headed downstream passing the SRT pitch. Some interesting fungal strands were noted in the ceiling, these were growing on a leaf and twig lodged in crevice which means that at times the cave floods to the roof at this point.

Further on the passage has some large blocks on the RHS which form a sort of shelf and a bit further on the passage turns to the right just where the main inlet enters. A bit further on a rope could be seen heading up dry wath inlet. We pushed on to the sump, complete with dive line and then headed back upstream to climb up a slope on the RHS to look for the planetarium. There was a big pile of dead twigs and other organic matter at the side of the slope and quite a bit of inwash debris in various holes and niches. It took a few minutes exploration to find the passage through the boulders and pop up in the planetarium chamber.

The chamber is well named as the ceiling has a series of shallow pits filled with moonmilk which glow like stars when illuminated by head torches. The floor of the chamber was a jumble of breakdown and mud. Some of the limestone had quite nice fossils of crinoids etc. After a quick look around we headed up a low muddy passage on the LHS which seemed to have a lot of earthworms laying on the surface. We climbed down to a T junction. The right hand passage formed a narrow rift continued for some distance with a couple of zig-zags before reaching another chamber with flowing water. The water emerged from a canal which was more than wellie boot depth so we didn't explore further. Downstream the passage ended in a sump. Heading back up the passage, past the entry point a rise led to a boulder pile. There were a few holes which Mary explored but got too tight even for her. Dave discovered a climb on the LHS took you straight back to the plantarium and so we headed back there. The survey showed the LHS side at the T junction led to hardy pools passage so Dave volunteered to have a quick look - The passage started dry, but there then reached a deepish pool which could be passed by some careful clambering along the walls. The passage continued and narrowed and there was another very muddy passage off to the side. Nothing particularly exciting and it was know to end in another sump.

We headed back down to the main streamway and donned SRT gear for the prussik back to the surface. Everyone enjoyed the trip for although there were no pretty formations, there was plenty to do and see.

Total trip time about 3 hours.