Skip to main content

Present: Ian W, Mssr Leech

Bonfire weekend and in a break-out from my new London base I was determined to get a cracker of a trip in. A return to the scene of a previous defeat was suggested (See Pippikin Pot – Aller ooop! Easter ’08) and with a bucket full of determination and an experienced guide we were the first group of the day to set out across the fell.

Peterson pot was found without fuss and we were at the beginning of Rolly-Polly Passage fast as you like. Slim Ian dove in, pushing the bag before him. There was no sense in me offering to deal with the bag – we both new I’d have enough bother with the passage without the extra fun a tackle sack brings.

Steady progress took Ian through the tubular first section of the passage into the first small chamber. The same could not be said for myself and one constriction necessitated reversing to the start of the passage to reconfigure arms. The fresh orientation saw me through and a minor contortion saw me flop into the chamber blowing hard to reunite with a cool, calm and collected Ian. Bastard.

Thankfully the rest of the passage was tackled with much less drama, it’s rifty nature giving plenty of space to shove arms and legs into to get around the corners. It was still good to pop out of the skydive though!

Collecting ourselves over a quick cup of tea, we realized neither of us had bothered to give the description a proper check over since the previous visits half a year ago. Luckily, I can tell you that provided you remember not to drop the fourth pitch but instead traverse over there are not too many options and we soon found ourselves in a large rift passageway. After a good poke about the upper end, a couple of minutes heading downwards found a pitchhead to take us down to the take-off point for the drop into Hall of the Mountain King.

The in-situ ropes were in good condition, if a little quick being as they are sheathed in the mud that the MotMK is famous for. Still, at the bottom we were able to traverse around the worst of the mire to make our way to the start of the Pippikin streamway where after a quick wash we realised it was half past three – time for tea and cakes.

The Pippikin exit was a bit of a slog, though there was plenty of interest provided by the regular squeezes which broke it up into ‘manageable bite-sized pieces’. Like a breakfast cereal. We weren’t half glad to get out of the final pitch, the trip more for rewarding the satisfaction of meeting its challenge than any particular pretty thing or discovery. While Slim Ian may disagree, for me this a proud tick in the book not to be revisited for a while!