Present: Pete Hall, Ali Alnajar, (Tom Moorcroft)
It was the week before term began, so a midweek trip felt in order. We decided upon Pool Sink, since it’s pretty easy and none of us had been before. Ali would get some SRT practice, Tom would get some rigging practice and I’d get to go underground and try out my new camera.
The day started slowly, I got up later than I’d planned and the gear took longer to sort than I’d expected; Ali arrived and helped sort the last few things. We set off for Gilesgate 15 minutes later than planned where we picked up Tom before heading down to Ingleton for breakfast. The journey was slower than normal, due to week-day traffic that we’re not used to; things got a little brighter when we found a parking spot right outside the door at Inglesport. Breakfast and tea were enjoyed by all before driving over to Bull Pot Farm, where the builders were hard at work. It was at this point that Ali realised he’d forgotten his oversuit…
Tom went to sleep in the sun, while Ali and I dashed back to Ingleton to hire an oversuit. We nearly ran over a few hill walkers in the lane (who we later nearly ran over again on our return journey), stopped into Bernies to sort the oversuit and were back at the farm in 39 minutes. Fafftastic!
A speedy change saw the three of us geared up and walking across the hill in no time at all. We located the entrance with no problems and put on our SRT gear.
Tom took the first tacklebag and headed in; I say headed in, his head went in, but not much more…
After a short amount of “not working” Tom decided his back wasn’t fixed enough to cave yet, so after some discussion he turned back to the farm, with the thought of going into Witches to pass the time. Ali and I continued into the cave and both thoroughly enjoyed the entrance series; it is tight and bendy enough to feel like proper cave, but spacious enough not to be at all hard.
Ali hadn’t done any SRT for a while, but quickly re-learnt and passed the re-belay in the first pitch with absolutely no problems. Beyond this we followed the streamway down (which I might add is a very nice big easy going passage and I like it) to the next pitch. The first anchor is a large column (I like rigging to naturals), leading onto a P-bolted traverse over some nice holes in the floor; these all lead into the passage below, but by taking the last hole down you end up nicely at the next pitch without needing a separate rope.
The final pitch was descended and we headed off down the passageway, opting for a slightly higher route in the rift to bypass The Bacon Slicer and some muddy wet looking bits; we saw some nice pretties too…
Down in the main drain I recognised exactly where we were, so after a picture stop, we turned back, but took the junction for Spiral Staircase, from here Ali headed out alone via Spiral Staircase and Wretched Rabbit, while I went back the way we’d come to de-rig.
An hour later, we regrouped on the surface and walked back to the farm. As usual a car arrived right as the two of us were getting changed and got a good view of two naked areses…
All in all a good trip, despite the faff at the start.