Saturday March 12th 2011
Nick Pot (Thornber's Entrance)
Matt, Gary, Max
A stunning SRT trip. Not the most exciting of caves, but it has to have the most spectacular shaft in the Dales, easily rivalling Titan (although maybe not quite as high)!
Quite easy to locate the entrance, just off the three peaks path from Horton to Ingleborough. A short crawl lead to a slightly awkward pitch head but this soon opened out into a nice free hang with two deviations. At the bottom, the water could be seen emerging from the nasty looking crawl described in Not For The Faint Hearted, but the way on for us was following the stream. A short crawl under the wall pops out almost immediately at the head of the main shaft.
Thankfully, the crawl around the left of the top of the shaft already had a rope in place. The rather exposed crawl leads awkwardly over to the far side of the shaft where the main hang can be rigged. What started out as fairly easy rigging was made more difficult simply by the scale of everything. Well, that and the fact that we didn't have an 80m rope so had to start a new one at each re-belay!
The stunning free-hang drops to the Trouser Flake where it re-belays with a huge Y hang. I had to think for some time about the best way to get onto the hang, but in the end just had to clip in to it and hang. A further easy descent lands in the roomy and very drafty chamber.
It's possible to get out of the water at the far side which is also a great vantage point to view others descending. Once Matt and Max got down we went to explore the sump but quickly gave up when it involved a tight sloping passage with water flowing down it.
The trip took longer than I was expecting, but we were out in daylight and everyone was happy to have ticked off Nick Pot. I think it's not somewhere I would return to soon, however it was nice to have done it and if you like a huge shaft, it's the place to go! An ideal ‘Sunday’ trip.