Saturday April 9th 2011
Top Sink - Lancaster Hole via Main Drain and Double Decker Pot
Gary, Matt, Chuck, , Laura
Finally nice to have the chance to complete this very satisfying through trip! Gary and I had done Top Sink to Wretched Rabbit last year and so we were confident in the routefinding. The guide in Not For The Faint Hearted is excellent. The only slight areas of confusion are Limerick Junction, where staying high is the key, and when you drop to the streamway beyond Easter Grotto - very easy to miss the pop up through boulders and end up at the Pool Sink Inlet on the left.
It was a stunning warm day - not very Easegill-like at all! We made quick progress to he first pitch, although I had forgotten how awkward this first 10 minutes of passage was. Not doing a pull-through, we passed the pitches quickly, paused slightly at Limerick Junction finding the way on, and made generally quick progress.
We met the others (our exchange team) on the approach to Stop Pot. From here we wasted no time stomping along to the Minerettes and onto Oxbow Corner, where we took a route down through boulders to the Main Drain. I have never explored the Main Drain much around here - in fact I have only really done the sump up to Fall Pot, so it was nice to see the Main Drain further upstream. A couple of boulder collapses in the streamway need to be negotiated - no real logical way - just whichever way works - and then you come up into huge stomping stream passage. This really is one of the finest in the country!
20 minutes of stomping later we arrived at the inlet from Double Decker Pot and made quick progress up through this. An amusing 'ladder' had been created from rope on the second of the pots going up, and this only hindered the ascent! We quickly crawled around the muddy passages to the tiny ladder and before we knew it we were at Caths Way and then Lancaster Hole. We were convinced the others should have been well out by now, but surprised to return to Bull Pot Farm to find them just coming down from the fell only a few minutes after us.
A very efficient, highly enjoyable and very social 5.5 hour trip - Top Sink to Link Pot next...