Saturday March 9th 2013
Ade, Gary, Matt, Nick
The weather was looking a bit grim, so we wanted a clean and uncomplicated, and relatively water-resistant SRT trip to start off our weekend staying at the NPC hut near Clapham. Aquamole came to the rescue, and provided an exceptionally efficient and enjoyable trip, and something I was keen to do again (my last trip there having been six years ago).
To find Aquamole, park in Kingsdale as for Rowton (about 300m north of the road to the farm, by the sheep fold) and follow the wall up the hillside where at the top another sheep fold provides a route through the wall and onto the turbary road track. On the left is Rowton Pot, however, turn right, follow the track for 100 m before bearing slightly off to the left away from the wall and uphill until the obvious depression of Jingling Pot is seen (with prominant tree sticking up from within). The concrete top of Aquamole is only 20m away.
We followed the CNCC volume 2 rigging guide, all rope lengths were correct.
The breezeblock shaft lands on a shelf from where another couple of short pitches descends into a rift. Down the rift, a few rebelays later and you are in a chamber. The way on has clearly been excavated, and leads down into a reasonably simple crawl which after only five minutes breaks out to another pitch. Aquamole Aven pitch is soon reached, which is spectacular shaft with multiple deviations to pull the rope away from the water (we used two, probably unnecessarily, but a third was available had it been wet). From the bottom, the sump is immediately reached where loads of diving gear was stored.
A quick snack later and we were on our way out. Gary was derigging and was last up, so was naturally confused to look down and see another caving light bobbing about some 20m below. It would seem a diver had emerged from the sump! Good job that hadn't happened 10 minutes earlier as I was stood on the water edge eating my choccie bar or there might have been brown stains in my undersuit!
Arrived out to a lovely blizzard, total time underground only 4.5 hours. Overall, a superb, uncomplicated and clean SRT trip.