COW POT

SD 6643 8085 Alt: 305m.  Depth 76m

Link to CaveMaps surveys

Length included in Ease Gill Caverns total 80 km

Top of 24 metre entrance pitch to Cow Pot

The Entrance to Cow Pot lies in the Shallow valley above LANCASTER HOLE, it is in a walled enclosure with a stile. See access notes for LANCASTER HOLE

The entrance pitch of 24m can be rigged camera camera from the 'P' hangers on the flat area of rock at the entrance. Alternatively there is a route rigged with spits near the opposite end of the entrance hole which gives a good practice curcuit just in the daylight. This involves two pitches of 16 and 9 metres.

Leading off the entrance shaft are several short inlet passages including FX5 INLET. This is up the rock slope off to the right of the bottom of the pitch, and is s series of short climbs up into avens and a balcony overlooking the open pot. From here a bedding leads to a stream inlet which can be followed over a blind 6m pot to end in two avens.

Almost opposite the bottom of the pitch a large, meandering passage descends several short cascades to where the roof lowers, and a short crawl continues over large cobbles to a wide low chamber formed in a washed out shale band, Shale Cavern. A number of passages radiate from here, the first one being on the left of the point of entry to the chamber is a short crawl running back in the direction of the entrance and soon chokes. Only a few metres round the wall in the chamber is another passage which starts as a short crawl in a phreatic tube several metres above the floor level. Moving on round the chamber a hole in the floor down through large boulders is met. This leads down a 6m shored climb and a descending rift passage towards the sound of falling water. The way on is an awkward passage followed by a tight rift. This leads out over a 12m pitch which is tight at the top. This is the top of the final aven of AARDVARK COUNTRY in LANCASTER HOLE.

The next passage out of Shale Cavern is up on a shelf in the washed out shale band. Continuing past a hole in the floor leads to a junction, the way to the left spirals back round into the chamber or continuing on to the top of a short 6m pitch. To the right continues as a stooping walk to a further junction. To the left here leads up an inlet to a choke very close to the foot of the entrance shaft waterfall, whilst to the right is a squeeze and a 2m climb down into a small chamber, the only outlet being an impassable slot taking the stream.. The final exit from the chamber is the one that connects with the left hand branch of the above passage, but to one side is an opening onto a 4m pitch. From the foot of this a short crawl leads to an acute corner and a short drop into a small chamber. The way on is an awkward squeeze in the right hand wall which immediately arrives at the lip of another 4m pitch. A small chamber at the foot of this leads to a very narrow rift passage which become too tight within a few metres. This has been dug but gets too narow.

Back at the foot of the entrance shaft up the rock slope to the right is the route through to the MASTER CAVE This starts as a narrow rift which quickly swings to the right and after a short awkward climb down reaches a junction. To the right ends in a choke after a few metres, whilst to the left is the main way on in a low crawl. After passing several acute bends a stream inlet is met entering from the left and the crawl continues through a long pool. Gradually the passage enlarges until a short climb is reach down into a wide chamber, with a thick shale band in the walls. The stream sinks here in the floor but by continuing on across the upper ledges leads to a direct pitch of 46m down into the vastness of FALL POT

An alternative route is via a short traverse in the gully to a boulder platform with a 9m pitch to rejoin the stream before it drops into FALL POT. Across the stream passage and through a window is a dry pitch down the north wall of FALL POT. 15m down this pitch it is possible to step off onto a ledge, level with the top of a huge boulder, which can be reached by a very exposed traverse (lifeline recommended) or up a slippery mud slope to the passage from LANCASTER HOLE


R.R.C.P.C. 2013