PIPPIKIN POT

SD 6680 8009 Depth 142mAlt: 326m

Link to CaveMaps surveys

Length included in Three Counties System total 80km

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The entrance series is tight and strenuous - Think of the return journey

A complex cave system that connects with Link Pot and Easegill Caverns to the north and to the downstream Gavel Pot sump and the Leck Fell caves to the south.

A superb and complex system which links under EASE GILL to LANCASTER HOLE Walk from BULL POT FARM, or call at LECK FELL HOUSE, and follow the wall down into the allotment above EASE GILL. PIPPIKIN is found by locating the shallow valley carrying a stream which sinks near its entrance.

ENTRANCE SERIES

The dry opening at the sink drops quickly to the first 6m pitch which lands in a roomy chamber. The exit is a low bedding plane crawl to the top of CELLAR POT, a broken 12m ladder climb succeeded by a 2.1m drop into the stream of CELLAR PASSAGE. The water sinks into a joint and a low bedding plane, but upstream is the EAST CHAMBER, some 18m long, 2.4m wide and 12m high with a complex of active and abandoned inlets. One of these connects to the surface at PIPPIKIN SINK. This is best described from the surface.

Traverse across the top of CELLAR POT (Care!) to a shelf and a short constricted tube to an awkward 2.1m drop. A window into a rift with two constrictions before a 4.5m pitch with a cross rift below which trends towards EAST CHAMBER. Beyond the pitch a further constriction is the shale bed above the 15m third pitch which has a bolt belay. A passage continues in the shale bed to a small blind rift and a tight passage. At the foot of this wriggle forward to an interesting 5.4m rift climb where a rope is useful. Immediately following this is the 8m fourth pitch to a junction with the streamway. The 3m fifth pitch is short and damp and leads to a stooping passage and an awkward 1.5m climb into a pool - great fun on the return! All but midgets are now advised to traverse the next 46m until a high level passage enters a high chamber with formations. A scramble over and under calcited blocks emerges above the 4.5m sixth pitch back down to the streamway through the roof of a chamber. A boulder strewn passage is an oxbow and a similar feature downstream intersects is the RATBAG INLET.

Now the streamway is an easy walk with occasional formations and the odd interesting roof passages - one providing a link with LECK FELL LANE. Eventually the water runs into a boulder choke beneath the HALL of TEN. A crawl forward and upward in the PIPPIKIN STREAMWAY choke enters the HALL of TEN, a massive passage 18m high and wide. Crawling forward in the streamway leads to the LOWER STREAMWAY.

  The north slope out of HALL OF THE TEN is the way through to DUSTY JUNCTION and the connection with the rest of the EASE GILL SYSTEM.

RATBAG SERIES

RATBAG INLET provides easy going at first. Features of interest are an aven on the right, an inlet to an aven on the left and fissures choked by cobbles also on the left. The waterlogged tube which links through to WHITE WALL CHAMBER is between these inlets on the left. The main passage lowers slightly at the next junction, the most uninviting passage being straight ahead. This is SURVEYORS DOG INLET which soon subdivides, the right hand branch quickly closes down, but to the left provides 152m of low crawling which has not been pushed to a conclusion!

The RATBAG INLET continues in easy passage past some fine formations (Care!) to a squeeze over a stal blockage. Traversing and walking lead to a deep pool and a 1.5m climb into a low crawl which enters Golden Wonder Aven. This has been scaled for 8m to a short passage which emerges at the base of Andromeda Aven which is a large, often miserably wet 25 metre high shaft to a traverse and boulder blockage. Beyond is the 5 metre Nebula Aven with a too tight passage at the top.

HALL of TEN to GOUR HALL

From the HALL of TEN ascend the south slope to a silt balcony and a junction of tunnels. To the left a route descends into HALL OF THE MOUNTAIN KING with a floor connection to LECK FELL LANE. Wellington Boot Traverse and a scramble up a mud slope gains the high level passages of GOTHIC SERIES and the HALL OF THE DAMNED with its remnant fill and avens; one in the south east corner has been bolted for 27m to a very low passage, then around a buttress to an unstable boulder slope and an 18m aven which is choked with gritstone boulders close to the surface.

SVENGLAND

Half way along the WELLINGTON BOOT TRAVERSE is a passage via a climb on the right to a series of avens and tight muddy tubes to a 2m climb up into a larger passage, SVENGLAND. This rises steeply to a boulder choke, which is near to the surface. It is immediately below the entrance shakehole of Smokey Hole to which it connects via a 10m tight pitch up through the choke. Just above the 2m climb a hole low down on the left through boulders leads to a muddy connecting crawl through to Peterson Pot. Another route below the climb leads back down from SVENGLAND via a 20 metre free hanging pitch dropping out of the roof the Hall of the Mountain King.

Main Passage

Back at the junction of tunnels the main route continues to the right. Beneath an inlet with a fixed rope the tunnel opens out into a wide chamber with fine stalagmites. At the far end is the silted link with GOTHIC SERIES. On the north side of the chamber a low crawl above a complex double pot in the floor leads to a slot down to a small chamber 4m below; a sharp bend enters a narrow rift streamway with a constriction which has not been passed.

The main route continues straight on from the wide chamber as a wide and low passage to the vastness of CROSS HALL where aven inlets sink in a mass of boulders. A bolted route only leads to a small chamber. A hole down in the bottom NE corner of the hall leads through a squeeze to a 7m pitch followed by a 3m climb, then an unstable boulder slope and 4m pitch into a small chamber. A waterfall can be heard and a dig through loose rocks descends for a further 8m.

The tunnel beyond CROSS HALL soon breaks our into a rift which ascends into GOUR HALL - a massive chamber floored by a dome of fine gour pools (care!). The floor descends rapidly into a small antechamber and a stal choke. There are several digs at the end.

GOUR HALL EXTENSION (Extreme Ways)

At the end of Gour Hall, just before the old terminal digs, a low excavated crawl in the right wall swings left to a junction. The passage to the right only goes for 10m to a stal choke but to the left a low section through mud and calcite emerges in the large EXTREME WAYS Chamber. The passage to the left out of the chamber contains the 6m Slippery Aven followed by a 4m aven to a stal choke. Near the end are two blind 4m pits in the floor.

At the West end of the chamber a narrow 3m chimney climb up leads to a corresponding drop down to a small calcite choked chamber. Instead of dropping down, however, a body sized tube can be entered at roof level leading shortly to a futher 5m climb down, Lugger's Legup (best laddered) into a larger passage. This develops into fine walking sized rift for 60m before arriving at an 6m pitch into a much larger passage, The HALL OF THE ELEVEN. Sadly, this is short lived and the continuation soon degenerates into the muddy Bi Up Rift with awkward traversing to a dangerous, loose climb up into the final Dangerous Chamber where all ways on are choked.


R.R.C.P.C. 2013