Trapdoor Pot Updated
Ian, Simon, Ed.
We had formulated a plan to do another Quaking Pot trip, but with Ed now living in Kent, getting the schedule sorted proved tricky. When Ed could come up, I had to recover from a very early start for work the previous day (rising at 3=30 am is not very pleasant) and with me feeling knackered, Simon having a cold and the weather being none too settled, the plan was changed to Trapdoor Pot.
The lay-by by the road was deserted, but when we walked up to the gate, 2 cars were parked up the track and judging from the poly bags inside, they were cavers. Hoping they were in Boggart’s and not clogging up Trapdoor, we slogged up the hill, with the cave finder (Simon) finding the shakehole first go. Fortunately, the large cobweb over the entrance and the lack of a rope on the block suggested that we would have the cave to ourselves and with the bonus of having Ed back to share the carry, I was hoping to have a relaxing trip.
Since we were in the cave in December, the rather tricky rigging problems have been solved by a re-bolting job, all bearing fixed hangers, so no need for nuts and wires, or even bolts and hangers. Bolts are now present above the drop down to the bar in the choke pitch, but we traversed along the ledge to chimney down at the obvious narrowing. We also chimneyed down the short Millennium Pot pitch, but climbed back up it at a different spot, finishing on some fine, juggy holds.
Unlike our previous trip, the descent of the fine Electron pitch was dry, yet still impressive and I rigged the big final pitch whilst telling Ed that he was in for a treat. When I reached the floor of the final chamber, I climbed up the mud wall on the far side to lie on the sand to enjoy a rest and watch Ed and Simon descend.
After a short discussion as to why such a big chamber lies beneath so small an entrance series, we set off out, again having a fight with the bags through the tight sections. Emerging after a trip of about 5 hours, I was glad of my jacket and gloves in the very strong northerly wind and after a rapid change by the cars we retired to The Station for refreshment. Getting home, I was so sleepy that the gear wash was postponed until the morning and I retired to my bath. A fun day out for a very sleepy author!