Meet Report – Shuttleworth Pot, March 6 2011
It was a privilege indeed to explore the magnificent new caverns of “Witches II” with so many unusual formations. Few cavers other than original explorers have the opportunity to see a cave in such pristine order. Being within a stone’s throw (almost) of the vast caverns of the Lancaster-Easegill system, it is not surprising that the main passage is of similar dimensions. Until recently this was accessible only to the cave divers but some clever technology made it possible to locate and create the new moorland entrance at Shuttleworth Pot.
After rather belatedly meeting up at Bull Pot Farm, the first challenge was to find the entrance which is hidden in a small shakehole nearly an hours walk from the farm. 20m and 50m ropes were needed to get down to caving level and then it was little more a than saunter along between tapes protecting delicate formations especially superb straws and helictites. Whilst Emma and Phil had to leave early, followed by Nigel and the writer, it was left to Andy, Chris, Geoff and Matt to rig a further 20m to reach the sump area and thus the “Exercise Yard” where at one time two divers were marooned for several hours during an unexpected rise in water levels.
There were plenty of grunts and groans at the constrictions on the climb back up to the surface but emerging to brilliant blue skies more than compensated for the struggles. A shorter route was taken back to Bull Pot for a late end to the day at nearly 6.30pm.
Thanks to Emma, Phil, Chris, Geoff, Matt, Andy and Nigel for turning out.