What with the royal wedding nonsense this year, I thought it would be appropriate to do a more impressive royal event (absolute nonsense but bare with it for the purpose of prose) and go down King Pot on East Kingsdale.
King Pot is probably somewhere on everyones radar as having a notorious reputation as it makes up one third of the three pots – three peaks challenge (I think there’s a trip report from Rob M or someone who attempted them all in a weekend??). Anyhow, I felt like a beasting because being in Scotland has made me chronically inactive and I don’t get caving nearly as much as I would like to.
On my way up from Manchester (I was there for Christmas) to Edinburgh I detoured to the Brakenbottom hut where I met a merry bunch of cavers from SUSS, MUSC, YUCPC and some others along for the post-christmas / pre-new year escapades. It was super nice to see people I’ve not seen for many months all in one place!
Keeping with tradition, the trip consisted of my noble steed, Tom1. Joining us was Annie from MUSC and we set off to buy myself some much needed kneepads (A GOOD DECISION).
Found the entrance without much trouble and began the entrance series. Straightforward caving, pitches and route finding were nice until the T shaped traverse where the caving became an absolute twat. Well it wasn’t too bad in hindsight, but at the time if you were of a larger composition than T1, Annie and I then I could see how you may struggle with this bit. Carrying a nice fat tackle bag didn’t help either. The T traverse ended with quite an exposed hoik of the body over / around a high block into a climb down into the Queensway. Queensway was an impressive bit of passage with numerous boulder piles to navigate and a nice streamway until the loverly crawl in water, theme of King Pot it seems (I wonder if The Dutchess of Cambridge’s passage gets this moist?).
The crawling was over soon, followed by a few more pitches… a lunch break (I’ve begun caving with a shit load of food now, it’s definitely the future)… and a few more pitches… followed by the last pitch which had a vast amount of water thundering down it. Luckily T1 had a / is Simple so could use one hand to lunge for the hugely far away deviation tat and rig the last pitch as out of the water as possible.
A quick jimmy up a slippery muddy climb and into another crawl of misery, in a passage wetter than Camillas when she saw Charles naked for the first time…
This went on for far too long and Annie seemed to storm ahead making light work of the horrendous crawl. Got to the East Kingsdale main drain which in the description was 2m below the ledge. Considering it was perhaps 500cm below the ledge and was a raging torrent, we urinated then left without paying a visit to the Grasshopper series (which sounds miserable).
We got out after about 7hrs 30 underground and I for one felt completely bollocksed but hugely satisfied at having such an awesome trip.
The evening consisted of catching up with everyone I’ve not seen for ages. Miss you all ol’ chaps!
After muchos faffing me, T1 and Mike had a quick trip down Aquamole as it was probably one of the few caves we could think of that was dry. Excellent weekend!