19th May 2019

With an upcoming trip to do the Ease Gill Traverse planned, Rob and I headed over to the Dales on the way back from Patterdale to tie up a few loose ends in our navigational knowledge and leave some pitches rigged if needed. We parked and changed at Bull Pot Farm and after traipsing across the moor found ourselves at Pippikin Pot around 12. Neither of us had been before, but I was aware that Pippikin had a reputation. I’d warned Rob that it was going to be a bit squeezy, but don’t think he’d really taken it on board as he seemed a bit surprised when he found himself wedged sideways in the first tight section. 6 short pitches with various thrutchy sideways squeezes in between saw us down into the streamway and out via Mistral in just over an hour, helped greatly by the fact it was already rigged. 

Back on the surface, we had a snack and then headed across to Link Pot. The entrance pitch is like a mini-Nettle Pot, and we quickly headed through to find the top of Echo Aven and made sure it was rigged for when we come to do the traverse later in June. Mission accomplished, it was back out the way we’d came and we were soon plodding back across the moor to Lancaster Hole and trip number 3.

We’d been down Wretched Rabbit/Lancaster back in March, but weren’t able to venture into the Main Drain properly due to the apocalyptic rain we’d had that weekend. So with that in mind, we did a short roundtrip via Wilf Taylor’s Passage which, after some short fun pitches, brought us down into the Main Drain just above the downstream sump. It’s a very impressive place and the cascades and deep pools on the way up to Stake Pot are fantastic. After a brief search for the onward route that the traverse takes, we headed back out along the high-level passages and emerged out of Lancaster and got back to the van around 5.

Three really good short trips (plus a 3 mile walk in wellies) crammed into the Sunday. Brilliant.