We did go caving. There’s no trip report because there isn’t much to report. Irrespective, I’ll write one here:
We arrived at Bull Pot Farm to find three cars already there. A group of six 18-21 student types were packing gear for a trip to Lancaster Hole, I’m guessing. At least that’s the direction they walked off in.
We got changed and headed to The Borehole. It’s located just upstream from Wretched Rabbit, on the opposite bank. It even has a metal covering in the cliff face with the words ‘Borehole’ written on it. Despite this, we still managed to walk past it the first time. The weather was perfect.
The entrance consists of a couple of short free climbs, then crawling for quite a while in a narrow trench filled with water a foot to a foot and a half deep, followed by crawling through a low section over large cobbles. This leads to a roughly 15 foot high rift which is best followed via a mixture of sideways shuffling and crawling on the floor. This soon leads to the first pitch (technically the second pitch, as the first is a free climb near the entrance). You can rig off a scaffolding bar, but three recently installed anchors make for a better rig. NC calls for 20m rope, but you’re best advised to bring 25m or 30m.
Below the pitch the route is fairly obvious. Just follow the twisting canyon passage downstream, almost all of which must be done while crawling at stream level (with little to no water on our visit). This deposits you in a large chamber with two ways on (if I remember correctly). To the left leads to a couple of dry, and very loose, breakdown chambers that dead-end. They’re connected via two squeezes, both flat-out. The second one requires some thought to get through and has a ticklish ending. Thankfully it was avoided on the return as Alex found a way to bypass it.
Back in the large chamber with two ways on… When coming from the direction of the pitch, turn right in the chamber (rather than left, as described above). A slot down to the left, or a crawl/sky dive straight ahead, lead to a small chamber with three ways on. Right is an immediate dead-end. Left is a flat-out crawl that ends abruptly at the top of a 6m drop. Straight on via a climp up, then through a very short section of rift, leads to a muddy climb down into a large chamber. We spent A LOT of time in this chamber trying to find the way on. In fact, we never did. Make sure to bring a copy of the NC description with you, something we unfortunately did not do. We eventually had to turn around and head out. Thankfully we didn’t pull the rope on the second pitch down with us (as you can do the trip as a pull through).
If I remember correctly, the correct route in the large chamber is to the left, then down around a corner to the left, at which point there is a body sized hole you have to go down. According to NC, there is a brief section of caving before you eventually emerge in the main streamway.
The trip out was uneventful. The most annoying thing about the cave is the amount of crawling. I don’t know if I would recommend this trip to others. It’s not difficult, but it also isn’t much fun. It’s just a lot of crawling. I would do it again as a pull through, but I wouldn’t do it again if I had to enter and return via The Borehole. I did enjoy the squeezes though.
Once back at the cars Bull Pot Farm was full of cars. I would say around ten, not including ours.
“there isn’t much to report”…..8 paragraphs later…
I have moved to the log book.
Brief reports aren’t my specialty, unfortunately. Well, unfortunately for others.