Cavers: Chris Scaife, Xander Ritchie, Chriss Shaman, Darren Jarvis
Extremely high water levels today, with flooding in fields we had never seen flooded. We had no plans to bottom Notts Pot, but thought we’d manage a Centre Route to Left Hand Route exchange.
On arrival at the shakehole, big streams were pouring in places none of us had ever seen streams, so we could hear the usually-dry entrance before we could see it. Daz_of_Hydophilia rigged the short entrance pitch and was first to see that the flat-out crawl at the bottom was seriously wet. Not impassable, but the water levels were showing no sign of lowering and it looked like a slight rise would make things unpleasant.
Xander_of_Alternative_Holes was first to try to find a bypass. A dry (even today) crawl connected with the ledge halfway up/down the entrance pitch and ended at a P-bolted pitch down to a sump. The Sump-visitor from Southern Lancashire started to prusik back up and Chriss_Shaman_of__ey_it’s_Chris_Sharman went to join DJ Dazzy Deff on the surface. Xander then disappeared and yelled “Rope free”, so I went to join him on a ledge above the pitch, where we descended a short pitch, awkward at the top, to enter a traverse above the raging torrent (again, usually pretty dry) that led to the pitch into Three Ways Chamber. We climbed down to the torrent and followed it to the pitch head, but it was too wet to go any further, so we turned around and headed up out the normal entrance and off to the Whoop Hall. I asked the barmaid if it’s pronounced Woop or Hoop and she said it’s Hoop. Whoops-a-daisy, we’ve been saying it wrong all this time.
Not a long caving trip, but entertaining and sporting. Better than spending Super Saturday fighting in a crowded town centre, I suppose.
Read the description, it’s not normally a sump, you can when it’s not full of water follow it downstream I think. I changed over at the bottom not knowing how deep it was, but as the ledge where you swing off from was 2.5m above the floor according to the description and it was almost that far above me, it was likely only a couple of feet deep. Still there was no sense in getting my legs wet and change over practice is useful.
The Whoop no real beer issue was due to freehouse supply issues apparently.