For a while now, I’ve been considering a solo trip down Bull Pot in Kingsdale. I actually tried to do this last week, but some others were already in the cave – I went down the first pitch, but then came back out because following another group didn’t really feel like soloing.
Today I was relieved to see no other rope on the entrance pitch and was alone underground from beginning to end. Down the first pitch, I climbed down a bit to join the stream – water levels were quite high, but not high enough to cause any problems. After a short climb up, I reached the bolts for the second pitch, traversed and descended to the ledge, then rigged the wide Y-hang for the narrowish third pitch, which immediately follows the second. There was quite a waterfall going straight down the hole here, but not down the third pitch.
There’s a short traverse, again quite high up, to reach the fourth pitch, which has a couple of deviations – I used the first one only, thinking it wasn’t wet enough to need the second. I realised after I’d passed it that it probably was wet enough.
Rigging the fifth pitch, my light unfastened itself from the front of my helmet. The thought of losing my light whilst on a pitch is perhaps the most frightening thing I can imagine about caving solo, but auspiciously I had brought two backups. With my main light swinging around my neck like a hangman’s noose, I descended by the light of my spare, then sorted it all out at the foot of the pitch. This was actually the first time I had been to the end of Bull Pot; previous attempts have been thwarted by extreme weather events or lazy companions.
Derigging was straightforward, except obviously the heavy tackle sacks were a bit of a pain. Before long I was back out in the (sort of) sunshine, having been underground for only about two hours. An excellent morning’s caving.
Nice one Chris, you don’t often solo do you? What do you think of caving on your own?
I should have done it this weekend myself, as avoiding people like the Plauge, well because of the plague lol, so I basically just stayed at home, so I can visit my parents safely (regardless of what Borris says, or changes his mind on again)
I don’t do much soloing at all. Fun though.
I was a bit apprehensive beforehand, but once underground I felt at ease. I suppose little things like your tackle sack being a bit stuck in a rift are more of a problem when you’re alone, and my light unfastening from my helmet would have been easier to sort out if someone else had been there.
And obviously I like caving with wonderful people. I have no plans to be solo a solo caver.
Bull Pot is one of the places I did a solo venture years back, along with a jolly down Yordas Pot. Definitely a different experience, makes you think more, still fun though.
I tried soloing Bull Pot a few years ago as well, but had to turn back at the top of the third pitch as I heard a ghostly voice emanating from below the narrow slot. Did you experience any paranormal phenomenon?
I tried soloing Bull Pot a few years ago as well
Yes, I remember it well. As I was back at the car with Alex on Leck Fell after doing the Bye George round trip, you tried to persuade us to drive over to Kingsdale with you to look for ghosts. I’m so sorry I refused.
Did you experience any paranormal [phenomena]?
There were several times when I thought there might be another group behind me, because I could hear what sounded like voices. It was just the sound of running water – I find that running water underground, especially if you’re alone, quite often sounds like people talking in the distance. I suppose some people (the sort who spend all day watching YouTube videos and say they’re doing research, unlike all the sheeple who just believe the mainstream media) might mistake that sort of thing for ghostly voices.
Wake up, sheeple!
That’s one noise I wouldn’t want to hear down Bull Pot, other noises fine though, even if they play on the mind. In fact, even with company on a trip, noises can seem like another caver or group.
I do wonder if it’s the sort of remoteness of caves, the disconnection from society/people that the brain somehow wants to “hear” other humans?
I don’t know, but when I tried to solo Bull Pot a few years ago I swear I could hear two people talking. I could almost, but not quite, make out what they were saying. It’s as if they were just beneath me in the slot pitch. It’s strange because I had never noticed anything like that in a cave before. Then again, I haven’t done much solo caving apart from Swinsto and Chapter House Traverse. I’m sure it was just water, but it did freak me out, as I was in there two or three weeks after the infamous accident.