GIAG trip down Alum Pot

This weekend the club ran a GIAG trip down to Alum Pot, a large active pothole on the flanks of Ingleborough. After an early start everyone collected kit and equipment from the club stores, before heading to Ingleton to get lunch and helmets and travelling to the cave. A short but windy walk took us […]

David Keegan
5th March 2020
Newcastle Caving Club explored Sunset Hole (Image: WIkimedia Commons)
This weekend the club ran a GIAG trip down to Alum Pot, a large active pothole on the flanks of Ingleborough.

After an early start everyone collected kit and equipment from the club stores, before heading to Ingleton to get lunch and helmets and travelling to the cave. A short but windy walk took us up to the upstream entrance to long churns, the stream passage heading down towards the pothole, where we all entered the cave. Shortly after, we reached the first obstacle, Dr. Bannisters Hand Basin, a short waterfall leading into a large pool that needed to be climbed down. Jacob and I descended but decided that due to the volume of water coming down, it would be too challenging to get the whole group down, so we all returned to the surface and headed down to a different entrance.

Once back underground, the group followed the streamway for a short distance, before heading into dry fossil passage for the first real challenge of the day, the double step. The double step is a series of chest deep pools that need to be traversed around. I jumped in to help guide people around the edge, and the group were able to make their way past, with only minimal dunkings!

Shortly after we all reached an easy rift which we climbed down, before stopping for a short break and turning off the torches so that those new to caving could experience total darkness. Torches back on, we then headed through the cheese press, a tight squeeze leading to a three metre climb. As everyone made their way through, Jacob went ahead to rig the 15m Dolly Tubs pitch.

Once through the squeeze, members of the group then had the opportunity to climb down the pitch and see the view from the window, an opening overlooking Alum Pot. The group then returned, back up the pitch and another climb, through the double step and up to the surface. Once we got there, we found a very different world to the one we ventured away from, as a couple of inches of snow had fallen, however we were soon back at the minibus, warm, dry and on our way back to Newcastle!

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