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Large Pot

by Rachel Clarke

Large Pot is the ‘new’ N.P.C. find, situated in a shakehole adjoining Little Pot.  Discovered in March 1982 the two distinct series of the cave have bean explored to a boulder collapse (Arcadia Series) and a perched sump (Red Herring Series).  The current N.P.C. journal gives a full, detailed account of the cave and a grade 4/5 survey.

The entrance pitch is 25 feet followed by a 15 foot free-climb to an awkward crawl (especially for tall people!) leading to the head of a 40 foot pitch.  The take-off of the pitch is tight, the belay - a wedge and chock stone in the rift.  The pitch widens out passing a bucket-shaped ledge at 30 feet to the bottom of the rift. A short climb is followed by a 20 foot pitch (thread belay above pitch) to Thornton Hall.  From the Hall, an obvious bedding with a double slotted floor goes to Pit Junction, where the two routes diverge.

To reach the 140 foot Colossus Pitch the left turn is made at the junction into the old Arcadia Series. At the Junction the downstream passage is the start of the Red Herring Series, the present drainage route.  We followed the Red Herring Series to the superb 80 foot pitch (thread belay in roof) which leads almost immediately to a 15 foot pitch (belay - spike on left).

At this point there is a choice of pitches - Flake Route (100 feet) or the Main Passage to a 40 foot pitch (bolt and chock stone belay), followed by a 23 foot free climb.  A small, twisting streamway emerges in Flake Aven, where the two routes converge at the head of a 23 foot pitch (flake belay). From the base of the pitch a grovelly crawl is compensated by good formations and small false floors.  At the end of the crawl the last ladder pitch (29 feet, thread belay) is followed by two short climbs (18 feet and 12 feet) to a boulder chamber; a wet crawl leads to the sump, which has been dived and is apparently 40 feet long, through two small air-bells, ending in a silt blockage.

De-tackling and tackle-hauling offers great entertainment, the entrance 40 foot pitch requiring military organisation and giving me a chance to improve my aim and practise shouting "Below!”

An excellent cave that warrants a second trip to visit Arcadia Series.