Shuttleworth Pot - 19 November 2011
Present were Bob E, Chris, Bob S, Nick and John G who was to be our guide for the trip. We parked on the Leck Fell road near Notts 2 and trekked about 1 mile around the edge of the fell, past Gavel Pot and then followed the wall down towards Ease Gill Kirk on Leck Beck.
Bob, John, Nick and Chris at the man hole entrance.
The entrance is located in a shallow shake hole just below a small limestone scar. It has a manhole cover protecting a large vertical pipe about 3m deep with a window into the shaft where a Y hang can be rigged for a simple short pitch with a single deviation. A descending passage soon reaches the main Divers Pitch which consists of an easy 25m descent with a couple of rebelays, one easy with a handy ledge and the other slightly more challenging.
Heading south at the bottom of the pitch up a mud slope is the entrance to Painters Alley which is about 300m long and starts with a short flat out crawl. Beyond which, the passage enlarges and is decorated by some stunning formations, long straws and helictites. At Dogger Bank can be found some mysterious prehistoric dog bones in a small shallow depression in the mud.
Nick and John with a formation of long straws.
At the base of Divers Pitch a further pitch was rigged to descend into the House of the Rising Sump where the stream and two sumps were met. Crossing these and climbing the slope took us into the Exercise Yard and the entrance to Zig Zag Passage. We did not explore Zig Zag on this occassion and left that for another day.
John G with a bronze stal in Painters Alley.
Chris in Painters Alley
The trip, as described, took about 4 hours which includes the walk to and from the entrance. Many thanks to John for showing us around a very stunning cave with some unique formations - where extreme care is needed throughout to prevent damage.
All photos by Bob E.