Walk a Mile with Mick
Walk a Mile with Mick Melvin

Penyghent Pot 1964 continued

From this ledge the climb entered a large chamber but I could not see the walls or floor until I was about 10ft. from the bottom, because of spray from a waterfall pouring down from somewhere above us. This pitch required exactly 130ft. of ladder.
I waited in the chamber for John Motley and Mick Omerod to join me, and after leaving instructions for the next two men to follow us, we set off down a rift passage on the far side of the chamber with one ladder and one belay each. The next three pitches were all very close together, all being about 30ft. At the bottom of the 3rd. rift pitch we ran out of tackle and settled down to wait. Here we had our first rest and something to eat.
After about 20 minutes two lights, which appeared at the top of the pitch turned out to be those of one of the leaders of the de-laddering party Mick Bentham, and John Russum of the laddering party, both men carrying two ladders each.
With the new ladders we descended two more pitches in the rift, but we had to climb down the next pitch because we had unwittingly laddered a climb which did not need laddering. At the bottom of the 9th pitch (30ft.) we landed in a pool thigh deep, which increased in depth as we approached a boulder chamber.
The way forward was to the right through a hole in the floor, where we joined the stream once more in a high passage which led us to the top of the 10th pitch (25ft.) Descending the 10th pitch we entered a large chamber with a low crawl leading off to the right. After this short crawl the water in the passage gradually became deeper until it was above our waists. This did not last long however, and we were soon wading knee-deep once more.
After what seemed a very long passage we arrived on top of a short climb 10ft. This climb was immediately on top of the last pitch (13ft). We belayed to an obvious belay and descended with the water. Once down the last pitch the way again was down a hole in the floor, but the amount of water made it very difficult to descend the climb, therefore we decided to try and find another way down to the lower stream level. John Motley traversed over a 30ft. hole on some very shattered rock to investigate an opening on the far side of the traverse. Whilst he was away Roger Harrison (de-laddering) arrived with a ladder and a belay after coming down the last six pitches on his own. We hung the ladder across the traverse just as John came to tell us it was possible to descend to the stream via the hole. We crossed the traverse and proceeded along a shattered ledge 30ft. above the stream and descended to the stream one at a time because of the dangerous state of the rock face.
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Links to Content & Topics...

  1. Canal Cave Nidderdale
  2. The Happy Wanderers Pothole Club
  3. Weardale 1963
  4. The Leadmines of Weardale 1963
  5. Langstroth Cave, a first Cave Dive
  6. A Cave Dive with Bill Frakes
  7. Torquay 2009
  8. Walking in Devon & Dartmoor 2009
  9. Walks on the Costa del Sol
  10. Walking in Spain 2009
  11. Our holiday in Kokkari
  12. A Walking holiday in Samos 2004
  13. Six Young Men
  14. A Poem by Ted Hughes
  15. A Circular Walk from Todmorden
  16. A Castle & three Waterfalls
  17. BSA Conference Paper 1966
  18. Cave Diving in the Northern Pennines
  19. A Descent in 10 hours
  20. Penyghent Pot 1964
  21. A Tribute to John Dixon
  22. Remembering John Dixon
  23. Sleights to Whitby
  24. A Walk from Sleights to Whitby
  25. Climbing the Ahornspitze
  26. An ascent of the Ahornspitze
  27. Around the Schlegeis
  28. A Walk by the Schlegeis Reservoir
  29. Trevor Briggs Tribute
  30. A Tribute to Trevor Briggs
  31. Simon Cooke's Scornful blog
  32. Councillor Simon Cooke Scorns Ramblers
  33. The Guernsey Coastal Path
  34. Bradford CHA Holiday in Guernsey 2001