Report by Jules Barrett
Cavers: Jules Barrett (EPC) and various members of the YSS
I'd heard a fair bit about Lost Johns Pot over the years but never got myself organised for a trip. There had been a lot of rain the Dales but the Cathedral - Done route down to Shale Cavern in Lost Johns doesn't take much water once you're out of the initial streamway so that sounded like a good choice. In we went and the streamway was obviously high but there was still plenty of airspace in the low bits so we carried on to where a rising traverse on good ledges leads to the start of Cathedral - Dome. Straight on in the streamway at this point leads to Monastery route which would have been far too wet today. Soon arrived at a short pitch and then some nice caving leads to the top of Vestry Pitch. Soon after a bolted traverse marks the start of Cathedral Pitch which has a deviation to clear a rub point. From the bottom of the pitch another bit of caving off the rope leads to the top of Dome Pitch and a straight hang leads to Shale Cavern where the water continues into a sump. There was an impressive amount of water coming down the Monastery route and it was best viewed from a distance. Very impressive place to be on a wet day! Set off out up the rope and all straightforward until took a wrong turn in the streamway on the way out and had to double-back to find the route back to the entrance. Exited to find the rain had stopped, fields almost flooded and the sky brightening up.
A very good, quick trip which has plenty of straightforward, enjoyable vertical caving. All the passages are clean-washed and it's excellent to view the water thundering down out of the roof in Shale Cavern. There are still other routes that I'd like to do in Lost Johns including the classic Lost Johns - Boxhead exchange which needs dry conditions. The Cathedral - Dome / Centipede exchange trip also looks good.