Knotlow Climbing Shaft - 16/05/2007

Written by RobEavis.

Report by Jules Barrett
Cavers: Jules Barrett (EPC), Chris Schofield (EPC).

Chris and I were looking for a quick evening trip with some decent SRT and had thought about Oxlow, Lathkill Head top entrance and Knotlow. Since Chris hadn't been in Knotlow before we went for that. I did the cave as one of my early SRT trips and remember being more concerned about whether I'd threaded my Petzl Stop the right way than enjoying the trip. Left Sheffield at 6:00 pm and drove over to the Knotlow Triangle. Nobody else at the parking so it looked as though we were going to have the place to ourselves. We wandered over to the entrance, got sorted and abseiled in. The first pitch down the ginged climbing shaft is a straightforward descent which landed us on a sloping floor with the way on under a low arch. An easy traverse to the head of the second pitch and we dropped down that without any problems. We had a good look at the deviation P-bolt that's lying on the floor at the bottom of the second pitch and then moved on down the series of short scrambles that leads past the window into the 210 and down to the head of Waterfall Pitch. I'd never rigged the waterfall pitch traverse and it's a great thing to rig with well-positioned bolts and a Y-hang in a brilliant airy position. There wasn't a lot of water coming down the waterfall pitch inlet so we didn't need either of the two deviations. Once at the bottom of Waterfall Pitch we had a brief look down the coffin level that leads down to Fourways but turned round before getting too wet. Chris de-rigged the whole cave which meant I could enjoy being a passenger on the way out and have a good look round. We were back at the lid by 9:00 pm and arrived back in Sheffield at 10:00 pm.

We're both keen to go back and do some more in the Knotlow-Hillocks system including the connection. Will probably be an evening trip. If anyone fancies joining us for that please get in touch with me or Chris.

1. Chris abseiling down the second pitch.
2. Chris in the coffin level on the way to Fourways
3. P-bolt lying at the bottom of the second pitch.