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Grange Rigg Pot, Yorkshire - 30/05/2007

Written by RobEavis.

Report by Jules Barrett
Cavers: Jules Barrett (EPC) and Phil Baker (Masson Caving Group)

We chose Grange Rigg Pot after reading the description in Mike Cooper's excellent book 'Not for the Faint-Hearted'. However, the weather forecast was for mid-afternoon rain so we had to get a move on. By late morning we were striding up through Trow Gill and up towards the entrance to Bar Pot. The Gaping Gill winch meet was on and we could see a small village of BPC tents scattered around the top of GG. The diagram that Mike provides in his book saw us to the entrance to Grange Rigg without any problems and we got kitted up. Standing at the entrance, where two surface streams join to tumble underground we decided that Grange Rigg was probably a cave where the lower reaches could flood dramatically. With this in mind we wanted to be out by 3 O'Clock and set ourselves a turn-around time accordingly. Two hours in, allow three hours out and we wouldn't get stuck! We dropped into the comfortable sized entrance and followed the stream down to a traverse and the top of the first pitch. This 14m pitch is a clear hang down a fine shaft and lands in the streamway at the bottom. A narrow passage leads down to the head of the second pitch (3m) and a short crawl leads to the third pitch (5m). This is descended in two parts with a ledge halfway down and the top of the pitch is particularly awkward. We spent a lot of time looking for a way down the fourth pitch (11m). It turns out that there are three options for the fourth pitch and we explored all these and more before finally descending the correct one on 8mm Spits. From the bottom of the fourth a low crawl leads to some egg-timer shaped passage. By the time we reached here our two hours were up and we turned around. Everything was fine on the way out and we were greeted by fairly persistent rain on the surface. Shame not to have reached the bottom of this one but plan to return on a drier day. An exchange trip between Grange Rigg Pot and Christmas Pot would be excellent.