Description of Link Pot - NGR SD 6688 8031

Entrance Series: Hylton Hall and Lancaster Hole connection

The entrance to the system lies approximately 1000 yards downstream from Cow Dub on the left bank of Easegill, directly in-line with a fissure in the streambed.

The excavated entrance leads directly onto a fifty foot pitch in a narrow fissure. The climb is constricted for the first twenty feet until a silted bedding plane is met; after this the shaft gradually opens and, on landing, is four feet wide. Facing the ladder, right leads directly to a choke beneath the gill. Left leads to a stoop and a short descent down boulders to emerge dramatically in the side of a huge streamway (Hylton Hall), which is approximately fifteen feet square. Upstream, the passage can be followed for fifty feet to where it gradually decreases in height, and continues as a flat out crawl amongst boulders. It terminates after forty feet in a massive collapse beneath hte gill. A crawl to the left at this point, ends after a few feet; it, too, becoming choked.

Back at the entrance slope, looking directly across Hylton Hall, an aven can be seen, on the floor of which are some large blocks. A climb of fifteen feet here (scaling equipment needed), leads to a passage in the roof which connects with the junction of Muddy Crawl and By-pass Route.

Back in Hylton Hall, the passage can be followed downstream, past huge blocks, for 100 feet. A small outlet passage can be observed in the left-hand wall. This can be entered via a very tight squeeze, only to become too tight within a very few feet.

At the downstream end of Hylton Hall, a boulder slope ahead can be ascended to a hole which leads to a large vaulted chamber which is unstable in places. If the left hand wall is followed, a low crawl can be entered beneath a rift climb (climbed for fifteen feet to a choke), to emerge in a small chamber. Right leads to a further boulder slope and a westward trending unstable passage which can be followed for eighty feet to a small hole down amongst loose boulders, to a draughting choke.

At the downstream end of Hylton Hall, at the base of the first boulder slope, left leads to a low chamber with a hole in the floor amongst boulders on the right. Down the hole, an enlargement leads to a short climb down into a clean washed streamway; upstream ends almost immediately in a massive choke.

Downstream can be followed in a meandering passage for a short distance until a short descent is encountered. From this point the passage changes in character, from clean washed, into an extremely unstable area (Hara-Kiri Highway), beneath Easegill. The route continues unpleasantly to a large block protruding from the roof (Pit and Pendulum) choke. Passing this object requires care, as the block appears to be supporting tons of rock in the roof. Beyond the block the route continues downward to a hole in the floor amongst boulders, all of which appear to be in a dangerous condition. Because of this, great care is recommended when traversing this section of the cave.

Beyond the unstable hole one emerges into a cleanwashed stream passage once more.

Upstream, the passage can be followed past several chke inlets for 200 feet until it turns sharp left. At this point the passage degenerates from hands and knees to flat out crawling in mud for a further 200 feet to where progress is halted by a mud bank.

Downstream, a climb over a boulder leads back into the stream and after a few feet an inlet on the left is noted. This can be followed for a short distance to where it terminates at a consolidated choke. However, a small passage can be seen entering on the right. This is an alternative route to the head of Echo Aven Pitch.

Continuing downstream from the inlet, a walking-sized passage can be followed for 150 feet to a sharp bend to the left which emerges directly at the head of Echo Aven shaft. Eighty feet of ladder is required here for the descent into the Stake Pot extension in the far reaches of Lancaster Hole.

Pippikin Link and Night Shift Series

From the endtrance pitch proceeding downstream for twenty feet, a slit can be seen in the left hand wall, leading up to a squeeze into a large rift (By-puss Pybas). Beyond the squeeze in the rift passage, a climb up the left hand wall for ten feet leads to a short section of passage to a fifteen foot pitch down into Hylton Hall. Directly opposite the climb, a low crawl for 150 feet in glutinous mud, leads into the chamber at the downstream end of Hylton Hall.

Straight ahead from the By-pass, the rift passage can be followed to where it decreases in height to enter a phreatic arched passage. The way on continues as alternate stooping and walking over mud banks (and above a unique false floor formation) to Squid Junction.

Left at Squid junction, the passage almost immediately degenerates into hands and knees crawling, passing two inlets on the left. The second inlet is a large rift containing two avens (which have been scaled), the way on becoming too small. Back in the rift, it, too, becomes too narrow, ending in an ascending boulder slope. Returning to the main passage from Squid Junction, the way on continues low and muddy to an aven where one can stand. Beyond this, flat-out crawling continues past mud and water wallows and a further small aven and inlet to an ascending passage leading to a small chamber. The way on out of the chamber continues as a low crawl in an abominable passage two-thirds full of liquid mud. After approximately fifty feet the mud becomes more solid and the way on eases slightly, until after forty feet an enlargement is met. The passage continues as hands and knees crawling for a short distance to emerge at Dusty Junction in Pippikin Pot.

Back at Squid Junction, the right hand branch continues walking-sized in a fine phreatic tunnel until Night Shift Chamber is reached. A hole in the floor directly across from the entrance of the chamber can be descended for a few feet to a choke of mud and boulders. To the right of the hole, at the top of a mud slope, is a low crawl for twenty feet to a small chamber with an excavated fifteen foot pitch into a further chamber with no way on.

Returning to Night Shift Chamber, to the left of the entrance, a hole amongst boulders leads down to a dig (Black Hole), which leads through to Night Shift Series. From Black Hole dig, a short crawl soon increases in height until a passage to the left can be seen. If this is entered, progress can be made by crawling to a small hole in the floor, beyond which a series of tight corners can be passed, until the passage finally closes down.

Back in the crawl from the Black Hole, the passage continues as a muddy hands and knees crawl to a junction. Straight ahead continues low for approximately 100 feet until the passage decreases in height to terminate in a mud-fill solution tube.

Returning to the junction in Black Hole Passage, the left hand route enlarges to reach a deep rift in the floor (The Canyon). A stride over this leads to a further junction. Left is Arrow Passage, which leads to a series of crawls in a complex of phreatic tubes to emerge in the side of a large passage eight feet in diameter. Upstream soon chokes with fill, whilst downstream continues for a short distance until it terminates in damnation aven.

The passage on the left at the base of the aven can be followed for a considerable distance until progress is halted by mud banks.

Back at Damnation Aven an ascent of unstable boulders for fifteen feet leads to a roof tunnel on the left. This can be followed for several hundred feet to where it ends at a draughting choke which, at the time of writing, is still being excavated.

Returning to the junction of the Canyon with Arrow Passage, right leads to a walking-size passage with a deep rift in the floor. Occasional traversing and walking leads out into China Dog Chamber, which contains interesting formations. Out of this chamber, a stalagmite boss on the left acts as a doubtful belay for a twenty-five foot ladder pitch down into the Canyon.

Downstream from the bottom of the ladder, a meandering passage (muddy in places), can be followed for approximately 200 feet to a short climb down to where it enlarges at the head of a large boulder slope (The Ramp). Down the boulder slope is a large passage which continues until the passage closes down. A squeeze at floor level leads to a low crawl, finally becoming too low after a few feet.

Upstream from the bottom of the twenty-five foot ladder pitch, the muddy passage soon joins the stream and a short traverse leads to a large inlet (Tiger's inlet), fifteen feet up in the right-hand wall. Beyond Tiger's Inlet the passage continues to an area of collapse, where a route through boulders leads to a complex series of passages, all of which are very unstable and should be treated with respect. A route beneath the boulders regains the stream which can be followed via a very low wet bedding plane for thirty feet, until a climb up into a small passage on the right leads to a chamber and further passage which doubles back above the bedding plane, to enter high in the roof above Tiger's Inlet.

Serendipity Series and Easy Street

A fifteen foot climb up Tiger's Inlet leads into a walking-size clean-washed streamway which can be followed for 250 feet to a short climb where the passage subdivides. Right here continues as walking size for a short distance, before a false floor makes flat-out crawling necessary. After 100 feet, the passage ends abruptly in a boulder choke, just before which a small outlet passage can be seen on the right. This can be entered - only to become too tight after a few feet.

Returning to the boulder choke, a route up through boulders emerges in the floor of a large chamber (Hand Pump Hall), containing several formations and two inlet avens (of twenty-five feet and thirty-five feet) - both of which have been scaled but have no passable way on.

Right, from the point of entry into the chamber, leads to a fine phreatic arched passage with gours in the floor, which becomes too tight after fifty feet. However, the way on can be seen to continue.

Left, from the point of entry to the chamber, leads to the base of the thirty-five foot aven. Beyond this, another small inlet passage can be seen which chokes after a few feet of tight crawling.

Back at the base of the thirty-five foot aven, a tight slot on the left at floor level leads to a short low crawl to a short climb down to a sizeable passage. This can be followed to where it emerges in the side of hte main streamway once more, just upstream from the junction beyond Tiger's Inlet climb.

Continuing upstream in the inlet passage, a small climb up on the right enters a flat-out crawl over fill. Then follows a climb down to where the tunnel enlarges to impressive dimensions at Cairn Junction, where three ways on can be seen. The left hand and centre routes unite to form Molten Mars Bar crawl.

From Cairn Junction, the right hand route can be followed at stooping height for a short distance to emerge in a low chamber (Death Row), with formations. The way on continues flat-out to a junction. Ahead becomes too low, but the right hand branch 'goes' to emerge in the Big Bedding Plane. Left here via squeezes, emerges in Molten Mars Bar Crawl, whilst right continues low for 200 feet to a passage on the left with a deep pool. Ahead, from the junction, a low passage continues for a short distance, to emerge at the head of a huge canyon, thirty feet long by fifteen feet wide by twenty five feet deep (Serendipity). A traverse around the lip of this leads out into a large streamway.

Upstream is a large canyon passage for 300 feet, until the going lowers to flat-out, and the passage sub-divides. Left enters a flooded phreas, whilst the right-hand branch continues as a low-airspace crawl for a considerable distance, to emerge in an unstable chamber. A route down through boulders here enables the stream to be regained, to a further section of low airspace crawling to a duck into a shattered chamber with a route up to a choke.

Back at Serendipity, the stream plunges down a twenty-five foot fall. However, a traverse to the right leads to a dry ladder hang of fifteen feet to a large ledge, from which a ten foot climb down leads to the stream. This can be followed for twenty feet until it shoots out into a spacious seventy foot deep shaft.

Bolt belays provide a semi-dry hang for the ladder. The climb down is split by ledges at twenty feet; from here a dry climb is possible for the next fifty feet, to the landing on a large, windy ledge. From Windy Ledge, a further wet pitch of twenty feet lands in a deep pool. On the right of the deep pool a small inlet can be seen, which can be followed for thirty fet, until it becomes too tight above a beautiful gour pool.

A traverse round to the left of the deep pool leands to a fine, wide, high streamway (Easy Street)m which now continues as a 2,000-foot passage with its share of fine formations and boulder obstacles, to a sump which has been dived for 175 feet, to emerge in a large airbell leading to a crawl for ninety feet to another sump. This has been dived for 260 feet, to emerge in the waterfall chamber of Pippikin Pot.

Downstream in Easy Street, 1,500 feet from the last pitch, Cobble Inlet enters on the right. This can be followed for a seemingly unending 700 feet of flat-out crawling, to a squeeze at a calcite barrier. Beyond is more crawling to a choked draughting streamway which has been dye-tested from the Ramp.


Tackle required (in feet)

Entrance Pitch50560
Echo Aven7510100
China Dog25530
Tiger's Inlet (scal. pole)20 (20)Crab30
Serendipity 25201530
Serendipity 7075Crab100

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