Wednesday 7 December 2011

Rods Pot, Burrington Combe, Mendip.

When:  7 December 2011 7.15 pm to 9.30 pm.
Where: Rods pot, Burrington.  Digging trip.
Who:    Darren T, Flexx, Andy Sparrow.

 This was our second trip since joining the Cheddar Caving Club and our first digging trip. We met Andy Sparrow at the carpark just passed the cattle grid on link lane. Once we were all ready we walked off to find the entrance. Andy was telling us all about the numerous digs going on in the area and we were soon at the entrance. It’s quite a tight cave and you have to crawl round the edge of some large and deep pots, we soon arrived at the top of the 45ft pitch whereby we climbed down freehand using the flying angel technique. Andy went first and I followed, Flexx brought up the rear I think he was out of sight and couldn’t really see how we descended the pitch so he struggled to get to the bottom. We sat and chatted about the dig for a bit and then heard movement way up above us. It was Burt coming down to join us. It was decided Burt would stay at the bottom of the pitch and distribute the spoil from the digging, I would sit at the entrance to Bone Chamber about 20 feet along a passage from Burt and do the change over of the bags of spoil from one drag cart to the other, Flexx and Andy would go to the dig face about another 20 feet along the passage. While Andy was digging Flexx was busy filling the bags with spoil and loading them into the drag cart. I would then drag the cart to me by hauling on the rope, I would then transfer the bags to the next cart and Burt would then haul them to his position. All was going well until the rope became undone between me and Burt and I ended up with no cart on the end of it, and then had to crawl down the passage to retrieve the lost end of rope. A good job was done and I think we must have moved about 30 to 40 bags of spoil in all.
I even had time to crawl into bone chamber and can see why it’s got that name. Not sure what animal remains are in there but it has been there a long time.
We all decided that we had done enough for one evening and Flexx went back up the rift first. Glad Andy had told us to bring a hand jammer to aid free climbing back up with the aid of the rope. I think we both got up there reasonably well considering how much of that sticky Mendip mud we had stuck to us. Flexx’s new warmbac didn’t look too new now.
It didn’t take long to get to the last Z bend and we could smell the cold night Mendip air coming through the small rabbit hole that is the entrance and exit of Rods pot.
That was our first cave digging trip, did we make any great discoveries of new cave systems, no not this time anyway.


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