Alastair, Mike, Andy and I started our exploration of the Ease Gill system with Lancaster Hole. Mike had some experience of it but it was 20+ years ago since he was last in. Other club members had been in several years ago but no current members have detailed knowledge of the system so this is likely to be the first of many exploratory trips to familiarise ourselves with the massive system.
Over breakfast we decided on Lancaster Hole to Fall Pot, with an aim of trying out o get to Stop Pot along the high series and coming back the main streamway.
We arrived at the cave....manhole cover entrance around 10:40, and after a qucik picture Mike got to with rigging the entrance pitch.
Once at the bottom, I did a quck check on the compass, reading the description & survey confirmed the way on to Bridge Hall. We decided to check out the other passage (which Alastair remembered being to Slug world) if we had time on the return
In Bridge Hall we quickly found the scaffolding pole marking the start of Kaths Way and scrambled down. It wasn't too long before we found the massive car-sized block described in the guide, and went up the right hand slope to get to the top of Fall Pot, finding the climb-down route in-situ rope, along with ropes on the other 2 routes down. Andy chose the climb down, Alasdair chose the traverse/bigger pitch and Mike & I went down the middle pitch
Mike found a way down through the boulders to get us to the main streamway where we walked round to the sump, noting the passages which were for Wil Taylors passage variation
Climbing back up to Fall Pot, we found the upper passage towards Stake Pot. This passage was a little (not much, but a little) tougher going than expected due to the clay-mud & boulder climbing but there were some amazing formations on route
We got to Stake Pot and climbed down & up to the other side, and proceeded. Concious of the time, when we got to Oxlow Corner and decided that was a far as we could go. It took us all a little while to find our way down, Mike & Andy eventually finding a suitable safe way down to the streamway where we had a 5 minute break
Returning along the main streamway was a lot quicker going, again passing some great sights along the way
We all spotted the place where Fall Pot comes in. Would we see it in future trips? We shall see. But for now we climbed back up to Fall Pot, then out to Bridge Hall
Having made quick progress we had time to visit the Colonnades, which were did not disapoint
Returning to the base of the entrance pitch we found a few members of York University Caving Club exiting on their ropes. Not wanting to get in their way we went to look at Slug World which provided more pretties to photograph
All that was left to do was to get back to the surface, which we did around 3:30pm