MPC – Easegill, Wretched Rabbit to Stop Pot – Saturday 17th February 2024

Cavers - Andy, Stuart and Robin

After a detailed discussion with surveys and descriptions in the Inglesport café over breakfast, the route was planned to enter via Wretched Rabbit entrance, head to Eureka Junction, then to Stop Pot which was the turn around point. Then try and find the alternative route back via Four Ways Chamber to the start of Wretched Rabbit passage and back out.

I had agreed to come along on this trip with some trepidation as I know Easegill is a massive system with lots of route options and did wonder if the trip could turn out to be an epic, how wrong I was !

The previous weekend there had been a CRO callout to find a group of cavers who had tried to do a County Pot to Wretched Rabbit through trip but couldn’t find their way, this didn’t help.

So after heading down to Bull Pot Farm and changing is much more favorable conditions than the last time we were there ( only mild drizzle rather than heavy rain and strong winds ). We headed off over the moor, the walk in took 30 minutes and the newly rebuilt entrance was quickly found.

We slithered in the entrance pipe and crawl, soon arriving at the fixed ropes. The first two ropes are thick ship hawser types without any knots, the third is a knotted caving rope. The roped pitches are sizeable enough to think it might be a struggle back out if you’re tired. We descended these without fuss but all commented about the return trip could be hard.

We continued on through various narrowish vadose passage, with some crawling, assorted chambers and stalactites. Carefully following the description and ticking off the details. Some of the distances seemed shorter, for example one section mentioned 40m of crawling, we seemed to be through in no time so we used this as reference later when sections of 100-150 metres were described. 

County Pot Inlet on the right, Wretched Rabbit inlet on the left

Eventually the incoming passage from County Pot joined and we ticked that off and continued. Shortly we arrived at the main streamway in Eureka Junction. After a brief rest we headed upstream with the description implying to continue to a stoop into the stream with a possible bypass on a ledge on the left. We found a low point in the stream with a fair flow coming through, we explored a couple of other options before trying a bedding plane on the left. Andy headed in and I followed, it proved to be flat out and Andy reached a point he thought he could get through but wasn’t convinced this was the correct route as it wasn’t mentioned in the description. Stuart then pushed through the low point in the stream to confirm that was the right way. Andy and I followed. I suggested it wouldn’t need too much more water to make that difficult to pass. But we weren’t coming out this way I was told.

We continued on and found a chamber which we decided was Stop Pot as the description checked out. Another rest and read of the description, the way on was up a boulder slope just behind where we had come in. Off we went and before long emerged in Four Ways Chamber. The description had the route described as coming in this way, so the paragraph was read out and we reversed the instructions. Figuring out that the way on for us was at the opposite end of the chamber. We headed off to suddenly find a climb down into Wretched Rabbit passage, cutting out a significant amount of passage and the streamway. We then reversed our route from earlier back to the fixed ropes.

While the ropes were quite strenuous to climb out, it wasn’t as bad as expected. 

We quickly emerged from the cave, 2 hours and 10 minutes after entering, so much for an epic !

To be fair all the navigation had been relatively straight forward and we had only had a couple of minor route deviations. 

We wandered back over the moor to the cars/vans meeting another group of cavers heading to County Pot. Once back we decided as it was early we would head for a cuppa in Ingleton although we did wonder if parking would be difficult. On route we spotted a Tea Room that was open at Cowan Bridge so stopped there. I’ve never been there and it was very twee, tea being served in tea pots and china cups & saucers. But the cake was nice anyway !