14 December 2021

Snow 2 – Cavers 0. The attempts of Curtain Pot.

Rachel Findlay

It all started a couple of weeks ago during the York Uni Club’s Christmas Meal (or lack of - which is another story!). As we were staying at Halton Gill bunk barn, we had planned a trip to nearby Curtain Pot and in unusual efficiency had even pre-packed the ropes the weekend before after a Sunday dig in Canary Pot. However, Storm Arwen had other ideas as we awoke to a snow-covered Dales and lack of electricity. Still in high spirits, despite the unknown return of power, we ditched the caving gear and piled into the Defender.



We made decent progress up the hill deploying the Defender’s handy diff lock. Hopes were high for a winter walk to find the entrance of Curtain so at least we’d have figured out its whereabouts. However, now much higher up the snow had completely blocked the road and without a snow plough we hastily turned around.



A couple of weeks later and we were back at the Greenclose, with electricity and a cosy fire for attempt 2 at Curtain Pot. The roads were no issue this time. We changed in the drizzle and set off on the long walk across Fountains Fell soon reaching the line of shake holes that we knew Curtain was in amongst. Again, the snow had other ideas as it had plugged almost all the shake holes.



It was impossible to recognise which one was Curtain and we really didn’t want to accidentally end up down Strangle Pot. Despite, wandering back and forth the fell for some time and some digging efforts from ‘dig Findles’ the usual silliness ensued; the snow had defeated us once more. We finished taking our caving gear for a walk and headed for the pub.



Perhaps we’ll be luckier on attempt 3? I think we’ll wait until the Spring.

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