29 February 2024

Sneaky and Devious - Cow Pot topo update

New routes for Cow Pot

For decades, our rigging topo for Cow Pot has omitted two additional routes, which were anchored (with resin bonded stainless steel P-hangers) decades ago in parallel with the usual Direct Route. 

We don't know why these were previously omitted from the topo, but it seems a shame not to publicise them. Therefore, thanks to some great work by one of our volunteers, we have been able to update our rigging topo to include two new routes, listed in Northern Caves as Sneaky and Devious.

Sneaky route drops into Fall Pot via a parallel shaft, accessed beyond the usual Direct Route pitch, with a slightly narrow/awkward takeoff. Devious route follows the descending stream gully as you arrive at the start of the traverse, for a more staggered descent closer to the waterfall. Devious route relies on use of a few more natural belays to achieve safe rigging standards.

Devious route also allows an exchange with Lancaster Hole without descending to the bottom of Fall Pot.

Our topo and route descriptions have been updated to include these (including separating Lancaster Hole and Cow Pot into two separate topos, whereas previously they were shown as one).

The Direct Route arguably remains the most spectacular and traditional pitch. However, regular visitors to Cow Pot can now add a little variety and try Devious or Sneaky route instead, if you haven't already. Be aware that Devious will need even drier conditions than Direct Route, and Sneaky includes a narrow squeeze to get on/off the main hang (which is more awkward than the tube near the entrance), the latter which should be considered by any larger cavers.

Photo; Looking up from Fall Pot at a caver descending the Direct Route of Cow Pot, with the wide, free-hanging Y-hang rebelay visible above. Photo by Gary Douthwaite.

Copyright 2024 Council for the Northern Caving Community.