Southampton University Caving Club

Bath Swallet to Rods Pot

Bath Swallet to Rods Pot


5.4.16 - Bath Swallet to Rods Pot - Ryan, Paul, Daniella and Cameron

After deciding to go caving as neither of us were working, Ryan and I quickly gathered our things and set off towards the Belfry. We took a scenic tour of the M27 and then turned back to pick up kit because big D decided to come and bring a friend (Cameron). After a stop off at home to rewatch an episode of GoT we went to pick up kit at the tackle store. As it turns out we still didn't have the right kit because Ryan.

We drove straight to Bath where we picked up D from a place called the Edge (my kinda place) on the Uni campus and went back to hers to get Cameron and their stuff. Whilst there we joined in a game of throwing gravel. It was more fun than it sounds, especially seeing as I was more accurate than Ryan. IOW I won.

We raved along to Burrington Combe and ascended the track to the UBSS hut utilising my 4WD and we undressed in front of some cyclists.

Leaving D and Cameron on the surface and in the sun we descended Rods pot to rig the ladded for us to come out of it later. Ryan's throwing skills had not improved in the gravel throwing game and he had to descend the ladder to take it off a ledge it had fallen on instead of going all the way to the bottom. Meanwhile D and Cameron were interrupted (what they were doing I'll leave to your imagination) by an enormous Husky that clearly wanted to join in the rolling around ;-)

We came out to find them and then proceeded to Bath Swallet to begin the descent. It was a great cave and Ryan, as a caring leader, took the trouble to tell Cameron which bits not to fall down. From what I remember you went down following the well worn rocks and then had a few crawls over some rifts to arrive in a chamber where we did the touristy 'lights out and see your imaginary hand' moment. Conveniently, Ryan was sitting in the exact place where the passage led off to the next section of cave. NB don't search about for the link through to the other cave at the bottom of this chamber it is just below the level at which you enter it and on the opposite side. Following this crawl for a bit leads you to a ropey chute where previously an un-named fresher was dropped by Ryan. D and Cameron managed it easily and we were into the join to the other cave. A low crawl gained access to a cemented tube of rocks which provided easy climbing to the place where the bottom of the ladder could be seen. Ryan went up, and decided to faff about with the rope making some sort of crochet or knitting knots whilst hanging one handed without a lifeline (what a hero!) and eventually managed to pass down to me the rop so I could at least lifeline him for the top half of the climb out. Next up came Cameron and then Daniella who kicked me on the way past 'accidentally'. To finish with I coiled the bottom half of the ladder and attached it to my belt so that I could make sure it wouldn't snag on the way out. At the top of the pitch I handed one coiled ladder over to D and Ryan (they seemed to have lost Cameron at this point) and left D to make a pig's ear of coiling the second ladder. Either way it fitted in the tackle sack and we exited the cave. On the way out I thought it would be entertaining to tip water from a bottle onto the next to exit but something about my posture above hime made Cameron think I was actually pissing on him (which I wasn't). D came out grinning thus confirming life goals achieved and Ryan was equally happy to have made it out without ballsing up.

A swift pint at the Hunters and some usual banter before dropping the Bath dwellers home. I am told that my tone of voice was patronising when I said well done to D and Cameron but all I can do is the teacher voice and it was not intended to be. (Ryan said I should have added a pat on the head aswell.)

Ryan and I went back to the Hunters just before closing and got in another few pints and a thrilling game of shove ha'penny, which I also won. We had a pleasant chat with ancient owners of the Hunters who happily confirmed that the decor has at least remained the same for the 50 years that they have been married and all artifacts have been their since their parents owned the place (wait . . . their parents are both the same set of parents . . . I may have gotten confused at this point . . . I hope it was me confused).

Overall a great day :-)


Paul 'Sky' Walker - He whose medichlorians glow in the dark.



By Paul Clement Walker