UK Caving

WHERE THE CAVES ARE - The Caving Regions => Mendip => Topic started by: Andy Sparrow on August 21, 2011, 05:49:04 pm

Title: Rod's Pot - The Murlis Loop
Post by: Andy Sparrow on August 21, 2011, 05:49:04 pm
I am very pleased to announce that after several months of work members of Cheddar Caving Club have created a new round trip in Rod's Pot.

The Murlis Loop is named after Brian Murlis - a well liked member of the MCG who died in 1997.  Brian played a leading role in the discovery of Hanging Rock Chamber in Rod's Pot.  Without his contribution this round trip would not be possible.

Currently the route is very tight but it is our intention to make it Sparrow/Waters size over the next few weeks so that 'normal' size cavers can fully enjoy this speleological delight.

Description of the Route

Until the route is enlarged I would recommend only attempting it 'anti-clockwise'.  Go through the low arch at the end of Rod's Main Chamber to the base of a steeply ascending chimney [Eyeball Aven].  Climb this to an awkward squeeze past a boulder and then through a difficult horizontal squeeze.  Down and straight ahead are routes into Hanging Rock Chamber.  To the left is a narrow rift which thin caves can pass directly - larger people need to squeeze up between jammed boulders before dropping back down to floor level. 

A small passage leads off to the left.  Follow this for a few metres to a constriction.  The crux move is to pass the tight rift and make a left turn into a small tube.  This tight difficult section is called 'No Picnic'.  Beyond the route enlarges and emerges at Whippets Junction with choked tubes to the right and straight ahead.  Turn left into Four Ecks Passage - a low muddy crawl for 10 metres.   This enlarges where a tube rigged with a traverse line leads off to the right.  This is The Nit Picker, a tight tube emerging directly over the 15 metre El Capitoff Pitch - make sure you clip to the line! 

Following the traverse line leads to Ever-Ready Passage which quickly leads a squeeze - The Resistor.  Beyond the passage enlarges and emerges at the head of the Blind Pots.


The Full Monty

It's not often, if ever, that there is a Mendip first on offer!  But here is one for somebody....  The Full Monty.   Descend Bath Swallet by abseil pull-through and then climb Purple Pot (no handline at present) to enter Rod's Main Chamber.   Follow the Murlis Loop as far as the El Capitoff.  As you emerge from The Nit Picker there are two ring bolts above you.  20 metres of rope is enough to reach the ledge - you can free climb down from there.  Abseil down to the lower series.  Follow the crawl through to the Blind Pots and then climb the second pot (fixed handline in place).  Exit via Rod's.

Here is a very crude survey:


(http://www.caveclimb.com/murlis%20loop.jpg)

Let me know how you get on! 

The race is on for the first Rod's/Bath Full Monty.....
Title: Re: Rod's Pot - The Murlis Loop
Post by: Cap'n Chris on August 21, 2011, 06:51:05 pm
Well done you lot! - thanks to your, and WCC diggers', efforts, Rod's-Bath had already become the "best" trip in Burrington and this latest addition is going to rank it as a top sporting trip in due course, I reckon. Fabulous.

 8)  :)

Although I never met Brian his starring role in the acclaimed film "Solo" and this trip means his name, and image, lives beyond his too-short years. His rigging in Cave Safe 3 of the formative section of Castle's Hairy Ring was an inspiration to me as a wannabe SRTer, I recall.
Title: Re: Rod's Pot - The Murlis Loop
Post by: Judi Durber on August 21, 2011, 08:17:40 pm
That is a lot of Squeezing  :o

4 squeezes
3 tights
2 smalls
1 narrow
1 thin

WELL DONE I do appreciate you doing all the hard work but I might wait a bit until a few people have enlarged it a bit (like what happened in bath - Rods)

Fabulous  :clap2:  :clap2:  :clap2:
Title: Re: Rod's Pot - The Murlis Loop
Post by: JeremyG on August 21, 2011, 10:12:41 pm
Well done on discovering this, I am very pleased that it has been named after Brian who I knew well and had the pleasure of caving and digging with in the '90s.
Title: Re: Rod's Pot - The Murlis Loop
Post by: whitelackington on August 22, 2011, 10:11:00 am
What brilliant news Mr. Sparrow, keep up the good work, this is just the sort of thing we want under Mendip, much appreciated,
 all I've got to do now is loose a shed load of weight, any tips?
Title: Re: Rod's Pot - The Murlis Loop
Post by: Elaine on August 22, 2011, 10:56:00 pm
Stop eating.
Title: Re: Rod's Pot - The Murlis Loop
Post by: tony from suffolk on August 22, 2011, 11:17:39 pm
Huh! Easy for you to say Elaine, you're just one great big eye! No troublesome adipose tissue to worry about.
Title: Re: Rod's Pot - The Murlis Loop
Post by: Andy Sparrow on August 23, 2011, 09:13:58 am
What brilliant news Mr. Sparrow, keep up the good work, this is just the sort of thing we want under Mendip, much appreciated,
 all I've got to do now is loose a shed load of weight, any tips?

You don't need to diet, Mick.  Just give us a month or two and it will become normal caver size. 
Title: Re: Rod's Pot - The Murlis Loop
Post by: whitelackington on August 23, 2011, 09:14:27 am
Is Rod's Bath,
 Burringtons first system?
Any estimates of the length of this system?
Also do you know where the water is next spotted?    :-\
Title: Re: Rod's Pot - The Murlis Loop
Post by: Aubrey on August 23, 2011, 09:39:53 am
I think I will give it a miss at present.  :weep:
I believe that the only person to have actually got through is James who is really thin (and keen).
He said it was VERY tight, so without being rude I think even Elaine might not make it unless she also stops eating.  :lol:
Title: Re: Rod's Pot - The Murlis Loop
Post by: Devon Boy on August 23, 2011, 09:45:47 am
Sounds like an awesome trip.......any takers??  :bounce: :bounce: :bounce:
Title: Re: Rod's Pot - The Murlis Loop
Post by: graham on August 23, 2011, 10:06:50 am
Congratulations on the find, but might I ask the reasons for enlarging it? It's been done, it can be done & making it bigger will remove a challenge now available to our thinnest and fittest.

Why?
Title: Re: Rod's Pot - The Murlis Loop
Post by: Ed W on August 23, 2011, 12:51:29 pm
Graham, the only point which is not passable to persons of "normal" size is the connection at "No Picnic" leading to "Whippets Junction".  The tight bit is about 2m long and was passed by a thin guest of the regular digging team on Sunday.  If James had not accompanied Andy, then the regular team would have continued to enlarge the route until we could get through (probably only one more session).  It is also worth pointing out that the area of the final connection has already been artificially enlarged, and a little further enlargement will not greatly affect the nature of the trip.

Obviously those of us who have put in a large number of trips into realising this loop would like to be able to do it (note that without the effort of a few dedicated regular diggers, who also happen to be well fed, that neither side of the connection point would be accessible to anyone).  Even when enlarged, I can point out that the trip through the Murliss Loop will be a challenge to even thin cavers.  Though all the obstacles are passable to larger cavers (or soon will be) there is plenty enough of awkward thrutching to satisfy most people.  I would also note that Andy needn't have announced the connection until work had finished, thus no one would be any the wiser.  However the Cheddar CC digging team is committed to being open about what we are up to, and announcing this now does give a chance to those thinner cavers wishing to sample the loop in its current state before the further slight enlargement takes place.

This will then result in a fun sporting trip that should bring enjoyment to many cavers rather than a collectors item to be ticked off by the minority.

Hope this answers your question,


Ed
Title: Re: Rod's Pot - The Murlis Loop
Post by: Amata on August 29, 2011, 05:57:49 pm
OMG congrats! And sounds like a lot of fun. I love tight little spots :D My fav cave obstical so far was a boulder choke in a cave in TAG that you can get through if you know the way - otherwise you'd get lost - it's a 3D maze of belly/crawling size SO MUCH FUN. :D
Title: Re: Rod's Pot - The Murlis Loop
Post by: whitelackington on September 06, 2011, 10:10:43 am
Stop eating.
How rude. :ras:
Title: Re: Rod's Pot - The Murlis Loop
Post by: Thomas Tom-Thomas on November 28, 2011, 07:34:17 pm
Hello,
Did this loop on Saturday morning and had a great time doing it.  Thought I'd just say thanks for posting the description and survey.  If they hadn't been posted here I wouldn't have known anything about the trip.  Suffice to say it was the highlight of my first trip down Rods/Bath and generated a number of big smiles.  There's some high quality wriggling to be had in there!

Me and the guy I was with both agreed that the survey and description were spot on and easy to follow  :thumbsup:.

Thanks for getting this info out there.  It's appreciated.

Tom
Title: Re: Rod's Pot - The Murlis Loop
Post by: Aubrey on November 28, 2011, 10:52:17 pm
You might be interested to know the link (loop) was enlarged last week  :thumbsup: :thumbsup:

However I am told it is still not my size   :thumbsdown:
Title: Re: Rod's Pot - The Murlis Loop
Post by: Andy Sparrow on November 28, 2011, 11:44:20 pm

However I am told it is still not my size   :thumbsdown:

Nor, sadly, mine either.
Title: Re: Rod's Pot - The Murlis Loop
Post by: Les W on November 29, 2011, 12:03:19 am

However I am told it is still not my size   :thumbsdown:

Nor, sadly, mine either.

...then you are digging with the wrong people...  :tease:

Every digging team should have a fat bloke to determine standard passage size.  :lol:
Title: Re: Rod's Pot - The Murlis Loop
Post by: Andy Sparrow on November 29, 2011, 08:26:54 am

However I am told it is still not my size   :thumbsdown:

Nor, sadly, mine either.

...then you are digging with the wrong people...  :tease:

Every digging team should have a fat bloke to determine standard passage size.  :lol:

And every digging team should have a skinny whippet to push through first - the awful thing is I used to be one and now I'm the other!
Title: Re: Rod's Pot - The Murlis Loop
Post by: Burt on November 29, 2011, 12:31:36 pm
I tried the loop last week, still too tight but a bit of forward progress nevertheless. However James, our tame whippet, managed it and even found a place to turn around. He is very skinny, though. Here's 2 pics of him in he squeeze; the first shows his legs after going through the squeeze, the second is him coming back.

(http://img444.imageshack.us/img444/1612/murlisloop5.th.jpg) (http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/444/murlisloop5.jpg/)
(http://img18.imageshack.us/img18/539/murlisloop7.th.jpg) (http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/18/murlisloop7.jpg/)


ChCC will be making this bigger with a bit of chiselling soon, so the "normal" caver will be able to enjoy it.
Watch this space.
Title: Re: Rod's Pot - The Murlis Loop
Post by: James Hall on November 30, 2011, 12:39:47 pm
Nice photos - it gets slightly easier each time. The birth of a cracking, sporting trip!
Title: Re: Rod's Pot - The Murlis Loop
Post by: synchrosteph on December 29, 2011, 07:38:39 pm
Looking forward to helping on the digging again next year! :D
Title: Re: Rod's Pot - The Murlis Loop
Post by: jmc on December 31, 2011, 02:26:01 pm
Just did the loop today, was very enjoyable trip  ;D. Well done for all the hard work finding it
Title: Re: Rod's Pot - The Murlis Loop
Post by: Ali M on December 31, 2011, 06:20:02 pm
Excellent trip  - well done Andy and the Cheddar Diggers.  :thumbsup:
The squeezes were fun and the worst bit of the Loop was the strenuous scrabble up the first vertical tube near Rod's Main Chamber.  Our advice is not to wear thermals under your furry!

Hopefully you will get a link to Drunkard's in the future as this would be great addition to the Rod's - Bath through trip.
Title: Re: Rod's Pot - The Murlis Loop
Post by: whitelackington on March 03, 2012, 12:32:21 pm
Congratulations on the find, but might I ask the reasons for enlarging it? It's been done, it can be done & making it bigger will remove a challenge now available to our thinnest and fittest.

Why?
Quite, I agree with Graham, it should be kept for the Elite Dwarfs.
Just like Upper Flood Swallet, Pierre's Pot and Battery Swallet.
Why should fat people be allowed to go caving.
Title: Re: Rod's Pot - The Murlis Loop
Post by: Thomas Tom-Thomas on May 13, 2015, 06:51:10 pm
Evening Troglodytes.  I have a vague plan to try "The Full Monty" on Friday night.  Beyond the obvious tightness and general muddy squalor is there anything I need to know (Bolts missing/knackered handlines/angry dragons etc)?

Would be very grateful for any advice before I go abbing into anything  :unsure:

Cheers

Tom
Title: Re: Rod's Pot - The Murlis Loop
Post by: Thomas Tom-Thomas on May 14, 2015, 08:24:20 pm
OK.  Perhaps if I try a more specific question someone might jump in...is the handline in the second blind pot still in place?  Would be nice to know if it's there.

Thanks people.

Tom
Title: Re: Rod's Pot - The Murlis Loop
Post by: maxf on May 15, 2015, 07:49:27 am
Yes it is
Title: Re: Rod's Pot - The Murlis Loop
Post by: Andy Sparrow on May 15, 2015, 03:54:47 pm
Sorry missed this or would have replied sooner.   There are P bolts in place in Bath for a pull-through (20 meter rope will do).  Purple Pot has fixed rope which you can use as a handline and/or for self protection.   There are no bolts in Eyeball Aven (despite what it says in MU).  The critical corner in the Murlis Loop is only passable by slimmer cavers and is tricky for the long-legged (it's still not my size).  There are anchors above Capitoff to pull through and the bottom 5 metres are climbable so 20 metre rope should do it.  There is a fixed handline in place on the Second Blind Pot.  For the complete Full Monty you need to include a trip to the dig face in our extensions (down the rubber matting from the bottom Capitoff),  Enjoy, and please let us know how you get on.
Title: Re: Rod's Pot - The Murlis Loop
Post by: Thomas Tom-Thomas on May 15, 2015, 10:44:32 pm
Hello Max and Andy.  Thanks very much for you advice.  I saw them before we left, so both very useful and reassuring. Felt a bit unsure as I haven't caved in a year or so

We had a great trip from Bath, into Rods, down into the Bearpit (Eddie managed to get himself lost coming out of the bearpit), and round the Murlis loop.  That tight little turn to the left seems to have got a lot wider since I last did it (I think we went through a few days after the first person back in 2011).  It seems fairly roomy now compared to what I remember.

Setting the ab into El Capitoff was quite awkward - I took a good few goes to thread one of the bolts despite it being about 3 inches from my face, due to wedged elbows, head, hip etc.  Actually getting my lower body over and into the pitch was excellent fun too.  Once at the bottom of the pitch we had a good look at your dig face Andy.  We both felt that this was a particularly worthwhile side trip due to the unusually slippery and fine texture of the abundant mud that we found therein.  Without your suggestion we would have missed out on this delectable and characterful "Exposition Du Merde"  :-\

And then up and out.  I love squeezes and small passages, so I loved the trip.  A good work out with fun free climbing, crawling, abbing and squeezing.  Reflected on the way out that the trip is the result of an awful lot of work from the Cheddar diggers.  All much appreciated by us.

Completed the trip with a pint and a Pizza in the Plume.  Good times.

Thanks again for the advice.

Tom
Title: Re: Rod's Pot - The Murlis Loop
Post by: Judi Durber on October 06, 2019, 09:48:13 pm
Has anyone done this recently?

Quote
This enlarges where a tube rigged with a traverse line leads off to the right.  This is The Nit Picker, a tight tube emerging directly over the 15 metre El Capitoff Pitch - make sure you clip to the line!

I wondered if this was still there?
And is it still best Anti-clockwise?

Title: Re: Rod's Pot - The Murlis Loop
Post by: PeteHall on October 06, 2019, 10:14:31 pm
Definitely best done anticlockwise. The tightest squeeze is then in an uphill direction and marginally less committing. Rope was there last time I looked and no reason to think it would have been removed.
Let me know when you are going Judi, I might join you  :thumbsup: