• Out now!!

    'Descent issue 292 has a publication date of 3 June and should be with subscribers soon.'.

    New Descent board here:

County Pot


Active member
We had a very nice trip today in County Pot. There's a rope on the first pitch, and on the Poetic Justice chimney, and the second pitch (into Pierce's Passage).

We didn't remove them just in case someone was in there.

Can we think about removing some or all of these? I'm happy to go and do it.

I know there's an argument for keeping the first pitch rigged because it can be a flood escape route, but it hasn't always been rigged.



I was under the impression someone decided to permanently rig County at the moment due to Wretched Rabbit being closed. Not that that means rope removal shouldn't be discussed.

Andrew N

Active member
That rope on County has been there since last year. It didn’t seem in too bad condition either when I was last there a couple months ago. I agree it is useful whilst Wretched is closed.


Well-known member
Is useful a good justification for leaving ropes in caves?
The word "useful" was used in a specific context, and was not a general comment about fixed ropes in caves. Other nearby useful fixed ropes are those leading into the Earby lower series, those in Fall Pot, and Stake Pot. Are you proposing to remove those as well? In this particular case, whilst WR is unavailable, the fixed rope on the County entrance allows a good alternative exit for pull-throughs for a number of routes.


I don't know about 'useful' but I think it is necessary until WR is usable again. ( Which had had fixed ropes for many years without sensible arguments for their removal )
Not everyone uses this forum or FB and regularly do pull throughs from Top Sink, Boundary, Pool Sink , Sylvester and even Link. They do this knowing that the County rope has been left in place for the reason stated in previous posts..
I consider it essential if unnecessary call-outs are to be avoided.


New member
Is useful a good justification for leaving ropes in caves?
Bolts are 'useful'.. It's a spectrum, and invariably people will have differing opinions on specifics. I agree certainly that we should reduce the amount of tat rope in caves to that which has obvious advantages, perhaps there is disagreement about whether the entrance rope meets that criteria.

I don't think there are any strong conservation / access / safety issues with leaving this particular rope in-situ until Wretched is made safe which is expected this summer is it not?


Active member
People above are referring to 'the' County rope, and 'County entrance'. I interpret this to mean the County Pot 1st pitch. I can see the argument for leaving this rigged temporarily since it cannot (?) be bypassed. On the other hand that pitch is very near the surface and - like Lancs entrance - is easily and prudently pre-rigged by any party wanting to later exit that way.

However, the OP mentioned three ropes; the other two being the rope on the slot climb to Poetic Justice, and also the County Pot 2nd Pitch (Pierce's Passage). Both of these can easily be bypassed. In the case of the climb, can be (usually is?) climbed without a rope or a rope thrown over the bridge if required from below. In the case of the pitch, the tat is filling the drilled thread that forms the first anchor, precluding anyone else from tying in there.

My feeling after reading the above contributions would be to clear the PJ climb handline tat immediately, and the two pitch ropes later this summer. Long term I would like all three locations to remain clear of tat / fixed ropes. I don't want people to associate County Pot with a 'tackle free' exit and then think its okay to fit stainless stemples or cap out foot steps like has happened nearby in recent years.


I agree it should be left in place till WR is sorted, personally if i was doing any through trip to County i would check its in place, its only 15 minutes each way to do this


Active member
It used to be possible to climb up to a point where a big metal bolt could be lassoed with a rope or sling to get up through the narrow bit. It might still be there - it’s been a while.


Well-known member
The metal work is still there - one curses it when passing it, and thanks it when one is standing on it.


Active member
There was an in situ rope on the 1st pitch this evening. We didn’t use it, but it looked ok.