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Five Ways Pot anchoring 21-22nd October


Well-known member
Just a little bit of advanced notice, but a CNCC team are currently planning on installing anchors in the recently extended Five Ways Pot on Dowlass Moss on the weekend of 21-22nd October. We know that this isn't a well visited pothole (yet) so the chances of another group turning up are really low, but we wanted to give a heads-up to politely request cavers stay away for that weekend and a couple of days following the weekend while the resin fully hardens.

Obviously, this work is weather-depending as we understand you can get quite wet in the entrance in really bad conditions, so that may limit the endurance of the anchoring teams somewhat.

We will post here once work is complete or with any relevant updates.


Well-known member
Thanks for being so accommodating CNCC/Yorkshire people today. I had a great day, cups of tea, coffee, bacon, egg, beans, chips, lots of good company and a good caving trip.

Have a good day tomorrow, I’m sure you’ll manage one bag each. :)

Beardy, who we spotted at the lay-by seemed to suggest there were lots of caves in Yorkshire, perhaps I should visit more often!


Well-known member
Thanks Alastair for your help on Saturday (and great to see you).

Given the forecast and the storm, we were not expecting to get any anchoring done this weekend. Five Ways Pot is, we understand, perfectly passable in quite wet conditions, but some of the climbs do result in a quite a wetting, which is not ideal when anchoring and therefore not moving fast enough to stay warm. Plus, the 40 minute walk up the hill in a storm was not enticing.

But... Saturday morning... no rain... and the dry ground suggested it hadn't rained overnight. The rain didn't make it to Ingleton!

We got away from the CNCC meeting a little later than expected and, after a quick lunch, we were at the parking area for Five Ways Pot (at the bottom of the Dowlass Moss path) by 2pm. With a team of four, we headed up, and with thanks to Tim Allen as a guide, we were taken directly to the entrance which saved us having to faff about with maps/GPS to find this rather remote site.

We headed directly to the bottom of the pothole and started anchoring outwards, but with time pressing on (and a table booked for dinner) we only got anchors into the bottom two pitches. Several holes were drilled further up ready to receive an anchor the following day.

On Sunday we headed down the pothole to where we left off. It was marginally drier but still very drippy and draughty. We soon realised that we had only brought one of the two packs of anchors, so we were not going to be able to complete the job today. This was initially gut-wrenching, but nearly three hours and two and a half pitches later, we had used all the anchors and the cold was starting to bite. There were still two pitches left to anchor, so even if we had the anchors to do them, we were not going to get this finished today without hypothermia.

Therefore, most of the pitches are now anchored, and the exploration ropes and hangers have been removed. However the first two pitches, and the start of the traverse to the third pitch, are still not complete. Holes for all the anchor placements have been drilled throughout which means we can return on a future weekend and finish the job without needing to haul the drill and batteries.

Therefore, we're gutted not to have finished the job, but pleased because the forecast had me assuming no work would happen at all!

We will get back there at some point over the next month to complete the work. Five Ways Pot is an excellent pothole, nothing too challenging, some fine pitches, lots of action in relatively quick succession, and passable in fairly wet weather (albeit rather drippy in places). This is another very nice find by the 'Chums' and I expect that this will become a popular trip.

Thank you to Badlad and Pegasus for your help and hospitality over the weekend :)

We will post further once work is complete and provide a topo and description for the CNCC website.


Well-known member
We had planned to return to finish Five Ways anchoring at the weekend just gone.

However, not for the first time, the absolutely dire weather meant we decided to call it off (nothing about walking to Five Ways Pot in heavy rain appealed to us). Our next target date to finish the work will be one of the days over the new year period when we are next up staying in The Dales.

Sorry for the delays getting this one finished, it will be worth the wait :)


Well-known member
Five Ways Pot anchoring complete


Our installers have now completed work to anchor Five Ways Pot, a 2022 new discovery on Dowlass Moss :)

Work started in November and was completed on 30th December (following a 6am start from our installers to beat the torrential rain forecast for later that day). We have now published the topo and a route description on our website.

The team (with agreement from the explorers) have removed all exploration ropes and hangers.

This is a splendid 7-pitch pothole, nothing too difficult, but with plenty of variety and interest. Furthermore, Five Ways Pot is explorable in fairly wet weather, although in wet conditions one of the climbs and the second pitch (Blade Runner) become rather splashy. It remains possible that in ultra-severe weather it could become hazardous.

We are confident this is going to become a really popular trip over the coming years.

To complement this we have added a route description for neighbouring Mayday Hole to our website. This is another popular wet-weather trip on Dowlass Moss, discovered by the same team only a year before Five Ways Pot. The topo for Mayday Hole has been online for some time, but a route description was not written at the time. This has now been rectified (although the navigation is very straightforward).

Thank you to everyone involved in getting this excellent cave ready for others to enjoy.

A reminder that you can report any errors or issues with any of our topos, anchors or descriptions via our website:


Al S

Active member
Huge thanks to the diggers, cappers, stone stackers, surveyors, bolters, topo drawers and description writers for the opening of this fantastic pot. Had a great trip last night. So good in fact we missed last orders! It's worth going just to see the Tonga trench. Not only is it an amazing bit of excavation but it looks stunning too. If anyone has loads of loose limestone that needs stacking in an efficient and aesthetically pleasing fashion, get in touch with the Chums!


Well-known member
Failed trip down Five Ways yesterday unfortunately. What I saw was a great cave though so well done to the diggers and I'll certainly be returning in drier weather.
I personally wouldn't call it a wet weather trip and would most certainly call it a wetsuit trip! I'm aware people have been down it in 'the wet' with no issues before, so perhaps a 'moderate wet weather' trip, but certainly not a 'very wet weather' trip. I would recommend anyone going in very wet weather absolutely wears a wetsuit!! In my case yesterday, I would probably have gone for a wetsuit + neoprene vest but that's because the snow meltwater made the torrent significantly colder than usual. Even without the cold of snowmelt, I would have still wanted a wetsuit. Posting mostly so others have this information and don't walk an hour up Ingleborough in driving rain just to turn around a short way into the cave like we did :)
I'm happy to give the CNCC more detailed info on how the cave responded to the heavy rain yesterday (heavy rain all day Saturday and all day yesterday, plus significant snowmelt) if it is helpful.


Well-known member
Wow, you must be a glutton for punishment going up Ingleborough yesterday!!! Still, full marks for trying.:)


Well-known member
We walked up Ingleborough on Friday and it was very 'wintry'; I guess there must have been a lot of snow-melt yesterday.


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Well-known member
Wow, you must be a glutton for punishment going up Ingleborough yesterday!!! Still, full marks for trying.:)
I would argue that my friend, who insisted we go caving when myself and my other friend suggested a day eating cake in the cafe instead, is the real glutton for punishment! She revels in misery! However, I did have a lot of fun too, once I decided to fully embrace the misery fest. So I suppose I'm just as bad. The track to Crina was like a glacier, with thick water ice, on our walk up, and a fast flowing river on our way down, so I suspect there was considerable melting going on as well as the horizontal rain!