Marble Steps Pot
|Regions \ Yorkshire Dales \ The Three Counties System and the North West \ Marble Steps Pot|
Grid Reference: SD 680 771
Altitude: 384 m
Easily spotted by the trees surrounding the entrance.
Marble Steps Pot can be split into two halves; upper and lower, seperated by the 240ft Rift.
- Wet route
In the true left-bank of the stream. Short pitch quickly followed by a further short pitch - at this point the Sidewinder Route is joined.
- Sidewinder route
At the Gully pitch-head a traverse across reaches a pitch, this is soon joined by the Wet Route.
The combined routes continue along a short pasasge to the main pitch, which becomes more spacious as you enter the Main Chamber, this route descends all the way to the floor of the Lower Main Chamber.
- Gully route
The Gully provides the quickest and easiest route to the Main Chamber. From the surface the obvious entrance slope can be climbed down to the head of the pitch (it is possible to rig a handline if conditions dictate.) At the base of the pitch the boulder slope can be followed down to a further pitch to the Lower Main Chamber. An alternative to avoid the pitch is in the opposite direction (up slope) where you then climb down into the NW Rift, followed by a climb down through boulders and following a crawl with a further clamber down rocks to emerge in the Lower Main Chamber.
- Steps Pot
Recently connected entrance that connects via Branch Aven and NW Rift.
- Lost Marbles
Another recent addition that connects to the Lost Inlet Series, Branch Aven and NW Rift.
At the bottom of the (Lower) Main Chamber the obvious route leads to a short pitch / handline climb, from here the 240ft Rift leads off.
At the end of the 240ft Rift the route bears left and thus leads to Stink Pot (after having traversed over the blind Pillar Pot), at the bottom of this pitch the two lower routes diverge:
- Ninety route
The classic route taking in a fine pitch. From the bottom of Stink Pot a step over a hole in the floor and short passage reaches The Ninety, at the bottom another pitch quickly follows and this lands on a ledge with a short pitch to the lower stream (also accessible via a sloping climb).
- Intestines route
Some interesting pitch heads provide a bit more challenge than the Ninety route. The hole below Stink Pot is descended to a further short drop, a crawl leads to the next short pitch, from which a further crawl arrives at the next pitch. A short section of walking arrives at the last pitch in to the lower stream passage.
The lower stream passage ends in a sump, which is at the same level as Keld Head. Digging in this lower passage area has yet to reveal any significant progress.
Call at Masongill Farm.
Marble Steps Pot would have been known about for a long time owing to the open nature of the pothole.
In 1966 ULSA dug in Steps Pot (after BPC had previously investigated it a few months earlier), it ended too narrow 1.
In 2008 Steps Pot was finally connected to Marble Steps Pot after some enlargement 2.
Lost Marbles entrance was opened in 2008 after grass was spotted billowing in a draft opposite the Wet Entrance. Digging commenced with the connection to the Lost Inlet Series being made 3.
References and Further Reading
- "Marble Steps Pot", ULSA Explorations Journal 1969, p 7-8
- Ramsay D, "Connecting The Steps", Descent 205, p 9
- Bendall R, "Lost Marbles Entrance", Descent 202, p 15