Whilst Stu, Lee , Caiti, Phil, Lukas and Nigel enjoyed a delicious breakfast at the new Bernies Cafe Dave and Paul went ahead and rigged Shuttleworth Pot. By the time we arrived at Lost Johns car park on Leck Fell the day was bright but the wind was whistling through our locks. Followed the wall down to the entrance and descended the pitches in good time. The loose slope had a rope insitu so we had no issues there.
We wandered upslope and along Witches II South, past the pristine formations and along the taped route that protects the formations. Caiti, Stu, Phil and Lee had a look down My Newt Passage and we then continued past Painter's Alley and up the slope turning Left at the fork to have a look at the dog skeleton. A turn around and a trip along the right branch to see the smiley face drawn into the mud wall by Mr Mallinson all those years ago.
Back to the Divers Pitch and down the slope to the sump and then up the steep slope into The Exercise Yard where we wandered to the terminus. Caiti, Lee, Phil and Lukas had a look along Zig Zag Passage we then made our way out after a brief rest and chocolate bars. A quick exit, the pitches de-rigged by Phil and a longer than we thought walk back to the cars where we met Dave and Paul.
It has been five years since I have been down Shuttleworth and as the whole the conservation measures have worked well, there seems to be some degradation in a couple of areas and the dog skeleton is unrecognisable by all but the trained eye but I am sure that without the taped sections the damage to this pristine environment would be much worse.
If you get the chance I would heartily recommend this trip it is booked on December 15th 2019.
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