Rift Pot
Saturday, 29 July 2006

Well, here we were again! Hungover, sleep deprived, ridden with apathy but in need of a fine caving trip!
And so, with the forecast looking iffy for later on, and not wanting to do anything that required too much effort, we set off for Rift Pot on the allotment (after breakfast at Penyghent caf of course…..no fatties on this trip so we were okay!)

Walking to the entrance from Crummack proved to be a task in itself, and the time was well spent in having a good moan about the cruelties of life, baja beach club (which was responsible for my lack of sleep) as well as many other things.

Some time later, and with much relief, the large entrance to Rift was found and after putting it off as long as I could, I set off rigging the entrance pitch, which is equipped with fixed hangers. Oddly enough, just above the first fixed hanger there is a line of poorly placed spits going straight up the wall to moor level, obviously because someone has bolted up it, but why??? One of life’s great mysteries, or not!

The brand new 60m craven rope proved to be a little scary to descend…..T’was a bit too fast for my liking, as normally I don’t have to use both hands to feed the rope through a friction krab and Petzl ‘Stop’ (more like Petzl ‘Go like f*ck and die painfully’) as I descend!!

The pitch drops into a large chamber, where we faffed about looking for the next pitch at the wrong end of the chamber……Oops! It wasn’t a mistake really, we just wanted to ‘tick’ the small hole under the large boulder that can be found at the wrong end, that quickly leads to the quite possibly the most magnificent formations in the dales. Yes, that’ll do!
About 20mins later, we passed back under the entrance pitch and found the second pitch above a large, black, obvious void. Steady progress saw us down the next few short pitches with muchos re-belays, and lots of horrible screeching and creaking as the 11mm, dry and stiff craven rope was forced through the descender. What a contrast with the descent of the entrance pitch! We were certainly having it all today!

A bit of faff ensued on the last pitch though as could only find one spit for a re-belay, which was full of crap and looked un-useable and so continued looking around. However, said spit just needed a bloody good clean out, which was awkward as didn’t have anything pointy (note to self, bring your knife next time…….I’ve finally found another use for that ‘tooth-pick’ you find on swiss army knife’s…..genious!). Soon sorted though, and arrived at the bottom.

The large passage was then followed under the very small trickle that was the streamway from Long Kin East to the start of the crawls, where we decided to call it a day and head out. The hangover was wearing off now, so there was no need to continue! Much drier than last time I was here though!!

The ascent went smoothly with Tom de-rigging, and we were soon back at the top of the entrance pitch after around 4hrs underground, where I took a few piccies before we headed back down to the car.
Rift really is an awesome trip! Its really big, and looks alot like something you would find high up in the pyrenees or something. Its definitely a good one to go and do if the weather looks unsettled, or if you’re hungover and want to do some easy caving. Shall return to play around in the crawls at the bottom.

NB: There are NO magnificent formations down that small hole at the wrong end of chamber! Just mud and rocks, held up by, well, not much as it seems!

Tom de-rigging entrance pitch
Posted by: Mike Bottomley
Size: 88kb
Width: 472 pixels
Height: 354 pixels
Posted: 31 July 2006
Tom and Gollum
Posted by: Mike Bottomley
Size: 93kb
Width: 300 pixels
Height: 439 pixels
Posted: 31 July 2006