Rowten – Valley Entrance (and back again)
Saturday, 1 September 2007

With the low water conditions and not really fancying Birks Fell having done it fairly recently, I set out to do another trip I’d been keen to do for a while – the through trip from Rowten to Valley Entrance. As I was on my own I decided against the pull-through, and so I packed the necessary ropes to rig the cave. This would give me a chance to check rope lengths as well, for the new guidebook.
As someone I know had done the through trip just over a week ago I decided against practising the sumps from valley entrance, and once changed headed straight up to Rowten.

Underground just after 1pm, and steady progress was made down the cave to the bottom of the last pitch which was reached just over an hour later. Ditching the SRT gear I added some more neoprene, grabbed my mask and then headed downstream to the sumps.

The first sump is around 8m, although didn’t seem that long. Like in Langstroth, I put a large flat rock inside my wetsuit for extra weight and dived the sump facing the roof. This made diving easier. The next sump is much shorter (around 3-4m) and surfaces in another large cross-rift. The line then zig-zags to the right to the last sump, which was an easy duck with around 3.5inches of airspace. All the sumps were clear and the dive lines secure!

Once through, mask and hood were ditched and I quickly made my way down to the master cave. A quick jaunt along the superb streamway brought me to roof tunnel pitch where I made use of a ladder hanging there. Then the tedious roof tunnel passage was followed to daylight and warmth.

After a few minutes on the surface I set off back towards Rowten, and reached the sumps around 20mins later. These passed quickly and soon back at the rope. A steady prussic and de-rig saw me back on the surface for around 4.45pm after a trip of under 4hrs.

An excellent trip! Certainly adds a bit of spice to Rowten.
Ropes lengths: 40m, 60m, 70m + 30maillons + 1 sling/krab

Comments

You didn’t see my old speleotechnics battery in the longer sump did you? (not that i would really want that piece of c##p back)

Noel Snape

Tuesday, 09 October 2007

Nope, sorry! All I saw in the sump that day was a roof, a line and lots of water!

I imagine it has been laid down in a layer of sediment and cobbles and is slowly becoming part of the geology of rowten pot…….ready to confuse the future geologist as they try to explain a rather
unusual orange rock formation!

As you say, one less ‘speleo-shitniks’ in the world must be a good thing! Long live the ‘Duo’!!

Mike Bottomley

Wednesday, 10 October 2007