Saturday April 21st 2012
Boggarts Roaring Holes (sort of)
Ade, Cat, Toby
Sunday February 27th 2011
Boggarts Roaring Holes
Gary, Wilky, Matt
A great return trip to Boggarts. Quite a difficult cave to find, but it can be found just a couple of hundred metres along the base of the steep gritstone cap of Ingleborough. A GPS is highly recommended for the return trip as if the mist comes down during your trip then finding your way back to the footpath would be a difficult task.
Several holes present themselves, but the way down is by the side of a prickly tree growing at the top of the shaft. Some unpleasant smelling dead sheep at the bottom hurry you onwards through the narrow window leading onto the second pitch (the less obvious of the two routes). This is easy enough on the way down but a bit of a struggle coming out. From the bottom of the second pitch a narrow sideways thrutch leads immediately onto the third pitch. Gary rigged an extra loop of rope to clip into here, as you emerge head first over the pitch! It's quite acrobatic to swing your legs onto the pitch head, but once you've done this there's a nice ledge to stand on and the pitch becomes easy.
A short rift-like crawl later and the fourth pitch is reached. The anchor for this is high up on the left wall around the corner of the pitch head and is difficult to rig. Getting on this pitch is not too much of a problem, but again, coming back up is difficult as the you must depart from the pitch head into an ascending tight squeeze! A small ledge at the pitch head allows you to perch your backside on while you thrutch your legs into the slot to allow a feet-first departure from the pitch!
This pitch immediately opens out to a nice spacious shaft. From the bottom, a flat out crawl over two holes reaches the fifth pitch, where we turned around last time due to a large volume of water going down here. Steve had unfortunately done his arm in and we decided that we would turn around again here - no objections - as finishing caving early on Sundays is always welcome! Gary rigged and went down the fifth pitch to recce it, and found that the small amount of water entering here was disappearing down a slot, which was not the way on. Therefore, it seems that the time we were here last must have been exceptionally wet, and that under 'normal' wet conditions (it had been raining all week before, and the ground was saturated) there are no issues. Good to know for a return visit!
The return trip is much more strenuous than the downward trip!
Boggarts is a superb cave, as it presents lots of interesting pitch-head challenges and unusual rigging, but without being continuously tight. Each squeeze is rewarded by a nice spacious area, or a fine spacious pitch, with little chance of getting bored. We got to the bottom of the fifth pitch and out again in three hours, so bottoming this cave should be about 6-7 hours. The guide in Not For the Faint Hearted is, as usual, spot on and highly recommended.
Saturday July 11th 2009
Boggarts Roaring Holes
Gary, Matt, Mark, Ade
Due to an impending raincloud advancing on the UK we opted out of Dowbergill Passage in favour of a safer way to spend the weekend. We headed up to the Moors for a day of digging on the Saturday, and then on Sunday after the heavy rain had passed we decided on Boggarts Roaring Holes as being an excellent wet weather option.
We had taken two previous trips to this caves near neighbour, Trapdoor pot over the previous year, also a wet weather option, and had one of the most enjoyable trips we'd had in ages. Therefore our hopes were high for a similar adventure from Boggarts.
After a long walk up the hill, in the good company of another caver who we'd met in Ingleton (who was originally going to join the trip until realising that it was Boggarts Roaring Holes, and not Roaring Holes that we were going to) we stumbled upon the trio of collapsed shakeholes comprising the entrance. After significant dilemma about where to descend, a rope was rigged down through a prickly tree in the central shakehole to reach a ledge from where hangers allowed for a free hang down the entrance shaft was gained (the cave is now fitted with in situ hangers throughout).
From the bottom the way on is the less obvious route passing under a bell-shaped constriction to the head of the short second pitch. A short and easy thrutch then gave access to the head of the third pitch, which dropped to the bottom of a narrow rift, accompanied by a rotton dead sheep. Our hats go off to the adventurous sheep, who clearly, having survived a fall down the entrance pitch managed to negotiate the second pitch only to be overcome by the third.
A further thrutch reaches the fourth pitch which drops down to a chamber from where the way on is a floor level wiggle. From here the sound of crashing water could be heard and we started to worry! We were under the impression that Boggarts was passable in all weather. However to our disappointment the next pitch was deluged by a waterfall entering on the far wall, and descent would have been very wet indeed. Furthermore, the water was all flowing away down the bedding crawl that lead further into the cave. None of us were inclined to make the descent so we turned around at this point and were out at a very civilised hour.
As far as we got, Boggarts hadn't held up to its inclusion in the '50 Harder Caves of Yorkshire' Book... with no desparately difficult bits, and just some awkward pitch heads. Therefore we can only assume that below this wet pitch the fun really starts, and I'm looking forward to a return trip under drier conditions.