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Rowten Pot Big Gully Route

Sunday January 13th 2013

Members present: Jonathan Booth,  Matt Gosling

Report by Jonathan Booth

A brilliant route in a classic cave! From the opposite end of the Rowten pothole to the eyehole, a bolt on the top of a low rock leads to another one on a big boulder at the edge of a jumbled slope of boulders in the top of the gully. As you face the eyehole, abb down left past a mossy slab for a couple of metres. Stooping under the slab leads to the Rowten Cave water, but the way on is left (looking towards the eyehole), traversing accross a muddy ledge to reach teh east (towards the road) wall of the gully. A seriese of rebelays leads down a slippery groove to a short drop short drop alongside a heavy waterfall into the gully proper. At the foot of the pitch a bolt in the left wall allows a traverse accross the stream to a bolt on the far wall. Follow the bolts along a ledge to another short drop where a deviation slightly further along the opposite wall keeps the rope from rubbing.

Walk along the gully floor to a bolt on the right hand wall, where a nice traverse leads to a small pitch and another traverse, ending in a Y hang above a big drop where the water falls into the main chamber. This pitch head is directly underneath the rock bridge that the eyehole route lands on. This is where it gets exciting! At first glance the pitch looks intimidating as there is usually a lot of water going down the pitch. However, a rebelay a couple of metres below the edge allows keeps the route out of the worst of it. Landing on a spray lashed ledge about 5 metres down, ignore the various old bolts and set up a deviation from a P hanger with tat on the right (facing the wall). Below this there are more old bolts, but look for a P hanger on the wall. A series of 4 rebelays forms a tricky and thrilling downward sloping traverse until a final drop gains the floor of the chamber. We turned back at the end of the traverse as the forecast was iffy and headed out to heavy snow.

This is a fantastic trip with some of the best SRT in the Dales, I can't wait to get back and finish it off, an exchange with the eyehole route is a must.