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Rowter Hole - 18 May 2008

Sunday May 18th 2008

Members present: Adam Wilkinson,  David Mackie,  Kevin Francis,  Mark Sims,  Matthijs Bouwman

Report by Matthijs Bouwman

Small cave/mine.

You can park at rowter farm camp site, from which it is only 5 min walking to rowter hole. The entrance has recently been recapped, and this makes it very easy to find. It consists of a lot of metal fence and has rusted sheets of metal across the top (of which we now know can hold a person, thanks to Adam).

The entrance pitch is 69m long, with a re-belay and deviation about halfway. These are not necessary, but make life a lot easier when going back up. Next pitch is to the right, uphill. Don't rig the first unstable shaft, but the second. This leads to a small passageway which at one side sumps, and at the other has a dead end.

At the beginning of the second pitch, there is also a rope rigged up the left wall. This leads to hypothermia passage, which is apparently a very nasty, tight and wet crawl for about 24 meters. We didn't do it though.

At the base of the first pitch, there is a way on to the left. Climbing down here leads to a small chamber with loose stones on the floor, from which there are two ways on. One leads to what looks like an active dig, with a dodgey rope hanging from somewhere :)
The other way leads to a sandy passage, this goes on for only a few meters, leading to a big chamber. The way on from here is via a fairly high and tricky freeclimb. There is a lifeline, but Adam said it was very dodgey, so no-one else went up there.

And thats basically all there is to it. All that remains is the 69m entrance shaft to go up to.

My fun rating is three because of the incredible views of the valley at the entrance.