Boggarts Roaring Holes

20 July 2009

Posted by
Matt Ewles

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.