Author Topic: Ireby-Rift connection  (Read 2761 times)

Offline Andrew Wilson

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Ireby-Rift connection
« on: October 26, 2017, 10:33:20 pm »

Has anyone been through the connection from Ireby Fell Cavern to Rift Pot lately, and would care to mention how it was please?

Just wondering if it is likely to be blocked/sumped at the moment?

Thanks!

Andy

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Re: Ireby-Rift connection
« Reply #1 on: October 26, 2017, 11:14:43 pm »
assuming you have read this?

https://ukcaving.com/board/index.php?topic=21124.0

I haven't been but I think that the previously flood-prone duck now has a bypass. I can't really tell from what has been written whether this is also prone to becoming flooded or cobbled up.

Northern Caves says: 'enlarged but flatout transpennine express is true right of main streamway just before bolton extensions, bypasses original route into southeast inlet. passage may require excavation. TPE quickly reaches t junction. left imm. lowers to passage that was original route in likely to be choked with boulders. right is low awkward crawl for 60m until walking canyon which then lowers to boulders and connection with rift pot which is low crawl...'

so it sounds like it should be good but still a bit ambiguous. I'll ask Becka.
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Offline Andrew Wilson

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Re: Ireby-Rift connection
« Reply #2 on: October 26, 2017, 11:24:11 pm »
Ah, not seen that thread. Should have searched the forum rather than google!

I have the new northern caves but the thread you linked is quite reassuring.

Thanks very much. 

Andy

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Re: Ireby-Rift connection
« Reply #3 on: October 26, 2017, 11:27:22 pm »
are you planning to rig both at some point soon? I don't think Tim's rigging is still in place in Rift Pot but am perhaps wrong. I'm well up for the trip. Maybe we need to get an exchange trip together with 2 teams.
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Offline Alex

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Re: Ireby-Rift connection
« Reply #4 on: October 27, 2017, 12:18:12 am »
I might try this again this weekend, I will enter via Low Duke. It will be fun to enter Duke street without requiring SRT or ladders! Last time I tried I could not get through but I can't recall if that was before or after the changes made (I assume before).
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Offline Andrew Wilson

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Re: Ireby-Rift connection
« Reply #5 on: October 27, 2017, 06:46:12 am »
Am planning on going on Saturday, there is a CPC club meet down Ireby so we intend to go early and rig Rift before everyone else walks up and then go in with them (or just after) and do the through trip to Rift.

I'm sure we could work something out?

Andy




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Re: Ireby-Rift connection
« Reply #6 on: October 27, 2017, 09:52:14 am »
Aha, I'm not around this weekend unfortunately so another time.
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Offline Andrew Wilson

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Re: Ireby-Rift connection
« Reply #7 on: October 29, 2017, 02:23:08 pm »
On Saturday we went in and rigged Rift Pot early doors. All 3 pitches were already rigged but we put our ropes in anyway just to be sure.
We then headed up to Ireby Fell Cavern and descended with the rest of CPC. The route through Transpennine Express was ok, and the water level in the dig was fine. Approx 30-45 minutes in the passage was found to be silted up quite badly. This was just after a section where you climb up over a block and down the other side (with a very low section underneath).
There was only 6" of airspace for approx 10 feet and it looked like the roof lifted a little after that but still tight. We contemplated digging and pushing on but decided that this would take time and if we later found similar impassable blockage further in we would not have the option of returning the way we came in, as the Craven would be out.
We turned around and headed back up and then back to Rift Pot to de-rig. Not a bad day, plenty of mileage! Will return and rig Ireby next time, then always have escape route. The ropes in Rift Pot looked ok so could use those to exit if successful. It's not too much trouble to pop your head in Rift on the way past to see if the rope is still in on the way past.

Andy

Offline Alex

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Re: Ireby-Rift connection
« Reply #8 on: October 30, 2017, 06:09:02 pm »
I believe I got to the other-side of that on Saturday, we may had not been far from each other at all, though I reckon I got there far later probably around 1:30pm. My mate had failed the squeeze and I knew he was getting cold, having stripped off in an attempt to pass the calcite squeeze! So as he was freezing his knackers off, I did not try and force the mud choke this time, I managed it last time. However, I think there must had been an extra inch or two of space when I got through last time. I think the low is about 10ft long, so you guys could have dug your way through. Last time I attempted this, I managed this bit as I said but I was stopped in the muddy canal/duck further on (from Rift, as I lost my bottle on my own thinking about what I would have to reverse!) Last time I had gotten to that climb, if its the same one as I did not see it from Rift side and forced my way through underneath!
 
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Offline Andrew Wilson

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Re: Ireby-Rift connection
« Reply #9 on: November 01, 2017, 08:40:15 pm »
It does sound as though we were looking at the same thing doesn't it. How long did it take you to get there from Coates Cavern?
Was there much more water and/or silt in the rest of the passage?

I wonder if this is a case of a passage that is still being flushed clean, and after a couple more winters might be a bit clearer? The silt can surely only be that which is left in what was underwater passage before it was drained.

Anyway, I think you are right, 10 feet of digging soft mud would not stop us next time.

Cheers

Andy

Offline Alex

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Re: Ireby-Rift connection
« Reply #10 on: November 02, 2017, 12:13:38 am »
No more water than normal, except the duck in Low Duke was wetter and had definitely been sumped recently due to lots of foam on the walls some 20m back from the duck!

I had managed to force that muddy bit last time, so it should be an easy dig. With gear it took 1 hour 30 to 2 hours from Low Duke. (The route does not pass Coates cavern). Without dragging SRT gear and solo I reckon I would get there in a hour from Low Duke, at a push.
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Offline mattnuttall

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Re: Ireby-Rift connection
« Reply #11 on: April 07, 2019, 04:22:21 pm »
Finally made it through with AW yesterday... from Rift into Ireby. One of the more  ‘interesting’ experiences I’ve had. The muddy duck to get into SE inlet was harrowing, eventually succumbing to helmet off on the back ploughing a furrow with head and body,  3 or 4 failed attempts between us before this face down resulted in a lot of swallowed mud, gritty eyes, ear full of mud etc - as Andy said like being buried alive and drowning at the same time.  Never have I been so happy to make 2
Metres progress and get my head up into Ireby. Not sure even if it was dug out that it wouldn’t all just wash in again. There was about 6 inches clearance between the mud and the ceiling, and the mud fills back in around you as you dig. Nasty, scary, not going back there in a hurry. 
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Offline Badlad

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Re: Ireby-Rift connection
« Reply #12 on: April 07, 2019, 06:35:50 pm »
You might be amused that a few weeks ago I was contacted by a production team working for the One Show.  They were proposing to make a series of four minute films with adventurer Andy Torbet.  One of them, they suggested, would be the first complete traverse of the Three Counties System.  I pointed out that there were very good reasons that it had never been done since the connection in 2011 not least because of the Ireby Rift connection.  What fun they would of had doing that.  Not to mention that the Pip/Gavel dive has never been done as a traverse, would need relining, and was a horror show in silt anyway.  All for a four minute film.  You've got to laugh  :lol:

Offline JasonC

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Re: Ireby-Rift connection
« Reply #13 on: April 07, 2019, 07:28:56 pm »
I'm sure Bear Grylls would be up for making a 6-episode series out of it ...

Offline Pitlamp

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Re: Ireby-Rift connection
« Reply #14 on: April 07, 2019, 08:12:36 pm »
A producer did ask about this possibility a while ago; he wanted BG to do the full three counties system after having skydived from a plane and abseiled off Malham Cove. Said producer was persuaded that it probably wasn't going to be practicable.

In some ways I actually feel sorry for BG; he must come under a lot of pressure to do all sorts of improbable stunts. I grew to have more respect for BG when I learned how much work he does for the Scout Movement and as a charity supporter. I've also heard some good stories about acts of kindness by BG in various ways, from personal friends who have encountered him. There's usually more going on in the background than is immediately evident.

My own approach is to try not to judge someone unless I've had the opportunity to meet him or her.

Offline Andrew Wilson

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Re: Ireby-Rift connection
« Reply #15 on: April 07, 2019, 10:28:21 pm »
Finally made it through with AW yesterday...  Nasty, scary, not going back there in a hurry.


Haha, you probably said that last time. Thankfully you had forgotten enough about the previous trip (all of it, amounting to a full denial of ever having been there before) to allow me to persuade you to return.

Same time next year . . .

Offline mattnuttall

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Re: Ireby-Rift connection
« Reply #16 on: April 07, 2019, 11:28:35 pm »
Am currently nursing very painful bruised ribs and my eyes are stuck together with an eye infection from the mud. Ask me next year. Not now ;-)
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Offline Cripplecreeker

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Re: Ireby-Rift connection
« Reply #17 on: April 08, 2019, 12:05:09 am »
I’m really glad to hear this is still passable - good effort for persevering! Was the particularly grim bit before, or after the climb (from the Rift Pot side)?

Offline Andrew Wilson

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Re: Ireby-Rift connection
« Reply #18 on: April 08, 2019, 06:08:35 am »
I’m really glad to hear this is still passable - good effort for persevering! Was the particularly grim bit before, or after the climb (from the Rift Pot side)?

There is a short awkward climb at the start into Platt’s bypass, the grim duck is right at the end, after Temple of Doom (which is not as doomious as its name suggests) and both the calcite squeeze (tight) and the tight squeeze which is tighter and more awkward. You have already turned left into the Slipstream passage and are on the home straight.

Offline Badlad

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Re: Ireby-Rift connection
« Reply #19 on: April 08, 2019, 08:48:58 am »
Just to be clear in my head about it.  You effectively pushed through in one trip?  You didn't need to spend several trips reopening the route through those muddy digs?

I also noticed on a trip down Ireby a few months ago the capping work that had been done to create a short cut to the north east inlet (and therefore the start of the connection).  Do you know who was involved with that?

Cheers and bloody good effort.

Offline Andrew Wilson

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Re: Ireby-Rift connection
« Reply #20 on: April 08, 2019, 09:22:27 am »
Just to be clear in my head about it.  You effectively pushed through in one trip?  You didn't need to spend several trips reopening the route through those muddy digs?

I also noticed on a trip down Ireby a few months ago the capping work that had been done to create a short cut to the north east inlet (and therefore the start of the connection).  Do you know who was involved with that?

Cheers and bloody good effort.

Well we had a look from the Ireby side last year and backed off, as it looks worse from that side as it is tight straight away and at that time we had no idea how much passage would be like that beyond where we could see.

Once we arrived at the back of this same location this time from Rift you are eased in gently as the passage gets lower and more blocked towards the end. We got through in one session, taking it in turns to push through.
We both had a go on our front first, as it was easier to dig this way. I got to a point where my arm was reaching open space above but my body was still 18inches away from being through. The sand quickly fills in around you as it is so wet and seems to solidify quite worryingly. You need one arm down to dig this away from beneath you.  Matt then managed to force his way through on his back with one arm pushing the sand above his head and the other behind his back excavating beneath. I then followed in the same style.

It could be dug further but I expect it would fill in quite quickly as the water comes from the rift end and it is a long low silty floored passage. The fill would be probably need to be dragged out and through Unadulterated Pleasure and added to the bags at the other side.

Re the capping, do you mean SE inlet? The Transpennine Express crawl through from Ireby was like that when we were there last year, I don’t know who opened this but would hazard a guess at the MMMMC? It has not needed excavation either time.

Offline Cripplecreeker

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Re: Ireby-Rift connection
« Reply #21 on: April 08, 2019, 09:24:13 am »
I also noticed on a trip down Ireby a few months ago the capping work that had been done to create a short cut to the north east inlet (and therefore the start of the connection).  Do you know who was involved with that

Hi Badlad, is this the ‘Transpennine Express’ (https://ukcaving.com/board/index.php?topic=21124.0) you are referring to, or something new?

We had a few trips through there into Slipstream in 2017, and put a fair bit of effort into trying to keep it open - I’m glad it (kind of) worked. I suspect it’s always going to be a bit miserable though. A wetsuit hood at least keeps the mud out of your ears.

Cheers,

George.


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Re: Ireby-Rift connection
« Reply #22 on: April 08, 2019, 09:36:10 am »
You guys are really selling this place as a good day out!  :)

Offline Cripplecreeker

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Re: Ireby-Rift connection
« Reply #23 on: April 08, 2019, 10:12:34 am »
It could be dug further but I expect it would fill in quite quickly as the water comes from the rift end and it is a long low silty floored passage. The fill would be probably need to be dragged out and through Unadulterated Pleasure and added to the bags at the other side.

Ah, I suspect that this has filled up from the dig we had upstream, which is another underwater silt mine. The answer is probably to rebuild the dam upstream and dump the silt behind it...

Offline Badlad

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Re: Ireby-Rift connection
« Reply #24 on: April 08, 2019, 10:24:23 am »
Hey George - so it was you guys.  It seemed to be much more open that when I last saw it and I imagined the stream taking that route rather than normally dry crawl.  Good to hear it is all still passable if you are prepared to push hard.  I still don't think it is quite One Show material just yet  ;).

Offline Cripplecreeker

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Re: Ireby-Rift connection
« Reply #25 on: April 08, 2019, 07:17:29 pm »
If the One Show, or Bear Grills, needs a guide then I’d be delighted to show them the way  :lol:

Offline David Rose

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Re: Ireby-Rift connection
« Reply #26 on: April 09, 2019, 10:16:10 am »
It is clear from reading these posts that this connection needs a lot of attention to make it more enjoyable, and passable by larger cavers, such as myself. Could the CNCC please get this sorted? The kind folks who put the via ferrata into County and made the nice footholds in Wretched Rabbit could perhaps be persuaded to undertake this work. Then the splendid Ireby - Large Pot through trip can be accessible to all!

Offline shotlighter

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Re: Ireby-Rift connection
« Reply #27 on: April 09, 2019, 11:40:56 am »
I agree with Dave. Should perhaps the CNCC invest in a TBM to facilitate this. Nothing too big, infact that one thats been used to on the recent pipeline project under Keswick would be ideal & I think they're finished with it now.