Friday 18 December 2009

18th December 2009 - Rift Pot (Deep and Crisp and flipping Cold!)

Although there had been a sprinkling of snow on the fells around Lancaster the wintery view over the Dales approaching Ingleton foretold of a possibly "interesting" walk in to Long Kin East (our original objective) on the slopes of Ingleborough.

Negotiating the snowy roads in Austwick and driving up the lanes toward Norber was the the easy bit. Once changed the long walk along lanes in the dark was the "warm up" for the full on winter conditions on the 2.2km fell walk across to the Allotment area of Ingleborough. Sections of limestone pavement covered in deep snow made some sections very tricky indeed and Dicks "slick" wellies struggled to gain any purchase on the steeper sections.

Following the GPS trail we arrived to within 100 metres of the Long Kin East entrance, but the "hole" we stood next to did not look very likely, and a search of the area saw us getting very cold in the now arctic conditions. We re-assesed our location and decided check the area to the south, and found the narrow trench of the Rift Pot entrance. We were so cold by now that we all agreed that we should head down this entrance and hope that we would warm up a bit in the cave below.

Dick quickly rigged the entrance pitch and soon we were abseiling into the warmth of the huge entrance chamber, what a relief! We spent 15 minutes warming up and looking at the way on which would connect with our original objective, noting that the only hangers were old "Elliot" style spits, definitely one to come back to though.
Ascending back to the sub zero arctic plateau above us we readied ourselves for a quick return to the cars and civilisation. A 4 hour epic done and dusted!

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