19 June 2023

Swinsto Hole anchors

Swinsto Hole and Simpson Pot anchor remediation

Simpson Pot and Swinsto Hole on West Kingsdale are two of the most well known potholes in the Yorkshire Dales.

Most trips these days are undertaken as a ‘pull through’, exiting at Valley Entrance (which should always be rigged in advance by taking a quick trip to the 7m pitch from the Roof Tunnel down into the Master Cave).

Anchoring of these pots in the 1990s was not done with pull-through in mind. As a result, many of the anchors are poorly located for efficient pull-through. We see that UKCaving posts about stuck ropes are common. In some areas, compensatory ‘tat’ has proliferated, which can quickly become hazardous.

We are also aware that several anchors across both pots show signs of movement, or resin erosion, due to 25 years of battering from the water and the effects of resin-shrinkage.

Several months ago, the CNCC agreed to support an audit and partial re-anchoring of these pots.

The first phase of the work at Swinsto Hole is now complete!

New anchor installation at Swinsto began at the start of the year, and was completed a few weeks ago in early June.

Several new anchors have been installed to make the rigging more suited to ‘pull-through’ trips. For now, these new anchors stand alongside the originals, so the rigging information on our topos is still valid. Later this summer, the team will return to check rope lengths, redraw the topo, remove defective or surplus anchors, tidy up any resin from the new anchors and remove in-situ tat that has been abandoned. To quote one of our installers;

“I am determined to make it look spot-on”.

Work will then start on Simpson Pot. If you meet our team, please be patient waiting to pass, and say hello!

Thank you to the team involved for several days of great work. This project will support the enjoyment of Simpson Pot and Swinsto Hole as popular trips for decades to come, with fewer issues of stuck ropes or abandoned tat.

Photo; New anchors labelled and ready for installation in Swinsto Hole, by Ian Patrick

Copyright 2024 Council for the Northern Caving Community.