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Photograph of the volcano formation in Witches II Cave

Dome Alternative, Lost Johns' Cave - A Rigging Guide

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This series of articles is intended for the guidance of experienced cavers, who may not be familiar with the details of the best routes through the more complex systems in the Yorkshire Dales. To echo the sentiments in Northern Caves, it "is intended as guidance for the wise, not the obedience of fools"

Dome Alternative, Rigging Guide


This is an interesting alternative to Dome Pitch in Lost Johns' Cave. To find it, traverse above the standard route from the base of Cathedral Pitch, and look for an ascending rift passage going off behind and to the right. This soon leads to the first pitch.

First Pitch

A large thread in the roof a couple of metres back from the pitch head serves as a backup (long sling). A Y-hang can be rigged from a couple of flakes on the true right at the head of the pitch (short slings), and a deviation from a drilled flake a metre down keeps the rope away from the lip (should be in place).

Second Pitch

This descends from a window half-way down Dome Pitch. A large thread on the true left of the passage a few metres back from the pitch provides a backup (long sling), and two IC resin anchors out over the pitch on opposite walls allow a Y-hang, which is best biased towards the true right-hand wall.

Tackle Required

Rope: 2 * 20 m;
Carabiners / Maillons: 6
Snap links: 1 for deviation
Slings: 2 short for Y-hang on first pitch, 2 long for backups.


The bolts were installed as part of the IC resin anchor bolting programme.