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Copyright: © 1998 - 2016 John Gardner

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. A Y-hang can be rigged from a couple of flakes on the true right at the head of the pitch, and a deviation from a drilled flake a metre down keeps the rope away from the lip.

Second Pitch

This descends from a window half-way down Dome Pitch. A small window / large thread in the roof of the passage a few metres back from the pitch provides a backup, 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: 20 m; 25 m;
Carabiners / Maillons: 4
Snap links: 1 for deviation
Slings: 2 for Y-hang on first pitch, 1 for deviation (may be in place).


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