Cave Descriptions


Rift Pot is an excellent vertical adventure in a very short but deep underground rift. The pot has an outstanding entrance and main pitch and is also suitable for almost all weather conditions.

Long Kin East is an active stream cave (and is not passable in wet weather). Entry to the cave is possible via the upstream (Long Kin East Cave) entrance, or the further downstream Long Kin East Pot entrance. Downstream of the Pot entrance, the passage leads to some simple pitches and then a spectacular big pitch down the main waterfall.

The final pitches of Long Kin East and Rift Pot land in the same huge chamber.  An exchange between the two potholes (going down one and out the other) is an absolutely excellent day out.


Rift/Long Kin East are a long walk from the nearest road and can be approached from many locations. Parking in Crummack Dale is the closest approach (but not necessarily the easiest to navigate). Other approaches include from Clapham (via the route to Gaping Gill, 6km). Horton in Ribblesdale (4.5km, the easiest to navigate) or from Selside (parking as for Long Churn/Alum Pot, 5km). GPS/compass and a map are essential, especially as it can be difficult to find your way back from the cave in poor visibility.

To approach from Crummack Dale, enter Austwick from the A65. About 250m after the Gamecock pub is passed on the left, turn left on Townhead Lane. Follow thus up out of the village for 1.5km to where a ‘no vehicles’ sign is reached and it is possible to park on the verge on the left.

How to find:

Rift Pot: Grid reference: SD 7609 7290

Long Kin East Grid references:

Long Kin East Cave (top entrance, walk-in): SD 7625 7308

Long Kin East Pot (lower entrance, short abseil): SD 7622 7290

If parking at Crummack Dale follow the public footpath straight ahead, past the farm on your right. After 200m the path goes left to follow a steep dry valley uphill onto the fells where you will leave the public footpaths. Navigation beyond this point is difficult. Walk north-west towards the gate with a small enclosure at SD 7646 7284.

Through the gate, follow the shallow valley with exposed limestone floor straight ahead for 150m. The limestone ‘path’ then takes a left turn. Continue straight ahead across the fell for 100m to locate Long Kin East Cave (an obvious open trench where the stream sinks). Alternatively, turn left and follow the limestone ‘path’ for 100m to find the 5m entrance pitch to Long Kin East Pot on the left amoungst blocks. Another 100m beyond here the limestone ‘path’ ends. Just before this, turn right up another shallow valley to reach Rift Pot on the left after 100m.

If approaching form Horton in Ribblesdale, follow the footpath from near the station, across the railway line and about 2km up onto the fell. At a fork in the footpath, go right which will probably be signed to Sulber Nick and/or Ingleborough. Just over 1 km further is a crossroads. Go straight on, cross a wall after 500m then another wall after another 500m. After the second wall, turn off the path and follow the left wall for nearly 1km to reach the gate with sheep enclosure mentioned above.



Rift Pot return trip to bottom

4 3 1 3 hours

Climb down the entrance shakehole to the first (spectacular) pitch. This allows an abseil into a cathedral sized chamber. The way on at the bottom is the less obvious route up boulders to the next pitch, which is quite slippery at the top. A further short pitch then follows immediately with a tight deviation from a block. This pitch lands onto a large balcony of jammed blocks.

The ‘Bob Hole’ route, which is rigged for Eurospeleo, is found across at the far side of the balcony. This starts as a narrow slot at the top of a pitch, but enlarges further down.

At the bottom, another wide ledge is reached. From here, a traverse out over the main shaft leads to the top of the spectacular main 40m pitch. In very wet weather there may be lots of water spray here from the Long Kin East waterfall, but the pitch remains passable in most conditions.

Long Kin East return trip to bottom

3 3 4 3 hours

Long Kin East Cave is the very top entrance of the Long Kin East system, where the water goes underground. Drop into the open trench and follow the water underground and along a fine, 250m long stream passage. Eventually, the entrance to Long Kin East Pot (a 5m pitch from the surface) is passed. Continue downstream along easy passage until some water cascades are reached, and then Waterfall Pitch. Finally a climb down reaches the top of the big pitch. This is a spectacular (and often quite wet) descent into a massive chamber. The rope from Rift Pot enters nearby.


Additional reading:

Selected Caves (page 40/42)

Location Map: