204Steinbrückenhöhle5/S x

Rhino Rift area

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Rhino Rift is an area of mainly rift passages to the west of Swings and Roundabouts. The main access is from Taking the Piss, the pitch at the end of Dutch Beauty. Other connections back to the rest of the cave are via a very loose connection to Insignificant Chamber or the 21 Bolt Traverse.

Taking the Piss

Descending this 8m pitch is the most direct, although not the original, route into the series; it lands in a short narrow passage which is followed by a climb down out of a window in the wall of the passage to the north of Meeting House.

Rhino Rift 1

At the top of Taking the Piss, continuing to the left rather than descending leads to a narrow horizontal rift, the original Rhino Rift. After around 5m this emerges in a wider passage floored with blocks. A passage on the left leads to a 6m climb down into Meeting House chamber; alternatively, continuing straight on downslope leads into 21 Bolt Bypass and to an alternative 3m climb down into Meeting House.

Meeting House

Meeting House chamber is around 8m long and floored with boulders. At the north-eastern end a narrow passage leads off on the right [C2003-204-49 C]; continuing north from here past a too-tight passage on the left reaches a pitch, Wot No Bolts?, leading into On A Mission. To the right of the pitch-head are a multiplicity of openings which connect and lead into Rhino Rift II.

Rhino Rift (II)

Rhino Rift 2 continues eastwards for 20m to a right-hand bend with water dripping. Continuing along the passage southwards leads to a fork. Sharp left a small passage branches off [C2003-204-45 C]. Ahead and to the left is down a ramp to a pitch [C2003-204-44 A]. (This has been descended leading to a crawl and "an uniteresting-looking pitch", but this was not surveyed.) The right fork continues past a bend to the left, another corner with oxbows on each side, and a pit in the floor on the left [C2003-204-43 ?]. Finally the passage emerges at a circular chamber. On the left is a slot in the floor [C2003-204-42 B], while at the far end climbing back up leads to the base of a climb into Insignificant Chamber.

21 Bolt Bypass

Continuing southwards from Rhino Rift 1 this passage heads southwards, passing a side passage choked with stalactites and a pit [C2003-204-50 ?] on the left, to reach an upwards ramp emerging at the top of the boulder choke reached by the notorious 21 Bolt Traverse around Gaffered to the Walls main pitch. At the far side of this is a continuing passage [C2003-204-51 B].

On A Mission

Wot No Bolts pitch is 9m deep and lands in a chamber (which doesn't seem to have its own name). South from the foot of the pitch leads to a small passage at the southern end [C2003-204-46 C], and also a pit in the floor [C2003-204-47 ?]. Northwards leads to a crossroads. To the right is too tight. Straight ahead leads over boulders to a small hole in the floor [C2003-204-53 C] and beyond this a larger pitch [C2003-204-54 B], both undescended. On the left is a substantial passage, On A Mission, with a T-shaped cross-section. This continues essentially straight westwards for 100m, but there are a number of important side branches where it intersects cross-rifts.

Finally the passage reaches a chamber with a loose boulderous hole in the floor [C2003-204-74 C] and side passages to the right and left. Right leads to a sizeable pitch [C2003-204-75 A] with a possible continuation of the passage beyond the pitch-head [C2003-204-76 B]. Straight on leads to a few metres of passage and a 4m pitch into Anonymous Chamber. Left is a narrower passage which drops down a 3m pitch into the southern end of the same chamber.

Anonymous Chamber

[This doesn't appear to have a name, but needs one -- DL] This is a large breakdown chamber floored with boulders. Straight across from the landing is a passage high on the opposite wall; this can be reached by climbing up a convenient chimney somewhat further to the right, then traversing along a ledge to the passage (a handline is useful, and there are numerous naturals). This passage is Wot No Butcombe. Back in the chamber, there is a loose pitch at the northern end [C2003-204-77 C] and two small passages lead back under the east wall [C2003-204-78 C] [C2003-204-79 C].

Wot no Butcombe

The passage slopes upwards gradually at first, passing a passage on the right [C2003-204-81 A] and a hole in the floor [C2003-204-82 B], until it reaches a steep clamber up choss to a junction. Up the slope straight ahead is blind. On the left, Round Trip passage leads back directly above Wot No Butcombe to emerge in the ceiling of Anonoymous Chamber. A hole in the floor communicates with Wot No Butcombe, and there is a crawl to the left [C2003-204-80 ?]. To the right is a too-tight slot in the floor and another fork; left here leads to a mud-floored chamber, whereas right leads to Wot No Connection.

Wot no connection

Crawling over the large fallen block down to the right leads to a cross rift chamber; the north wall and roof are composed of fault breccia. The draught disappears at this point into the roof and walls. The rift continues right and up through shattered boulders into a number of small chambers with no solid walls; one of these connects back into the first fault chamber. Climbing 5m up to the right leads back to the top of What No Butcombe chamber; stepping over this chamber continues into main passage in area at high level 5-8m up.

Swallow Hard

Swallow Hard slopes down away from On A Mission, passing the entrance to Unconformity on the left. Beyond this it begins to slope back upwards increasingly steeply. At a T-junction, the left-hand branch leads to a climb up to a passage [C2003-204-55 B], while the right-hand branch, Limescale Cistern, slopes up even more steeply to end 6m beneath the floor of Swings Passage.


This series is developed in a thrust fault leading downwards at around 60° below the horizontal. The logbook description is rather confusing and it is not clear which parts are climbs and which are pitches, since the original surveyors did not draw up an elevation.

Shortly after the Unconformity passage branches off Swallow Hard, there is a climb (pitch?) down into a chamber with a single large boulder on the floor. On the left is a small passage [C2003-204-57 C] and there is an aven above [C2003-204-56 X]. The passage continues to a fork. The left branch soon splits again, both branches becoming too tight. The right branch proceeds beyond a patch of mud on the floor to a junction with a passage leading off to the left. Straight on is Crunch + Wet, which continues horizontally to a narrow pitch-head [C2003-204-58 C]. The passage on the left is Cat's Claw, which continues downhill, passing a blind oxbow in the left-hand wall. The description of the ensuing part is rather confusing. Apparently this leads to a junction, with a pitch down to the left and tubes on the right. The tube on the left leads into a chamber, Calcited Bat Chamber. The continuation of the passage is up a 3m climb to a phreatic tube which is soon choked with mud, but another exit from the chamber is a clamber up of 2.5m to a bridge overlooking a short and elegant cylindrical pitch down to stony floor, after which a 3 m climb leads to second pitch, leading only to a tight damp dead end (Spitter's End). The chamber has a vocal connection to a point above in Crunch + Wet. The pitch down to the left leads to a short horizontal passage to a hole in the floor. This been descended 10m to a ledge but has not been surveyed, and continues beyond this [C2003-204-X91 ?]. Traversing over the hole leads to 20-30m of passage, also unsurveyed, with some holes in the floor [C2003-204-X92 ?] and possible QMs up [C2003-204-X93 ?].


From On a Mission, a walking sized passage slopes downwards to a large chamber. The most noteworthy feature of this chamber is the enormous bolder that splits the chamber into two stories, after which the chamber is named. Above the entrance heading back towards On a mission an inaccessible roof tube can be seen. [C2003-204-61 X] Just to the right after entering the chamber a pitch [C2003-204-70 A] estimated to be 6m deep descends, probably into Crimper. Continuing around the right of the chamber, it is possible to climb down to the lower level of the chamber, under the large bolder. From here a small passage pops out on the left, which leads back to crimped. Straight on leads immediately to the Faith traverse and pitch.


Faith traverse starts at the bottom of Belief chamber. Original exploration was done all on naturals, as there are a number of threads, and the slope to the wall allows it to be climbed across fairly easily. However the pitch below, Hanging Onto Faith, is very deep, so security of a traverse is required.

On the other side of the pitch, the passage starts to go slightly upwards, initially passing under a couple of roof tubes, [C2003-204-63 C] and [C2003-204-64 C]. The passage gets steeper, climbing up over small boulders, until the passage ends in a choke, just before this however a small passage heads of. This goes up briefly before turning to the right, then right again to go downwards, to a 30cm deep pool, with a passage going of the other side. This leads to Beyond Belief and Atheism. [WOOKEY BECKA ANDREW] [C2005-204-16 C] [C2005-204-17 X] [C2005-204-18 B] [C2005-204-77 B] [C2005-204-78 B] [C2005-204-79 X] [C2005-204-80 C] [C2005-204-81 D].

Hanging Onto Faith

Descending the pitch leads to [NIAL ANDREW BECKA] [C2005-204-19 B]


After a short piece of horizontal passage, Crimper drops down a bit of a slope. Half way down this slope, Grater, a short rifty passage that quickly becomes too tight, splits off to the left. Continuing down Crimper reaches the bottom of the slope, where a rift continues for a short while but becomes too tight; before this on the right a jagged nasty squeeze, after which Grater gets its name, can be passed through, to a hading rift. There is a higher and lower route to this rift, which join up in a number of places. Continuing along the higher level, the passage heads upwards via a number of climbs before popping out at the bottom of Belief chamber just before the Faith traverse. There are points where you can not see that there is definitely a ceiling to the rift.

Rat Biscuit

Rat Biscuit is an upwards-sloping horizontal passage with a strong draught, which continues for 120m without any side branches or junctions to a "frustrating" end in draughting boulders. (This point is a mere 5m from a small draughting boulderous hole in Cresta Run, and might be a good candidate for a dig to connect the two, since both Nial and Dave narrowly avoided getting entombed attacking this from the Cresta end in 2004.)

Shanks' Pony

Shanks' Pony Passage is horizontal dry phreatic tube requiring stooping, which eventually tucks back under itself, profile elongating vertically. This terminates into a spacious, wide, muddy floored, steeply sloping rift passage (Shetland Incline), descending some distance to link with Unconformity.