About Moonlight grotto
A climb over a fence in the corner of the field soon gives access to the deep depression where the entrance pipe starts. A ladder can be rigged easily and at the bottom a short shaft leads to the top of the 12m Pine Pitch.
Descend the entrance pipe using a ladder and lifeline. A quick crawl leads to a low chamber which has enough room to allow the rigging of the ladder and lifeline to descent Pine Pitch. The descent is in a roomy vertical shaft and at the bottom there is a steep descent into Rumble Rift. Here there’s a choice. From a hole in the floor you descend into Easy Street which is initially a fairly large passage but soon decreases in size to a crawl with some awkward right-angle bends to navigate. Further on after a small aven it tightens even more and only small cavers should try this section which leads to a small terminal aven. The alternative from Rumble Rift is to carry straight on and up at the end into Moonlight Grotto which is a really well decorated and photogenic grotto.
The “Tourist Route” (Pine Pitch, Rumble Rift, the first half of Easy Street and Moonlight Grotto) is a nice 90 minute round trip with some interesting pitches, squeezes and nice formations and it’s an easy walk from the MCG hut at Nordrach. Access is only possible during the day – no evening visits are permitted by the landowner.
Photo Credit: Rich Peters of Mendip Caving Group