Boxer Sopie is brought to the surface by rescuers. Photo: UWFRA

Boxer Sopie is brought to the surface by rescuers. Photo: UWFRA

Mountain rescuers spent two hours freeing a dog which fell down a cleft in rocks at a popular climbing venue in North Yorkshire.

Upper Wharfedale Mountain Rescue Team was called by police about 11.30am yesterday, Sunday, after Sophie, a 21-month-old boxer, fell 25ft into a hole at Guisecliff in Nidderdale.

Six members of the Grassington-based team went to the site, where the dog’s owners were awaiting their arrival.

Team member Derek Hammond, who made the 8m descent into the gritstone cleft, said: “The area is heavily vegetated and heather grows over and covers the holes. The dog had obviously gone down it when taking a straight line to her owners.

“She wasn’t injured. I roped up and put on my helmet and we used a caving ladder to get down to the bottom. We have what we call the animal net, a small cargo net that we put them in to restrain them.

The happy boxer is reunited with her owner. Photo: UWFRA

The happy boxer is reunited with her owner. Photo: UWFRA

“It took a couple of attempts to get her in the net but she was very well behaved.”

Sophie was hauled back up to the surface and released from the net to her owner who was at the top of the cleft.

Mr Hammond said: “I was still down the hole when she was reunited with her owner, but she was very happy. We got the owner to check the dog out and she was fine.

“It was a happy outcome.”

Sophie’s rescue is not the first at the site, which is close to the Nidderdale Way and has more than 70 rock-climbing routes and a reputation for being notoriously overgrown on many routes.

Mr Hammond said: “We have been called out to about half a dozen similar dog rescues at this site. The fire service know we have the expertise to do the job safely. We rescued a dog earlier this year, not from exactly the same hole, but one very close.

“The dog’s ‘mum’ came over to the team at the Pateley Bridge Show today to thank them.”

Upper Wharfedale Fell Rescue Association members stretcher 'Wufra' from Buckden Pike last year. Photo: UWFRA

Upper Wharfedale Fell Rescue Association members stretcher 'Wufra' from Buckden Pike last year. Photo: UWFRA

Upper Wharfedale Fell Rescue Association gained fame in October last year when members stretchered an emaciated dog from the summit ridge of Buckden Pike.

The lurcher-saluki cross was discovered close to death near the monument to Polish airmen who crashed on the fell. The dog, subsequently named Wufra as an anagram for the team’s initials, was nursed back to health by vets and an animal sanctuary in Grassington.

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