Cambridge Underground 1978 p 11


The potential of this small cave was first noted from the book (1), and in September 1977 Andrew Nichols and Rob Shackleton trudged up for a look, lured by the persistent draught. AN found that he couldn't get round the first corner, so that was removed, as was the metre long constriction just beyond which marked the original end of the cave. Several icy trips followed over the winter, when AN and RS were joined by Julian Griffiths, Nick Reckert and Jack Upsall; the cave was extended from a couple of bodylengths to a length of some 40m and depth of 23m.

The entrance (NGR 736757) is at 393m O.D., some 80m downfell of Black Shiver, roughly along the line of the Black Rift. A sideways crawl carrying a small stream reaches a righthand corner and descends rapidly, past a squeeze over a boulder, to an enlargement where it is possible to stand up. From there the cave doubled back and dropped away in a haded rift, opening into a wider area at the foot. An inlet on the left was followed up by JG and RS but became too tight after 15m.

Unhappily, the same thing happened downstream. The passage levelled out into a wet crawl which rounded a corner and narrowed to 15cm or so as the augmented stream cut down again: there was no way on without a rock drill, which the club does not currently possess.

The potential is undoubtedly there. The persistent draught indicates a connection with the Meregill-Black Shiver System, probably the inlet noted by ULSA (2) at the top of Black Moss Passage, although the other possibilities are the nearby NW inlet or the waterfall at the top of Black Shiver's North Chamber. If progress could be made to the depth where sufficient inlets had accumulated, a spectacular through trip could be forged.

survey - 16k gif

Andrew Nichols

(1) Northern Caves vol. 3 (Dalesman Press) p 113
(2) ULSA Explorations Journal (1969) p 31

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