Gaping Gill, Wades Flood Entrance

Posted by Swaledale Outdoor Club on 2011-06-15

Planning to take advantage of the Bradford Clubs winch meet, and use the pre rigged entrances, four of us, Louise, Richard, John G and myself planned to head down Wades Flood Entrance and visit the floodlit main chamber.


Louise on Wades entrance pitch


Very heavy overnight rain had lead to some doubt as to the viability of this trip, however we decided to push on and see how much water was in the Flood Entrance big pitch. We left John to bring up the rear, but by the third pitch those in front received a message from another group that unfortunately John had forgotten his cow's tails and therefore could not join us. Chris was dispatched off down the fourth pitch to test the water/spray levels which are met half way down, and eventually we received the shout that he had successfully descended the 43m pitch, water levels were obviously acceptable so the rest followed.



Louise, Richard & Chris in the Main Chamber


We then headed off to the Gaping Gill Main Chamber, with Louise leading the final section to take full advantage of the spectacular view, it was her first visit. The volume of water thundering down the 110m shaft certainly made for a very impressive view. We then set off to visit the vast Mud Hall and having traversed the fixed line round the very impressive drop off into vast blackness we started exploring unknown territory, which we suspected was Far East passage (it was). We finally reached a few dead ends, one of which had a superb slope of liquid mud; the Dirty Boys were in their element! The way on was a very wet canal, which would have at least washed off some mud, but time was pushing on, so we retraced our route back to the Gaping Gill Main Chamber, and then towards the pitches leading out.



Louise on the Bar Pot 100' pitch


We decided the Flood Entrance Pitch would be unpleasantly wet on the way up, and thought it would be fun for Louise to experience the pleasure of Bar Pot and its entertaining final section, entertaining that is for anyone watching the struggle through the very awkward gap at the pitch head, caving can be such fun!

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