Helsfell Cave, Kendal, 10/3/20

Helsfell Cave, Kendal, 10/3/20

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    Cavers: Chris Scaife

    Most of my possessions, including my copy of Northern Caves, are still packed away in boxes while we’re having the house decorated, so armed with only a grid reference (SD 5020 9362) I decided to go and investigate Helsfell Cave, which is in the same Ordnance Survey grid square as my house. It’s about a twenty minute walk from my house, on the way up Kendal Fell, and the entrance took me a few minutes to find, just uphill from the footpath in a wooded area. At first I thought I would have to fight my way through brambles to reach a rocky outcrop under a large-ish hawthorn draped in ivy; but then I noticed, above and to the left of the micro-jungle, a small hole. I put on my oversuit and slid down the entrance feet first. The first few metres are quite well trodden and there is almost a staircase leading down. It then becomes a narrow rift that seems to have deterred most casual visitors. The walls are smooth, with flowstone. Towards the end there is actually quite an awkward squeeze, so I might make this a regular thing – good training for narrow trips. I can’t find a survey of this cave anywhere, so I might have to go back and make one.

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