Sod Hole Gill Caves and Fossdale Beck Cave 27/05/15

Sod Hole Gill Caves and Fossdale Beck Cave 27/05/15

Home Forums Log Book Sod Hole Gill Caves and Fossdale Beck Cave 27/05/15

Viewing 3 posts - 1 through 3 (of 3 total)
  • Author
  • #1702

    Just myself and Don were in attendance at this midweek meet. We (or I) decided that a visit to the ever popular and well known Sod Hole Gill Caves would be a good warm up exercise, which was needed as Don commented on how much colder and windier it was up on the fell than in the valley. I then pointed out we were parked at and about to clamber up Shivery Gill..

    We failed to spot Shivery Gill Pot, although only short so no great loss, we broke off on to the fell-side to locate the various ‘Sods’. Sod 1 was found and looked rather uninspiring, a fairly straight rift that narrowed, looked a little grubby and to be quite honest looked like a typical 20m long cave that ended too small. I was given the honour of entering first. Once past the narrow section the going improved a tad until a clamber over a sediment mound, then we hit a downwards slope and the cave suddenly opened to quite surprising proportions! We ambled along spotting side passages until we hit a traverse (yes, small obscure cave, completely unexpected) along a delightfully shaped passage, as with all good things though the cave choked not long after this.

    Sod 2 was located soon after, a short clamber down and once again large passage that wouldn’t be out of place in somewhere like Ease Gill! A slightly shorter offering, but interesting all the same.

    Sod 3 required a ladder, but Don being the hero free-climbed down. I could have gone down but had my sensible head on, it wasn’t too bad a climb but there was some looseness about, so went in search of the other entrance. This turned out to be even looser and far worse than the other entrance and apparently looked worse from below! I went in search of other caves whilst Don explored the cave. After a loose climb back out by Don we were reunited and headed back to the cars to drive the mile and a bit up the road.

    Don couldn’t believe it could be even colder and windier at this parking spot, but it was, that extra 200ft of height makes a difference! We ambled over/down the fell and then went the wrong way, heading up valley, which turned out to be a worthwhile venture – the gill in this part is quite pleasing with numerous waterfalls scattered along its length. Realising the error of our ways we headed back down valley to where we spotted an obvious limestone gorge. We entered the gorge and found Fossdale Beck Cave; Main Entrance.

    Once in and along the main passage we nipped up Grimy Gutter Inlet. It looked awkward so I exited, Don decided to look at a side passage in here (that rejoins the main passage after a few metres), it was then I heard those words ‘can you give my feet a push’. I went back to investigate and saw a grimacing chap in what looked like a rather awkward situation. He went down a bit with lots of grunting and face pulling then came back up with more gurning and grunting and after some time he finally extracted himself from this amusing predicament.
    We carried on to Stal Corner, Don carried on along the increasingly small passage (he had to reverse back out) whilst I fettled with camera gear. On the way out we examined Blind Pitch and Shuffle Inlet before heading along Pitch Passage.
    Don disappeared down the climbable pitch and explored the passages but didn’t find the supposed connection to the lower cave. I looked around above and spotted daylight from Matins Entrance. We headed past this entrance to Matins Chamber before returning and not wishing to disturb a certain form of wildlife we headed back to the Main Entrance to exit the cave…

    We eventually found the walled up entrance to the lower cave. I entered and after a few metres of flat-out superman style progress had a rock sticking rather uncomfortably in my chest. I dragged the offending rock out of the cave in to the rain. Given the time and effort required to explore this cave I started blocking it back up again and we headed back up the hill, to be greeted by even more miserable conditions (the valley does provide a certain amount of shelter).

    A quite surprising day out (~4hours pottering about) that just goes to show some of these shorter/lesser visited caves have a fair amount of interest!
    Photos uploaded to Flickr:


    Excellent trip report. The rainy/windy/drizzly weather aside, it was a fun afternoon. It’s amazing how much fun can be had in Grade II caves. I’d be more than happy to go back and explore the lower entrance to Fossdale Beck – as long it’s on a nice and warm sunny day. I was very cold by that point. It was like being on Leck Fell in February.


    Yes, a return needs to be made, at least that rock is gone now. The weather started OK, just descended to misery rather quickly! Chilly, oh yes, despite the shelter you get down by the gill and it was even worse so on the open fell/roadside; it was a very quick (Leck Fell winter style) change!!

Viewing 3 posts - 1 through 3 (of 3 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.