Report - - Gaping Gill - The Return - 30/05/10 | Underground Sites | 28DaysLater.co.uk

Report - Gaping Gill - The Return - 30/05/10


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The Info
Gaping Gill is perhaps Britain's most famous and most complex cave systems.
From the moor on the flanks of Ingleborough in the Yorkshire Dales, Fell Beck plunges 105 metres (360 feet) into the Main Chamber; Britain's biggest known cave chamber.
Every year, non-cavers have the chance to see a truly awe- inspiring underground scene; the Main Chamber of Gaping Gill. As well as being Britain's biggest known cave chamber, the water from Fell Beck landing on the chamber floor is Britain's highest unbroken waterfall. Descending the 105m Main Shaft (Britain's deepest surface shaft) is an experience never forgotten. The Chamber is floodlit, allowing the public and cavers alike a view not normally available outside winch meets

The Trip
So Gaping Gill was calling for a second year running. We got to Clapham just after 8am and headed off into the hills. A brisk pace saw us reach the BPC base camp at the foot of Ingleborough in under an hour and join the queue. Its fair to say it was slightly quieter than last year when Turkey and I went, so the wait of 90 minutes was far better than the two and a quarter hours we suffered in 2009.
The one minute journey is definitely an experience not to be missed and is almost as epic as actually being down there.
Once on the cave floor it was obvious that the main difference this year was the lack of waterfall action. Now don’t get me wrong, it was wet, but nowhere near as much as last year. This made photography so much easier, only needing to wipe my lens a few times in all the time down there.
After photographing the main chamber we decided to do some rock climbing and head off into the network of tunnels and do some exploring.
It had got quite busy down there, so we had to wait 25 mins to get winched back out. Its difficult to get bored of staring up the main shaft though and also watching the BPC members abseiling 100 feet to the chamber floor from a separate ledge.
Back on the surface we began the two and a quarter mile trek back to the car. Another epic and exhausting trip was in the bag.


At the foot of Ingleborough


Inside Gaping Gill


Epic rock formations in the tunnel network


More inside the main chamber


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