Cave Descriptions


Please also see the main Gaping Gill page.

Bar Pot to Main Chamber

2 2 0 1.5 hrs

The easiest and almost all weather caving route to the bottom but do not underestimate the slightly tight and awkward entrance pitch which is strenuous at the top. A short scramble down blocks leads to a fine, dry and simple 30m pitch and then some easy crawling/stooping for about 30 minutes leads to a breath-taking balcony in the corner of the Main Chamber.


Bar Pot is the first big shakehole on left only 50m after crossing the wall onto the Gaping Gill fell.


The small entrance at the bottom of the big shakehole leads almost immediate to the tight first pitch. Do not underestimate how strenuous and tight this is especially on the upward journey!
Below here, climb down to the Greasy Slab (with handline usually in place) which drops into a large chamber. At the bottom of the steep boulders a low arch under the left wall leads steeply down through a low but spacious boulder choke. Approximately 10m down here, turn sharp right and continue down the well-worn blocks to reach the start of the traverse to the Bar Pot main pitch only 10m further. Follow the rope traverse under a large block and around a balcony to the easy pitch head for a simple 30m descent.

Facing away from the wall at the bottom of the rope, go right to soon reach South East Pot. Climb down some blocks (there may be a rope for protection here) and then a traverse around the right hand wall. The rope entering from above comes from Flood Entrance (ignore this).

Beyond here, a narrow crawl on cobbles emerges at a junction. Go left and follow the worn passage by crawling and stooping for several minutes until an obvious junction (Sand Caverns Junction) is reached at a large rift chamber. Straight on leads to the large dry Sand Caverns and ultimately the route (up) to Stream Passage Pot; however, the route to the Main Chamber is on the right.

Going right, after a few minutes of easy caving another large junction is reached. The way on here is under the (less obvious) low arch on the right. A few more minutes of easy caving and the Main Chamber is reached on a balcony with an easy climb down.

Additional reading: Selected Caves (page 42), Northern Caving (page 104)

Location Map: