Author Topic: Collapse on Mud Hall traverse, Gaping Gill  (Read 2301 times)

Offline Cavematt

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Collapse on Mud Hall traverse, Gaping Gill
« on: November 13, 2017, 12:52:00 pm »
Hi everyone

I have received a number of reports of a substantial collapse on the roped traverse ledge around the top of Mud Hall, connecting the Gaping Gill side to the Whitsun Series side. Details are a little sketchy at the moment as to the severity of the collapse (some reports saying it is no longer passable) and the exact location. More details will be posted on the CNCC website newspage as they are received. All groups and individuals with upcoming permits for Gaping Gill entrances have been informed by the Permit Secretary.

For now we advise on avoiding the area or taking substantial additional precautions until the details are clarified.

Matt Ewles
Secretary, Council of Northern Caving Clubs

Offline A_Northerner

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Re: Collapse on Mud Hall traverse, Gaping Gill
« Reply #1 on: November 13, 2017, 01:02:25 pm »
Cheers for the heads up Matt, it would be a shame if those hundreds of sculptures became inaccessible!
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Offline Pitlamp

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Re: Collapse on Mud Hall traverse, Gaping Gill
« Reply #2 on: November 13, 2017, 08:09:40 pm »
Does anyone know the date this happened? It was OK on the weekend of 30th October / 1st November (a fortnight ago) when cavers are known to have crossed the sediment wall without problem. It had certainly happened by Saturday just gone (11th November).

If others noticed it before 11th November, could you post a note here? It would be interesting to narrow down the date of the collapse and see if it's related to any of the earthquakes recorded on:

http://www.quakes.bgs.ac.uk/earthquakes/recent_uk_events.html

(If you look at this right now, note there's usually a short delay before the most recent events are reported.)

Online braveduck

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Re: Collapse on Mud Hall traverse, Gaping Gill
« Reply #3 on: November 13, 2017, 11:08:22 pm »
Does not seem to be earthquake related .But once in Mud Hall and heard and
felt Horton Quarry blast .Since then the Quarry has got much nearer to GG on the West end.

Offline Cavematt

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Re: Collapse on Mud Hall traverse, Gaping Gill
« Reply #4 on: November 14, 2017, 07:46:35 am »

Offline alanw

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Re: Collapse on Mud Hall traverse, Gaping Gill
« Reply #5 on: November 14, 2017, 09:45:54 am »
Here's a photo I took in May this year

.

From the image on the CNCC site, it looks as if the collapse is between the person in red and the furthest person. There is a vertical rope coming down to the person in red which can just be seen on both images.

There is a yellow diagonal line on the CNCC image - I'd be interested to find out what that is.
« Last Edit: November 14, 2017, 02:46:34 pm by Badlad, Reason: changed image width to fit on page »

Offline alastairgott

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Re: Collapse on Mud Hall traverse, Gaping Gill
« Reply #6 on: November 14, 2017, 11:07:48 am »
From my severely Limited Viewpoint (above the chain) and from an annotated photo from an NPC member on our trip, I think the Collapse actually starts immediately after the man in Red.

The sheer angle above the far man has disappeared and is now a moderate-severe slope up from below his feet to above his head (or at least that was my opinion from above the chain).

Offline Alex

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Re: Collapse on Mud Hall traverse, Gaping Gill
« Reply #7 on: November 14, 2017, 07:36:28 pm »
The mud looks overhanging just beyond the person in red, so I assume that would be the most likely place of a collapse.

Its quite scary to realise as we all do I guess deep down, caves are very mobile and even places where you think are completely stable as they have not moved in many years. Something to think about I guess next time you crawl under any boulders.

I guess when your number is up, it's up, sometimes. I know of one case recently where that was the case.
Anything I say is represents my own opinion and not that of a any club/organisation that I am a member of (unless its good of course)

Offline Cavematt

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Re: Collapse on Mud Hall traverse, Gaping Gill
« Reply #8 on: November 15, 2017, 08:29:06 am »
I believe that some folks from the Craven PC are going to have a look over the next few weeks to try to identify a possible way forward. Watch out for updates here, or on the CNCC website or Facebook page.

Offline alanw

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Re: Collapse on Mud Hall traverse, Gaping Gill
« Reply #9 on: November 15, 2017, 08:50:15 am »

Badlad: changed image width to fit on page


Just click on the image to see it at full size.

Offline Badlad

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Re: Collapse on Mud Hall traverse, Gaping Gill
« Reply #10 on: November 15, 2017, 09:30:07 am »

Badlad: changed image width to fit on page


Just click on the image to see it at full size.

Hope that is ok.  It's a request we often get.  I can change it back if you prefer.

Offline Rachel

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Re: Collapse on Mud Hall traverse, Gaping Gill
« Reply #11 on: November 15, 2017, 06:13:12 pm »
The mud looks overhanging just beyond the person in red, so I assume that would be the most likely place of a collapse.

Its quite scary to realise as we all do I guess deep down, caves are very mobile and even places where you think are completely stable as they have not moved in many years. Something to think about I guess next time you crawl under any boulders.

I guess when your number is up, it's up, sometimes. I know of one case recently where that was the case.

Very scary...that's me in the red, with my 10 year old and her friend. Even though we all know that traverse is made of mud and therefore must be inherently unstable, it's one of those places often taken for granted.

Offline alanw

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Re: Collapse on Mud Hall traverse, Gaping Gill
« Reply #12 on: November 15, 2017, 07:36:56 pm »

Badlad: changed image width to fit on page


Just click on the image to see it at full size.

Hope that is ok.  It's a request we often get.  I can change it back if you prefer.

Not a problem, since there's such an easy way to see the original image at full size.

Offline Basher

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Re: Collapse on Mud Hall traverse, Gaping Gill
« Reply #13 on: November 15, 2017, 08:15:47 pm »
Here is an image before the collapse for comparison.

Offline pwhole

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Re: Collapse on Mud Hall traverse, Gaping Gill
« Reply #14 on: November 15, 2017, 08:45:24 pm »
That's a great photo.

Out of interest, what were the traverse bolts actually fastened to? I was another who was there on Saturday (first time), and part of me just wanted to dash down there to have a closer look, but something (common sense probably) kept telling me not to.

Offline MJenkinson

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Re: Collapse on Mud Hall traverse, Gaping Gill
« Reply #15 on: November 16, 2017, 08:41:49 am »
Weren't they just stake belays driven into the mud? I seem to recall that from my last trip there.

Offline Cavematt

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Re: Collapse on Mud Hall traverse, Gaping Gill
« Reply #16 on: November 16, 2017, 11:23:15 pm »
We have a further update on the situation:

Following reports of a collapse in Mud Hall in Gaping Gill an inspection was organised by John Helm of Craven Pothole Club. On Thursday 16th November he was accompanied by Ian Patrick (CPC) and Simon Wilson (BPC). There has been a substantial fall of rock, clay and mud half way along the lower traverse. Some gardening was done and the traverse pathway (including the original in-situ rope) was reinstated as best as possible. This rope should be considered a route-marker only, and not a safe belay, due to its unknown integrity and anchorage. Although now passable, we recommend avoidance of this route until a more permanent solution has been found.

More updates will follow in due course.

Matt Ewles, Secretary, CNCC

Offline Simon Wilson

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Re: Collapse on Mud Hall traverse, Gaping Gill
« Reply #17 on: November 17, 2017, 09:34:40 am »
Here are photos to compare. The white arrow in the first photo marks the rope the caver is holding in the second photo. The white squares mark the same spot (I think). Much of the stuff above the caver in yellow is down in the bottom of the chamber. Some huge boulders came down. Photos belong to Martin Baines and John Helm.




Offline Speleotron

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Re: Collapse on Mud Hall traverse, Gaping Gill
« Reply #18 on: November 17, 2017, 10:18:39 am »
Judging by that huge boulder on the floor I'm guessing the sculptures are gone?
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Offline Ian P

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Re: Collapse on Mud Hall traverse, Gaping Gill
« Reply #19 on: November 17, 2017, 01:57:10 pm »

There is a yellow diagonal line on the CNCC image - I'd be interested to find out what that is.

It was one of the Stake belays

Offline alanw

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Re: Collapse on Mud Hall traverse, Gaping Gill
« Reply #20 on: November 17, 2017, 06:40:56 pm »
Judging by that huge boulder on the floor I'm guessing the sculptures are gone?

The sculptures are up the slope on the other side from the collapse. There's quite a hole that you usually go around one or other of the sides.