UK Caving

WHERE THE CAVES ARE - The Caving Regions => The Dales => Topic started by: grahams on September 15, 2021, 09:31:10 am

Title: Smardale
Post by: grahams on September 15, 2021, 09:31:10 am
Has anyone done any prospecting or caving in Smardale (near Kirkby Stephen)?

I've been attempting to reach the resurgences in Crag Wood on the opposite side of the valley to the Witches Stride for the last couple of years but have been beaten back by covid, nettles, loose vegetated rock and mozzies. Location is 54.459154, -2.422578.

Title: Re: Smardale
Post by: Pipster on September 15, 2021, 03:21:38 pm
Not really.... but whilst on holiday around that area last year, I noticed a lot of water issues from two springs around 54.453538, -2.424605 - just below the footpath.
Title: Re: Smardale
Post by: grahams on September 15, 2021, 04:49:48 pm
I had a good look at those last year. You're right, a lot of water issues here but unfortunately out of scree, so a JCB would be needed to get anywhere.

Title: Re: Smardale
Post by: mikem on September 15, 2021, 07:06:37 pm
Seems to be plenty of limestone:
https://www.cumbrianaturally.co.uk/blog/smardale-westmorland-geological-society-field-trip

But this may be closest well known site:
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Devil%27s_Grinding_Mill
Title: Re: Smardale
Post by: Fulk on September 16, 2021, 08:59:17 am
Quote
Seems to be plenty of limestone:
My impression from wandering round the north of England is that there is a lot more limestone outside the main (northern) caving area than in it; does anybody know the extent of limestone 'in versus out'?
Title: Re: Smardale
Post by: Pitlamp on September 16, 2021, 09:26:16 am
A good starting point is Phil Murphy's BCRA publication on the "Cumbrian Ring" (of limestone around the perimeter of the Lake District).
Title: Re: Smardale
Post by: grahams on September 18, 2021, 09:36:04 am
I finally managed to bushwhack my way through the lost world of Smardale yesterday. No mozzies but plenty of slightly too curious wasps on the climb up to the wee cave in Crag Wood. The walk in was through thick vegetation and chest deep nettles overlying loose rock. Slow progress and very unpleasant.

The cave is at about the same elevation as the disused railway which runs through Smardale and is best reached from the Witches Stride, a small viaduct. Reaching the cave involves an awkward climb of about 20 ft up loose vegetated rock above a dry waterfall. The cave consists of a body sized tube (though not my body size).

There are no signs of previous exploration although the cave is obvious in winter when it is flowing. It would be nice to find something in a 'new' area but, as I'm too old for this sort of thing, I'll not be going back.

SimplePortal 2.3.5 © 2008-2012, SimplePortal