• BCA AGM 11th June 2023

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Aygill Caverns - !WARNING!


Alex said:
I was just thinking of cementing all those loose boulders together, but that would have to wait until the next dry spell I guess (and who knows when that is). The actual blockage itself seemed easy to clear out as I got down a couple of feet with my bare hands when I was there a few months back. Just had no where to put it without a drag tray.
We have just completed cementing. see below


We have now drilled holes in the two dangerous boulders ready for breaking them up! Please keep away from the cave for the moment while we continue this work.


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New member


The dangerous large boulders beneath the 1st pitch have been chemically reduced and there is no passable route to the main cave.  Formerly, a slot down between the wall and these boulders led to a route beneath the boulders and on into a more solid tube to the 2nd pitch.  This is now completely blocked with rubble and debris.

Visits are not advised as the site of the former large boulders may still be unstable and liable to further collapse or sudden 'settling'. There is no way further into the cave.

Work will now commence to dig out and make safe a route to the 2nd pitch.

A further announcement will be made when this work is completed.  Until then the cave remains CLOSED.



New member
Update: 17th July

An RRCPC work party (Ray, Sam, Hugh, Dave, Phil) has cleared up the remains of the blasted boulders at the bottom of the first pitch, and built a retaining wall to open up and stabilise a new route into the tube below the first pitch.

The climb down still needs some more work and clearing up before it can be declared safe, so please don?t visit yet.

The new route down is the obvious hole on the true right face of the rift, directly at the bottom of the first pitch. Previously, it was a small tube on the true right face, a few metres upstream from the bottom of the pitch. You no longer need to due a 180 turn in this tube, due to how the boulder pile has rearranged itself. Beyond this tube, the cave is as described in guide books, unmodified by the floods.


New member
Attached are some before (standing on detritus and pondering) and after (posing on the ladder) photos of the bottom of the first pitch. The ladder now hangs straight into the continuation on the true right wall of the rift.

As a reminder, the route is not yet deemed to be totally safe. There?ll be an update when it is!


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New member

On the 8th August a team of five Red Rose members completed work on the choke beneath the 1st pitch (Traverse Pitch). Further walling of the hole in the floor stabilsed loose material and now allows a simple descent of 2m into a solid rift and the continuing crawl to the 2nd pitch.

** Descend this hole with care as it is still overhung by some very large boulders **
.  We believe these are pinned in an arch and should be secure, but make your own evaluation and descend with the normal caution you would take with descents through chokes.

With the main gill outside the cave in flood after heavy rain, the new dam was thoroughly tested.  On the whole this has proved very successful, and only a very small stream was finding its way into the cave and down the crawl to the 2nd pitch.  Under the conditions this made the pitch a little splashy but nothing to write home about. However, the main stream at the bottom of the pitch was impassable and the whole cave was reverberating to the thunderous roar of water bombing down The Cascades. So while entry to the cave is achieveable, a trip under these conditions is not at all sensible.

Many thanks to all the Red Rose members who volunteered their time to reopen the cave. A large team built a substantial new dam in a day, and then a smaller team took over the digging and engineering underground. A special thank you to Alan Speight (YSS) for his explosives contribution.

Pics show the walled hole beneath the 1st pitch, and main Aygill stream on 8 Aug. (pics by Chris Hunter)


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Active member
On Mendip, when we build a wall of boulders we use cement to hold them in place.  It will last a lifetime.


New member
rhychydwr1 said:
On Mendip, when we build a wall of boulders we use cement to hold them in place.  It will last a lifetime.

Up here in the Dales walls have been standing for hundreds of years  ;)