Level 1 Caves for 'explorers'

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Hello everyone, I hope this kind of question is appropriate. Myself and a friend visited Ibbeth Peril last week and highly enjoyed the cave, it had the perfect amount of obstacles (crawl, boulder climbs) without too much danger. (Perfect weather)

However we are now looking for other caves that are similar but either can't find much information or it just contradicts.  We haven't had any training on pitches, ropes and such but are wanting to have a similar experience without the skills.

I wondered if anyone here would be able to suggest a similar cave, either in the Dale's or peak district. Other factors are of course the current pandemic and that it may be during rain.


Awesome, consider joining a caving club, plenty in the dales and peak that will be able to show you some trips and give you a chance to push yourselves a bit further with the confidence of someone with experience being there.

Other than that there is:
- the northern caves books series
- this forum, multiple threads talking about level 1 caves

a few examples of well-known level one caves in the yorkshire dales:
- Great Douk to middle washfold
- valley entrance to the head of the pitch
- the caves of ribblehead (thistle, runscar, katnot, black reef)
- Long Churns and wilsons

two words of warning:
check the latest access agreements on CNCC's website. you'll piss a lot of people off if you ruin delicate access arrangements.
check the weather conditions, use multiple sources, and ask locals if you're unsure. people can and do die by misjudging weather conditions in yorkshire caves.

and as a final point: there are several threads on here with ongoing discussion about when we as cavers feel it is safe or reasonable to be going caving again. Please do read through here to see what considerations we are making when deciding on when and where to cave.

Hi Sam,

Welcome to the forum and welcome to the best sport/ outdoor activity under the planet.

Unfortunately the current coronavirus situation makes this far from the ideal time to start caving for two main reasons, 1) Most clubs are currently not organising trips and 2) Cave rescue services are operating under difficult conditions and a reduced pool of volunteers. Current advice from our national bodies (in addition to government guidance) is to take extra care and remain well within you own ability. Personally, I would worry that if you are new to caving, it would be very hard to judge what you level of ability is and therefore where might be an appropriate place to visit. I think most cavers who are going underground at present will be visiting sites they are very familiar with, rather than breaking new ground so to speak.

On this basis, I would strongly advise you to wait until this is over before venturing underground.

That said, I'm not your mother and this is a free country, so if you do decide to go crawling into any holes in the ground, I would urge you to take particular care as there may be unexpected dangers that you are not aware of.

Once this is over, I would seriously consider joining a local club, who will be able to safely introduce you to the many aspects of caving, including SRT (single rope technique) used for vertical pitches. Clubs also have a good supply of equipment for members to use, so you don't have to go out and buy hundreds of metres of rope  :thumbsup:

In the meantime, if you do decide to go underground, in the Dales, you would probably enjoy the entrance passages in Valley Entrance in West Kingsdale (as far as the 1st pitch, but please don't try to descend this without proper equipment, or you will end up in trouble), or possibly Mistral Hole in the Ease Gill system, if you don't mind a bit of squeezy crawling on the way in/ out. Wretched Rabbit (also in Ease Gill) may also be suitable if you have good upper body strength for the entrance climbs which have a fixed handline, but please be aware that this cave provides access to an area of the system that floods completely in wet weather, the system also involves some very complex route finding, so do not go too far in one trip; better to explore a small bit at a time as you learn what is what.

Obviously refer to the CNCC website for latest access details (which may well be different to usual) and cave descriptions

I can't speak for the Peak as I don't now the area...

Whatever you decide to do, do your research, take care, turn around if you are in any doubt and let someone responsible know where you are going and when you expect to be out. Finally, remember to be considerate to the local population in caving regions, as damaged relations will take time to heal...

Stay safe.


--- Quote from: JoshW on June 02, 2020, 02:28:33 pm ---
a few examples of well-known level one caves in the yorkshire dales:
- Great Douk to middle washfold
- valley entrance to the head of the pitch
- the caves of ribblehead (thistle, runscar, katnot, black reef)
- Long Churns and wilsons

--- End quote ---

Hi Sam, welcome

The above is a great little list for you, and Josh and Pete have given some good advice. It's a strange time at the moment, so please be careful with landowners and sfor the love of god don't get rescued ha!

Where are you based?



I'm currently in the south, but once this is all lifted, will be having weekend trips to Yorkshire semi-regularly, and would be more than happy to take you for a whizz around some level one type stuff.

My current stance is that everything a little bit too "hot" at the moment though so I'm going to hold off on caving for a while, and certainly hold off on meeting people from outside my household, especially in enclosed spaces.. even if I need to test my eyesight..


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