The Gaping Gill winch operates twice a year; over the Spring Bank Week at the end of May, run by the Bradford Pothole Club and at the end of August, run by the Craven Pothole Club.
Situated on the SW slopes of Ingleborough
at an altitude of 1300ft (400m) above sea level, Fell Beck ends its meandering
course abruptly, and plunges 330ft(100m) down into the limestone plateau
creating Britainís highest unbroken waterfall. It lands on the floor of
Gaping Gill, the largest cavern in Britain, known as the Main Chamber.
New! Panoramic view of the Main Chamber by Martin Smith (Click & move around the Chamber with your mouse)
The Gaping Gill system is one of Britainís
longest and most complex cave systems. As well as the Main Shaft the system
has nineteen other entrances. All these entrances unite underground and
the water running through the caves eventually emerges into daylight at
Ingleborough Cave, the Show Cave passed on the walk up to Gaping Gill.
The connection between the two caves was made in 1983 by cave divers negotiating
flooded sections of passages called sumps, using breathing apparatus.
The next Gaping Gill winch meet is from May 23rd to May 29th 2015
The price of a trip for our 2015 Winch Meet is £15.00 per person.
No pre-booking is possible, descents are in order of numbered tags, issued on the day at Gaping Gill. Ascents are by queueing for the next available winch chair.
Advice for visitors.
Park in Clapham village and allow one and
a half hours to walk to Gaping Gill via the Ingleborough Estate Nature
Trail and Ingleborough Show Cave.
The Bradford Pothole Club welcomes fellow cavers to our winch meet.
In addition to the winch, during the meet some of the alternative ways into the system may also be rigged for SRT.
Only competent cavers with suitable equipment and who have BCA Insurance may access alternative entrances into the Gaping Gill system. It should be noted that descents/ ascents of those routes landing in the Main Chamber (Main Shaft/ Dihedral/ Rat Hole, etc.) are not permitted.
Any existing rigging should not be tampered with or left in an unsafe condition. Moreover, because full-time policing of the system and the rigging cannot be undertaken by the BPC, if visitors choose to use our equipment it is on the understanding that they do this entirely at their own risk.
Cavers entering the system using any of the alternative entrances should leave details on the signing-in board at the GG booking-in tent.
Anyone who plans to use the winch to enter or exit the
system must book in, pay the usual fee of £12 and collect a numbered
Professional film or photography requests require 6 weeks notice.
NO pets are allowed down Gaping Gill, please arrange your own pet babysitter, as we do not offer this service.
Please try and avoid leaving your dog tied up and yapping its head off for the duration of your visit underground!