The Craven Pothole Club welcomes fellow cavers to our summer meet which is spread over two weeks. During the meet the Estate has delegated supervision of access to the system to CPC.
The system is open to visiting cavers for the public week.
The winch down to the main chamber provides a good starting point for trips not needing SRT. If you wish to go across Mud Hall cows tails are required. Please tell the booking in tent your plans.
During the meet some of the other entrances to the system will be rigged for SRT. If you need advice about routes, entrances etc....ask!
You are welcome to rig other entrances with your own ropes if you wish, but let us know your plans.
Only competent cavers with appropriate experience and equipment may access the alternative entrances to the system. You are required to have BCA insurance (or equivalent).
If you choose to use our rigging it is on the understanding that this entirely at the users own risk and the usual checks and precautions you would take with any trip are required.
Any existing rigging must not be tampered with. If you have concerns about the rigging (damage etc) please inform the booking in tent.
Cavers entering the system using any of the alternative entrances must sign in (and out) with the booking-in tent. You are expected to leave a call-out time when booking in.
Descents / ascents of routes directly into the Main Chamber (Main Shaft / Dihedral / Rat Hole, etc.) are not permitted.
Anyone who wishes to use the winch to enter or (decides while underground to) exit the system is expected to book in, pay the usual fee and collect a numbered bracelet.
Craven Pothole Club's Gaping Gill Winch Meet 2023
- Opening Times (provisional)
- Friday August 12th: first descent at 09:00 am.
- Saturday August 13th to Sunday August 14th: First descent at 08:00 am.
- Monday August 15th to Friday August 19th inclusive: First descent at 09:00 am.
- Descent Fee: £20 per person (and return!).
- Minimum Age - The minimum age is 7 years (at the Meet Coordinator's discretion).
- Children must be accompanied by a responsible adult.
- Booking - We are unable to take advanced bookings.
- The Weather
- Will the winch be operating? The weather is always a consideration when visiting Gaping Gill. Although we dam the stream, diverting water away from the Main Shaft, prolonged heavy rain may necessitate a temporary pause in winching. Even local forecasts are not always a reliable guide to the weather at Gaping Gill, which can generate its own micro climate. The weather may change in the time it takes to make your journey to the Dales and walk onto the fell.
- What to Wear
Hopefully it will be a great day for your visit, but Gaping Gill is located on an open moor where the weather can be very different from that in Clapham village. Underground the conditions are VERY different from the surface - the temperature will be around 8 - 10°C (but will feel much colder due to wind and spray from the waterfalls). You MUST wear/bring warm, waterproof clothing. Boots/strong shoes are recommended. For their own comfort it is PARTICULARLY important that children are warmly dressed. If you are wearing inadequate clothing you will not be allowed underground. The ride on the winch takes about a minute each way and is often accompanied by spray from the nearby waterfall. During busy periods you will queue to ascend in the chair, so you'll need that warm clothing.
- Winch Closed Sign
- If we have to close the winch for any reason, our Twitter and Facebook pages will give notice. A sign will also be displayed at Ingleborough Cave.
- Ingleborough Show Cave is a separate attraction and has NO connection with the Gaping Gill Winch Meet!!
- The show cave staff are NOT responsible for any decision to close the winch!!
- Toilet facilities
- There are public toilet facilities at the public car park in Clapham.
- At Gaping Gill we provide basic toilet and hand washing facilities.
- There are no public toilet facilities at the Show Cave
- Book a descent as soon as you arrive at Gaping Gill by visiting the tent next to the winch.
- On booking you will be given a numbered wrist band and advised of your approximate descent time.
- The winch has a fixed descent/ascent capacity of about twenty persons per hour, which may result in extended waits at peak times.
- The walk to Gaping Gill
- Gaping Gill can only be reached on foot. Allow 11/2 hours for the walk to Gaping Gill from Clapham village via the Estate Nature Trail and Ingleborough Show Cave (the Estate makes a small charge for using the path).
- Only members of the Craven Pothole Club are permitted to camp at Gaping Gill. The landowner does not permit camping on the fell. There are campsites, bunkhouses and B Bs in and around Clapham village.
- Safety Helmet
- We provide safety helmets.
- Lighting / Torches
- We provide subdued lighting in some areas of the Main Chamber and our guides are equipped with lights, but please bring a torch or headlamp if you wish.
- It is well worth recording your visit for the family album and some fine pictures can be obtained using a hand held camera with flash. The Main Chamber always contains spray from the waterfall: take some means of protecting expensive equipment when its not in use.
- We do not have suitable facilities to provide refreshments at Gaping Gill, so bring a packed lunch.
- There is an excellent village store in Clapham and refreshments can be obtained during opening hours at Ingleborough show cave on your walk up.
Getting to Gaping Gill
Gaping Gill is situated on the lower slopes of Ingleborough Hill in the Yorkshire Dales and can only be reached on foot. The best starting point is the village of Clapham.
By car, Clapham is within easy reach of many popular Yorkshire Dales and Lake District holiday locations. The village is just off the A65, between Settle and Ingleton.
Clapham railway station is a short walk from the village, and has services from Leeds, Bradford, Skipton, Carnforth and Lancaster. Local bus services provide links with Skipton, Settle, Ingleton and Lancaster.
Cars can be left in the National Park car park in the centre of the village. From the car park, take the lane following the stream up through the village to the start of the Nature Trail (small admission charge) through the Estate.