Gaping Gill Info

The Gaping Gill System is a 15km+ network underneath Ingleborough with numerous entrances, offering many excellent caving trips. At the heart of the system is the spectacular Gaping Gill chamber, open to the surface via a 100m shaft.

The UK's deepest underground waterfall plunges down this shaft, creating an amazing sight.

Twice per year a winch-meet event is run when the water is diverted and a gathering of cavers from local clubs operate a winch from the surface down into Gaping Gill chamber (Bradford Pothole Club in May, Craven Pothole Club in August). This is available for use by cavers and adventurous members of the public for a modest cost.

Information for cavers visiting the winch meet

During winch meets, the presiding club administers access to several Gaping Gill system entrances, including:

  • Main Hang
  • Dihedral (Jib tunnel)
  • Stream Passage Pot
  • Flood Entrance/Wades
  • Bar Pot
  • Corky’s Pot
  • Marilyn
  • Disappointment Pot
  • Small Mammal Pot
  • Stile Pot
  • Hensler’s Pot
  • Rat Hole

Several of these will be rigged so that cavers can enjoy a trip without carrying their own tackle.

Dihedral, Main Hang and Rat Hole are usually not able to be descended at all by visiting cavers during the winch meet.

Cavers wishing to visit one of these potholes should research with the organising club (the Bradford Pothole Club in May or the Craven Pothole Club in August) to determine which entrances will be rigged and when. Do not use the CNCC’s Online Booking System.

On the day of your trip. check-in at the caving tent next to Gaping Gill; they will keep a record of who is underground. Note that if you are wishing to use the winch for your upward or downward journey, you will need to purchase a ticket, arrange a timeslot and queue. It is courteous to ensure you are clean before using the winch.

Route descriptions and rigging topos for most of the major Gaping Gill system entrances can be found here on the CNCC's website.

Upcoming Winch Meets