Collapse on Mud Hall traverse, Gaping Gill
13 November 2017
We have received reports of a substantial collapse on the traverse ledge around the top of Mud Hall, connecting the east side of Gaping Gill to the Whitsun Series and Corkys Pot.
This traverse is around the main pothole of Mud Hall on a narrow ledge with a significant drop on one side. The information we have indicates that this collapse is substantial and has wiped out part of the in-situ traverse rope and its anchors. The route around the top of Mud Hall is therefore impassable and should be avoided. Further collapses are very likely.
Please be aware that none of the Mud Hall anchors or ropes are CNCC-installed or maintained and should not be trusted. Abseiling to the bottom of Mud Hall instead is therefore not a viable option. Anyone intent on seeking an alternative route through Mud Hall is advised to remember that there is a considerable amount of loose rock and unsupported mud walls around the entire chamber. For this reason, cavers are strongly urged to avoid Mud Hall for now, and to watch the main CNCC newspage for more details.
The photo above shows the collapse (although is a little hard to make out). Thank you to the photographer for capturing this.
UPDATE 16th November 2017:
Following reports of a collapse in Mud Hall in Gaping Gill an inspection was organised by John Helm of Craven Pothole Club. On Thursday 16th November he was accompanied by Ian Patrick (CPC) and Simon Wilson (BPC). There has been a substantial fall of rock, clay and mud half way along the lower traverse. Some gardening was done and the traverse pathway (including the original in-situ rope) was reinstated as best as possible. This rope should be considered a route-marker only, and not a safe belay, due to its unknown integrity and anchorage. Although now passable, we recommend avoidance of this route until a more permanent solution has been found. This is particularly because the area has probably not yet reached equilibrium, and more movement may occur. More updates will follow in due course.
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