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Ireby Fell Caverns is a pothole which is situated just outside Ingleton in the Yorkshire Dales – in Ireby Fell (funnily enough). Not too long or deep (3 miles and 400 ft) it is a superb trip – especially in flood, although I was once trapped there for several hours waiting for the water levels to drop. It is a favourite with ‘rescuees’…

It contains 5 pitches (‘Ding’, Dong’, ‘Bell’, ‘Pussy’ & ‘Well’) although ‘Pussy’ is not really a pitch just a short drop – but next to ‘Pussy’ is a tight crack 5 ft up the wall and 12 inches wide which everyone calls ‘The Pussy’ – I have no idea why (hem, hem)…It is a struggle to get through especially if you are not very thin…

Once through this, a long winding streamway breaks into the side of a large passage and the stream then flows silently through this cavern – ‘Duke Street’, and eventually into a sump. Having spent some time in the sump chamber and seeing it in full flood I know why it is called ‘Whirlpool Chamber’.

Ireby is a superb trip – not too hard but with a lot of variety. It is part of a much larger system, but I may tell more about this later.

Enjoy the slideshow…

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