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Alum Pot is a very large pothole near Selside in the Yorkshire Dales. Taking the rough shape of a giant sock, it is 340 foot deep and the ‘toe’ is the end of the cave when the walls close down to meet a black frothy sump pool. A large waterfall flows down one side unbroken for 200 ft. In full flood it is an amazing experience as the hole is full of spray and the walls seem to thunder and shake.

There are several ways to the bottom, including a 280 ft freehanging abseil (I will post some photos of this in another post later on) and a couple of sporting caves – one with lots of very wet pitches – also lead down to the bottom. These caves can become very dangerous in flood and several people have lost their lives by drowning in them.

On this particular day my caving buddy ‘Stu-baby’ and I opted to do the ‘wet way’ – a 175ft climb out next to the waterfall – unfortunately it was particulary wet that day and the force of the water smashed my lamp and tore a boot off my foot.

A good day was had by all!

For best viewing experience please enlarge the photos by clicking on them…

Alum Pot - starting the waterfall climb

Halfway up.. the water is really coming down now

about 100 foot left to go - the shaft is full of spray and wind