29 comments on “Bravery and tragedy at Mossdale

  1. Excellent post, SP. I already knew some of the story of Mossdale, and have walked out that way – it’s a sombre spot.

    I started caving a couple of years after the accident – it worried my mum sick, as she also remembered the tragedy, such had been the impact on the ordinary public.

    Your photos, as always, added greatly to the story – nice one!

    • Thanks Paul. I have been inside once just to Assembly Hall…the guy I went with bottled it when he saw the peat sods and foam in the roof and wouldn’t go any further. I must admit I was glad to get out…won’t go in again…but it is a nice walk up in the meadows past Gill House.

  2. Caving has never appealed to me but I admire those who do it. A very well written and sad story. The images really capture the wildness of this region.

  3. This is so incredibly interesting to me since I find geology, glaciation, plate tectonics and crustal rebounding so interesting. England and Michigan were both covered deeply by glaciers during the last round of world glaciation. You write the story so well too. No way will you find me more than ten foot inside that cave entrance… Appreciate the great photos and writing. :)

    • Thanks John, glad you like the article. Being an (ex) caver I found geology fascinating and learnt a quite bit about karst and cave development. The known passages of Mossdale are formed in Yoredale series limestone, but the main cave must lie in Great Scar limestone..having a chert band separating the two. How the water finds it’s way though is anyone’s guess…

      • Water has been called the “universal solvent”, it can in time slice it’s way through most anything. Ever read about glacial Lake Missoula in the American northwest? That flood many thousands of years ago scoured everything right down to the bedrock and left ripples up to 30 foot tall. Whoa!

  4. I was both entranced & terrified by your description… and “they were caught in a passage 18 inches wide and 2 foot high” is one of my worst nightmares, but the photographs are mesmerising. I want to look at them again and again.

    • Thank you very much…glad you like this one. Have you read the full article the link points to? There is so much more…Leakey is an incredible figure, he explored all those thousands and thousands of feet of passages entirely on his own…an amazing feat seeing they are only inches hign and flood prone.

      • Not a lot of time today but I’ve kept the email notification for the post as I plan to go back & enjoy the photos again, and I’ll look at the article via the link :)

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