An entertaining and direct route into the far reaches of EASE GILL CAVERNS. The entrance is a small opening on a rock shelf in the true right bank of the gill above a deep pool, pictured above in flood! 40m upstream of THE BOREHOLE entrance in the opposite bank.
It is possible to rig the cave for an abseil pull-through trip using a 50 metre rope but this should only be attempted by parties who are sure of their route-finding ability. The cave can become extremely wet in bad weather!
Opposite: looking up the First Pitch
Upstream of Anemolite Junction
The more active inlet is to the right but the left hand passage leads to a complex of oxbows and passages near Magpie Grotto. Following the more active inlet the passage soon develops into a wide trench with a bedding at mid height. The bedding on the right gives a series of passages, mainly ending in chokes, some heading back downstream to join the main passage or Magpie Grotto complex, and others heading toward the gill. Climbing further up the streamway the trench becomes a cobble-floored bedding that eventually becomes very wet and finally chokes.
Downstream from the foot of the first pitch continues in the large UPPER 'T' PIECE PASSAGE. About 25m downstream and high in the roof is a well decorated inlet, BABY FEEDER PASSAGE. This heads back towards the surface at a point near to and just downstream of the entrance. Original Exploration. RRCPC Newsletter Vol. 33 No.1 Article 4. April 1996
Baby Feeder Series
25 metres from the junction a diagonal climb of 6 metres leads to the foot of the awkward chimney into The Baby Feeder Series. Starting in the roof of the main streamway just downstream of Anemolite Junction, the awkward to enter passage begins low with a boulder floor and stream trench below. The way on becomes narrower beyond a stal-covered alcove on the right and soon awkward traversing, above a very tight and blind 13 metre pitch sequence, leads to ‘The Teeth’ formation. This feature forces one to crawl while hugging the left wall in order to pass its constriction and avoid contamination of the stals. From here the passage continues past a small aven and slowly degenerates as it splits into smaller inlets below the pool of Pool Sink entrance.
UPPER 'T' PIECE PASSAGE continues to the 8m Second Pitch which can be bypassed by climbing into an oxbow followed by a careful descent into the stream below the pitch. An inlet passage (The Craven Extension) can be accessed via a 7m exposed climb high in the roof just before the 2nd pitch on the left wall looking downstream. A low bedding with a squeeze after 10 metres leads to a larger section of passage as a vadose trench develops in the floor and an inlet comes in from the left. Eventually a 7 metre pitch is reached to a slot leading out partway down a 15m aven. The base of this connects wth the last pitch bypass route described below.
The 6m Third Pitch is
just a short distance downstream and is usually very wet. The 9m
Fourth Pitch follows almost
immediately with a useful flake belay to keep the ladder out of the
line of the water. A traverse out to bolts allows a free hang out of
At the bottom of the Fourth Pitch the passage levels out into LOWER 'T' PIECE PASSAGE.
A high level traverse, exposed in places leads
to a climb down to the stream which avoids Fourth Pitch, which can be
useful when abseiling through in wet conditions as the pitch can get
horribly wet. From the bottom of the Third Pitch climb up the right
hand wall of the passage for about 5 metres into a large chamber with
an aven off to the right. Heading in a downstream direction leads to
an easy traverse round a shallow shaft in the floor, to a point where
it is possible to drop a couple of metres into a high-level oxbow.
This leads after a few metres to a slither down into another passage,
and hence to a climb down into the stream passage arriving at the
base of the Fourth Pitch
The original climb up into the high level chamber mentioned above is steep and off-putting, but it can be avoided by a more practical but somewhat more obscure route. Carry on downstream from the Third Pitch for a few metres, until a thin rift passage enters up on the left. There is a ledge three metres up on the buttress formed by the junction, which can be easily reached by bridging. From this ledge it is possible to step up another metre to a higher ledge close to the roof, and from there crawl through a reasonably roomy letterbox. This leads immediately to the bottom of the shaft mentioned above. One passage leads downstream back into the roof of the stream passage, but another leads upstream to where the floor gives out. From here, an easy climb enters the high level chamber close to to the top of the original climb. The original route can then be followed to the bottom of the Fourth Pitch. See John Gardner's website.
Lower 'T' Piece Passage is mainly easy walking, with occasional scrambling over boulders to a junction with the large GREEN and SMELLY PASSAGE in a rather complex area. Turning left here soon brings one to a choke, with a crawl connection to THE BOREHOLE dropping down and under the left hand wall, whilst just before this point a passage leads off to the right into the start of SPIRAL STAIRCASE PASSAGE via an awkward 2 metre climb up into a winding mainly hands and knees passage. This twists and turns and eventually reaches a junction. To the right is a short walk to a 7 metre pitch back down to the base of the awkward 2 metre climb mentioned above, while to the left the passage enlarges through several pools past some fine formations. The passage gradually lowers to a hands and knees crawl over cobbles to an upwards slot connecting with WRETCHED RABBIT PASSAGE at the BIG RIFT
There are two ways of finding the Eccles By-pass connection with The Borehole, and both start at the point where the two routes from Holbeck Junction into Lower T Piece combine in a high chamber with a large fallen boulder almost blocking the exit. The first way follows the floor. Work your way round the boulder into the dry passage behind, and follow this for 70 metres or so back into the stream to where an inlet enters from the right (true left). This inlet is the continuation of Green n Smelly. Follow this to a climb where there is a seemingly unstable chockstone above your head. Climb onto this, and continue a couple of metres to where there is a hole in the floor. The Green n Smelly choke is a few metres further on, and Spiral Staircase Passage is off to the right. Clamber into the hole, and enter a smallish passage into which water is sinking. This gets a little bigger fairly quickly, passes a couple of uninviting junctions on the right, and then enters a wide bedding passage with a stream flowing down it. This is the bottom of The Borehole.
The second way joins the first at the seemingly unstable chockstone. Clamber onto the large block that almost blocks Green n Smelly, and ascend another couple of metres from there onto a traverse line. Follow this traverse line over a widening of the passage, to a junction. Cross over into the traverse to the right, through a bouldery bit, to the top of the chockstone.
Downstream from the junction with GREEN and SMELLY PASSAGE continues as an impressive passage with a large upper level, and a deep stream canyon. Finally the passage enlarges and the stream leaves via a passage on the left to join the EASE GILL main drain a short distance downstream from HOLBECK JUNCTION. A dry abandoned level continues to a further junction. the narrow passage off to the left can be followed to emerge at the head of a climb down into the impressive high level STRAW CHAMBER The main route continues to reach HOLBECK JUNCTION in a few metres.