MOSSDALE CAVERNS

Mossdale Caverns strikes terror into the hearts of many cavers, for it is the potholing equivalent of the north face of the Eiger.
Today the only stable entrance is sealed and permission to descend is not given as expeditions into this notorious system is inadvisable under present conditions. This is because Mossdale was the scene of Britains worst caving tragedy in June, 1967. Although no special equipment is required, the 6 mile (10km) system is graded V (super severe) as it involves crawling and squeezing for much of the way, in passages that flood completely even after moderate rainfall.
Cavers were drawn to the confines of Mossdale which is situated in Yoredale limestone in the hope that it will connected with a greater cave formed in the older Great Scar limestone below.
On June, 24, 1967 ten cavers entered the caverns. Four later emerged after three hours but when one of them revisited the entrance, the beck had become swollen submerging the entrance. She ran 2 miles (4km) accross the moor to raise the alarm. Cave rescue teams were soon on the scene but it was not until the small hours of the following morning that teams were able to get into the cave because a trench had to be dug to divert the water, but had to resurface due to water levels still being too high.
The following afternoon several search and rescue teams entered the caverns and after several hours of searching, the bodies of five men were found in the Far Marathon series, with the sixth being discovered the following day.
Today, the six men remain buried in the caverns, in a high level chamber, a permanent tombstone to the young men who perished in the name of the sport they loved.

Please note that this page is for illustrative purposes only as permission will NOT be given to descend Mossdale Caverns. Anybody entering these caverns under current circumstances not only will be putting themselves and any rescuers at risk they also risk bringing caving into disrepute.

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