Hollow Tree Hole, Langstrothdale by John Clarke

NGR SD912 791 Alt 371m Length c40m depth c21m

In 2010 we cleared some rock off a track by means of chemical persuasion for Stuart the farmer. He pointed us in the direction of a hole that he said was always running in no matter how much he tipped into it.

Smithy was back on the the scene after his accident so this dig seemed ideal to break him In, or break his back again!

As the title suggests the depression was just below the tree with a convenient limb over the hole where a pulley was attached for hauling out the spoil and boulders. The tree also had a handy hollow trunk for us to store the digging gear in.

Higher up the slope water came out of a small resurgence and went straight down the hole. This was annoying to say the least. A dam was made with two 5 cm outlets which we could connect to flat hoses to divert the water when working, and remove when not.

Ian came onboard and we quickly lowered the level and finally hit a horizontal rift. We installed scaffold with the help of Phil. As I was heading out of the rift a 1.5 metre scaffold pole rattled down the shaft scaring the hell out of me as my camera and nose were only inches away from the said pole.

Hollow Tree HoleAt the end of this passage was another tight drop leading to a very narrow rift. Time for Ian to have a go. Ian was keen to get to the front and after two or three metres promptly got stuck fast.

Now we had a problem, I’m bigger than Ian and Smithy had a bad back. But in the end I could could just reach Ian’s foot and Smithy could just reach mine. So with a lot of swearing and thrutching we managed to get out.

I mentioned to Ian not to push it so far in the future but both Smithy and I have done the same in the past. That’s how caves are found and we all got out safe. Without a lot of work including capping or snappering the way on may not warrant the time put in, but you never know.

Phil and Steve finally capped off the hole and did a great job.

It’s there for for some young caver’s to have a go at. Good luck!