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Long Gour Cave (a.k.a. ‘Hobo Hole’ & Skirwith Cave

Present: John R, Ian W, Pete H, Stacey A, Al C, Hannah B

Left circa 9.20am. Foggy, cold, generally grotty weather. Found Long Gour Cave – up quarry ramp and round outcrop on grassy slope. Covered with pallet … nice, and blocked with a concrete kerbstone. A saga ensued in which Ian contorted himself and underwent rebirth in order to explore the hole and eventually the block was hauled out using lightbelts! Hooray! The hole was small and grim and awkward for a body length, and then opened to reveal the Hobo Hole – a corner filled with bottles, boots, a bucket and a pan, and humongous spiders with evil intent. Cave drops steeply to meet small stream where crawling through rubble and grotty muck is required. A combination of wriggling, crawling and walking follows until we reach the gour pools – which were wet (surprise, surprise) and sharp and quite hard work. These continues until cave opens again at two B&B signs J, which is as far as we can get because a pile of rubble chokes the passage. Pretty good fun, and worth it for the pictures Al and Ian got of each of us emerging from the muddy, arachnid-filled entrance. Overall excellent and a shame we couldn’t go further.


Not satisfied by Long Gour, we decided to try for a second cave – one both Al and Stacey had tried a while ago. So we set off. Unfortunately we split into two parties; Al and Ian getting confused and wandering around Ingleton searching for the rest. Still, they extended the callout so all was good. Meanwhile the others had found cave #2 (coming under the road on the way) and Pete and John had a preliminary exploration – including a refreshing swim to the cascade. The formations were many and excellent, even more so when viewed on the way out. Once out, Al and Ian had arrived and so it was about turn, and everybody into the cave.


Having been through the cave already, Pete and John were rather nonchalant. The rest of us couldn’t wait to get caving. I think we mostly missed the formations on the way in (waters rising up bodies were rather distracting!). Ian and John went swimming off upstream to the waterfall. It was very impressive, especially with our lamps off! Back through the swim too the chamber of many photos and another successful and enjoyable cave done!