Moorland Caver (2003)
NGR: SE 565799
Length: Circa 90m (this is very approximate)
Access: Ask for permission from farm at head of valley.
Entertainment Value: IV
Blood is basically a continuous boulder ruckle, extreme care must be exercised throughout as there is a constant danger from loose rock and boulders – trust nothing.
Originally this hole had three entrances, Blood Pit East, Blood Pit West and Blood Pit III; currently only Blood Pit West appears to be open, the other two having either collapsed or been filled.
Entry via Blood Pit West involves a cautious descent through slabs and boulders. Once in the explorer is confronted by a three dimensional maze over under and between boulders with no solid walls to be seen. Numerous routes, including several round trips, are possible depending on the tenacity and sanity of the explorer. Currently (1999) a line runs from Blood Pit West to a “letterbox” which leads to the deepest point, offering some guidance to the would be explorer. Continuing past the letterbox, up a rift should lead to the rest of the cave. Beyond this Blood defies adequate description; even with the survey route finding is a hit or miss affair. The current authors advice is “suck it and see” and above all go carefully!
For those who require a traditional guidebook description of Blood, two earlier descriptions are included below, make of them what you will:
Extract from M.S.G. 6:
“The west entrance to Blood Windypit (i.e the first entrance discovered) lies amongst boulders in a hollow at the top of the Western side of Shallowdale (NGR SE 566799). (From the farm follow the line of telegraph poles up the hill and then turn right for about 50 yds.). The East entrance (the second one discovered) lies 32′ away, in a grassy patch, to the Northeast. The third entrance (the last one discovered) lies, in turn 20′ East of the East entrance, in the side of the hill. The latter two entrances are covered by branches and rocks so that the cattle that roam the hillside do not fall in.
For the West entrance a 60′ rope, belayed to the large oak tree 25′ away, is advisable. A 20′ climb down leads to the main chamber. From here, a climb and traverse up to the right leads into the main passage, at the other end of which is the East entrance. To the left, however a squeeze leads to a rock bridge over the main chamber, 13′ below. Care should be taken, on the climb down, not to use the bridge as a hold.
From the Main Chamber, a crawl leads to a junction, with a letterbox going down to the left, and a fissure off to the right. A climb down the letterbox, which is often difficult on the way out for large people, leads eventually to the Bottom Fissure, 60′ below ground (we’ve done a great deal of digging here, but only with the result of breaking the prongs of two crowbars and bringing much of the roof down).
The right hand fissure leads into the extension series and Dave Criddle Chamber, into which the third entrance drops (this area has not been thoroughly “pushed”).
Back in the Main Passage, a crawl off to the right leads, via Bone Chamber, back to the West entrance, and two descents off to the left lead down to the Main Chamber.
From the East entrance, a crawl down over a rock bridge leads into a chamber, with the Main Passage coming in up a sloping crawl. No rope is necessary.
The third entrance is not recommended for large or clumsy people, as it is tight and unstable. A 40′ belay and 20′ ladder are needed, and a lifeline is advised in view of the number of unstable rocks.”
Extract from Northern Caves, Vol I:
“WARNING – Danger everywhere from loose rocks.
Three entrances on W side of Shallowdale; W entrance among boulders in a hollow 65m NNW of farm at head of valley; 10 m E is E entrance, round hole covered with boulders. No. 3 entrance is 9m E again, in side of bank and is tight and unstable. Latter two entrances should be covered securely. A complex and unstable windypit-type cave with many passages lying close to the surface.
From W entrance an 8m climb among boulders (handline advisable) leads to small chamber. To right, short climb and traverse lead via crawl into main passage. Ahead through crawl and up climb is E entrance. To left various ways lead to Main Chamber. From here a squeeze leads to a T-junction. To left and down a letterbox is the bottom fissure, the deepest point. To right a climb leads to 9m high chamber. Various crawls, only partially explored, lead off. Entrance 3 drops into this chamber.
Entrance Main (W) : 15m handline
Entrance 3 : 3m Ladder, 12m Belay, 11m Lifeline
BCRA Transactions – Vol.3 No.2 – The North Yorkshire Windypits (1976)
Blood Windypit SE566799 Altitude 650 ft. Length 300 ft. Depth 52 ft.
References: Coghlan, 1973c; Brook et al 1974.
This windypit lies on the west side of Shallowdale, and has three entrances. The west entrance is among boulders in a hollow 200 ft. NNW of High Woods Farm at the head of the valley. The other two entrances are normally covered over and not used. The windypit is complex and unstable, with many passages lying close to the surface. It has an upper series very close to the surface (hence the three entrances), which is everywhere very unstable, sharp, and awkward. Then, below the letter-box, the fissure is deeper, and runs subparallel to the main valley side. The alignment of the upper levels, roughly at right-angles to the valley side, is subparallel to Pond Slack, a tributary valley which enters Shallowdale immediately to the north of the windypit.
Northern Caves Volume 5 – (1974)
BLOOD WINDYPIT NGR SE.566799 Grade II
Alt. 650 ft. (198 m.) Length 300 ft. (91.5 m.) Depth 52 ft. (16 m.) E
xplored 1972, A. C.V.S.U. WARNING — Danger everywhere from loose rocks. Three entrances on W side of Shallowdale; W entrance is among boulders in a hollow 70 yds. (64 m.) NNW of the farm at the head of the valley. 32 ft. (10 m.) E is E entrance, a round hole covered with boulders and No. 3 entrance is 30 ft. (9.1 m.) E again, in side of bank and is tight and unstable. Latter two entrances should be covered securely. The various holes give access to a complex and unstable windypit-type system with many passages lying close to the surface. From main (W) entrance a 25 ft. (7.6 m.) climb amongst boulders (handline advisable) leads to a small chamber. To right, short climb and traverse lead via a crawl into main passage. Ahead through a crawl and up a climb is E entrance. To left various ways lead to Main Chamber. From here a squeeze leads to a ‘T’ junction. To left and down a letterbox is the bottom fissure, the deepest point. To right a climb leads to Dave Criddle Chamber, 30 ft. (9.1 m.) high and the largest in the system. Various crawls, only partially explored, lead off. Entrance 3 drops into this chamber.
Permission—farm at head of valley.