OUCC Proceedings 9 (1979)

Stone-Lid Cave

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John Singleton and Dave Thwaites

(See also article in OUCC Proceedings 11, with redrawn survey)

An alternative Osu entrance; good vertical fun, but draughty.

An obvious 4m pit next to a small cliff can be descended by ladder to a ledge with two holes leading off it. The left-hand one emerges 10m above the floor of a 15m high chamber. Instead of laddering this it is best to climb down the passage leading off to the right which enters the chamber at floor level. This route requires a handline.

The chamber has a boulder floor, and light streams in through a crack in the roof. Originally this crack was much wider, but has now been covered with rocks by shepherds (hence the cave's name). At first one of these stone 'lids' was removed at the surface to give a 15m free hanging alternative entrance pitch.

At the lowest end of the chamber, near a pile of bones, a steep tight passage leads on downwards. After passing two too-tight holes, this emerges at the top of a 2.5m climb, which should be descended with great care, as the next (20m ) pitch starts immediately below it. At the bottom of the pitch, a rift is encountered to the left which can be descended for 3m before it widens out. Here two bolts are inserted to give a 10m free hanging pitch into Osu upper streamway.


Entrance pitch 5m ladder and short belay round rock.
Climb 10m rope tied to pillar or boulder.
2nd pitch 30m SRT. Primary belay is a flake at the bottom of 2.5m climb, and secondary one is at top of climb. A 2m tape loop and a crab are required to pull the rope away from the lip of the pitch.
3rd pitch 15m rope belayed to two bolts, one on each wall.

(Anchors only, ungreased.)