3034: Langdales, The
Barrio de los Urros 30T 448442 4800299 (Datum: ETRS89. Accuracy code: A) Altitude 163m
Length included in site 4117, Cueva del Ciervo
Updated 15th November 2008; 9th May, 7th November 2009; 15th October 2011; 23rd May, 4th October, 3rd November 2015; 30th June 2018
The Langdales is now (September 2015) one of the six entrances to the Torca la Vaca System. The link is down a broken 35m pitch (p15, p10, p10) from the linked site 4117 (Cueva del Ciervo) which connected to Ed's Birthday Passage in the summer, 2015.
An area of large sandstone blocks with numerous draughts from the floor.
Four holes have been investigated but not all properly documented.
"Langdale 1" is a rift at the west end of the boulder pile which enters a
3m diameter chamber. There is an intermittent good draught from a low sandy
bedding on the right hand side. This needs further work as there appears
to be a 5m drop beyond.
Additional material supplied by Dave Gledhill
Either drop down 2m upper entrance or squeeze through the lower floor level
entrance to emerge in a chamber formed under very large sandstone block.
Immediately in front, floor slopes down towards what looks like top of a
shaft, but is blocked with sandstone boulders. Short squeeze down shows this
to be totally choked with no draught. Right hand wall of chamber is undercut,
revealing a low gap that can be squeezed through after excavation of the
dry mud/sand floor. Tight squeeze under wall to a larger round low chamber
(4m diameter?). There is a hole approx 40cm diameter in the middle of the
floor. Late August in the evening of a warm sunny day, this was emitting
a good steady cool draught. Hole looks down into top of a rift (5m, possibly
more ?). Rift narrows at this depth and has a few fallen blocks, but seems
to continue down after this point. Rift looks as though it continues round
to the left and access from this point would probably be easier. Floor of
chamber is covered in dry sand/mud and the are over the rift is more than
likely false floor. Walls of chamber covered in old-looking, dry, white
[First entered by me during prospecting on 26/7/08. Described it to
Mr. Pringle who went back the following day. Person unknown SRT'd entrance
at this point (2m abseil?).]
This site was further confused at Easter 2009, when it given the number 3167, now removed. The logbook entries are found here, including a sketch survey which adds to the measured survey (in preparation). The grid reference above is also disputed - the cave could be 100m further down hill to the southeast - a definitive grid reference is required. Note that both the 2m upper entrance and the squeeze through the floor level entrance are on the eastern side of the fallen block and so not visible from the track leading to site 2916.
The low entrance goes into a chamber with a boulder roof and a slope up to the left and a dig in the floor. The way on is to the right: a low crawl which opens up into a rift passage with a climb down into the rift. The rift narrows ahead (unsurveyed) and the way on is on the left into a high rift with a climb over jammed boulders. At a cross rift, left goes 2m to an 8.3m blind pit. Right goes to a large descending rift before a squeeze into a high aven chamber with no way on. However, there is a large space visible in the right hand wall 6m up. There are numerous cross rifts, most close quickly and some connect back as oxbows. (Additions to the survey can be found in the logbook scan).
In the summer, 2009 the pitch in the floor immediately after the squeeze under the wall from the entrance chamber was dropped and found to be blind with a gravel floor in a 0.8m wide and 4m long rift.
Additional material supplied by Dave Gledhill
There is an obvious fault running downhill from The Langdales, and this contains a number of interesting sites
which are well worth looking at.
Unable to GPS due to extensive tree canopy, but the 2 sites of interest are approx 30 & 50m down the hill
The first is a small depression that appears to be a swallet at times, although dry when we've seen it.
The depression is full of sandstone blocks from which emits a strong cold draught on a warm day.
We removed copious amounts of boulders and got down to limestone walls, although still full of boulders.
Easy digging but will need scaff bar etc to shore up.
Originally noted this spot at Easter last year - as did Andy Pringle - I left cairn as marker which he found.
Second spot is an obvious rectangular shakehole rather similar to entrance of Torca La Vaca, but about 1/10th the
Very, very strong draught out from small hole (8") in right hand corner (when viewed from uphill).
Several hours spent digging clay bank away from hole with limited success. Needs bigger shovel.
Looks like a tight rift at present but further excavation will allow better view to see if it widens or can be
These two areas really do draught very strongly, much more than The Langdales does, but will need quite a bit
of time & energy to go further.
They do appear to be in the correct place though.
A surface survey to tie in these sites was carried out in 2011.
The site was joined to new site 4117, Cueva del Ciervo, at Easter 2015 and is thought to be an easier way into the 4117 system. The link was through the hole in the right hand wall mentioned above.
Reference: anon., 2008e (summer logbook); anon., 2009a (Easter logbook); anon., 2009c (summer logbook); anon., 2011d (summer logbook); anon., 2015b (Easter logbook); anon., 2015d (autumn logbook)
Entrance pictures: yes
Underground pictures :
Detailed Survey : 1:200 (only main line surveyed) Logbook scan of text and sketch : See also Cueva del Ciervo or the Sistema de Torca la Vaca survey
Line Survey :
On area survey :
Survex file : yes (only main line surveyed) (Amended magnetic declination December 2013 to align with Eur79 grid and coordinates altered to fit ETRS89 datum, April 2014.)
Passage direction rose diagram: 30/6/2018