Death's Head Hole


Country: United Kingdom
Region: Yorkshire
Subregion: Leck Fell
System: Deaths Head/Big Meanie


Park at the Leck Fell parking spot. Walk on the North side of the dry stone wall that runs North West from the car park. Death's Head is located about 500m up the field and 50m from the wall. It is located in a shallow valley so stop and turn perpendicular to the wall if you start walking uphill. It is the first big fenced off, tree lined shake hole you get to. There is a second fenced off, tree lined shakehole adjacent to it and 20m further from the wall.

Rigging and directions beyond the main shaft

See the CNCC rigging guide for the main shaft. Note that a 30m rope and 65m rope is enough to get you to the bottom of the main shaft. The 30m will do from the fence post to the second p-bolt. The 65m will get right down, including the traverse and short drop at the bottom.

TLDR tackle for connection to master cave:

  • 1 x 20m
  • 1 x 10m
  • 1 x 15m
  • 8 maillons
  • 1 sling and 1 krab

Once at the bottom there is a dug, scaffolded pitch leading off from the right hand side of the chamber. A 20m rope, 4 maillons, a sling and krab are required. A short traverse is rigged off off-brand p-bolts to a y-hang. A deviation should be rigged off the scaffolding near the top to avoid serious rope rub.

A mercifully short loose crawl leads to a slightly larger passage. A 10m rope is then helpful for a climb down rigged off a conveniently located stal. The way on is back beneath the climb under some boulders where a second small climb by some scaffolding continues [a disgusting flat out muddy puddle crawl is the more obvious way after the climb but not the way we went]. Stooping passage gradually enlarges and you meet the stream. Upstream soon gets grim. Downstream is the way on. Eventually a crawl leads to the final pitch into the main Leck master streamway.

The pitch is rigged off p-hangars (1 backup, 2 y-hang). 15m is probably sufficient. There is also p-bolt further back in the passage which may be for a longer traverse in high water conditions.

Downstream leads along pleasant streamway to the sump. Upstream quickly becomes neck deep wading which supposedly does not get better until you reach the junction with Lost John's.


Report Date
Yorkshire II 2023-02-19
Yorkshire Winter Tour 2022-12-20
Yorkshire 0.1 2022-08-28
Yorkshire Winter Tour 2021-12-19
Yorkshire Winter Tour 2021-12-19
Yorkshire Winter Tour 2019-12-16
Yorkshire Winter Tour 2017-12-18
Yorkshire Winter Tour 2016-12-19
Yorkshire Winter Tour 2012-12-16