GB Cavern, Mendip – Waterfall route re-opened

The Waterfall climb in GB Cavern, Somerset was closed in 2021 after a major rockfall. Following a recent inspection, Charterhouse Caving Company Ltd (CCC Ltd) have now re-opened the route and have issued the following statement:

A major rockfall occurred in GB Cavern in April 2021, and following a safety inspection by the CCC Ltd Conservation officer and two CCC Ltd directors, cavers were informed that the route down Main Chamber via the Waterfall climb should not be used and that cavers should take the alternative route over the Bridge and via White Passage etc to reach Main Chamber.

The rock pile at the base of the waterfall climb just after the wall collapsed. Photo by CCC Ltd director Dave King.

The intention was to a) see if any further falls would occur and b) to see how the unstable collapse of rocks and mud settled with the benefit of higher water conditions over winter.

CCC Ltd have monitored the area since the collapse occurred and following a recent trip to assess the stability of the area, the directors and conservation officer of CCC Ltd are pleased to announce that there appear to have been no further major rockfalls and that the mud and boulder fall appears stable, so far as can be ascertained from a visual inspection there, and that there have been no significant changes since April 2021, despite some severely wet periods, therefore as a result of this inspection, the warning signs and tape has been removed from the top and bottom of the Waterfall climb. However, the warning tape above the left-hand side (when facing upstream) has been left as there is a sharp drop on that side and mud has slumped from there in the past.

Photo taken by Dave King from a similar position in April 2024.

Cavers are advised to take care when using the Waterfall route, particularly the boulder slope below the waterfall since more settlement may still occur here as cavers use the route. Cavers are requested to report any changes to CCC Ltd for further assessment if needed. Thank you all for your patience.

Gabriel Littler
Secretary, CCC Ltd, May 2024