Pollnagollum is a classic Fermanagh Marlbank cave. Situated on the Owenbrean it is a river cave of about one kilometer in length. It connects the massive sink of Pollasumera, high on Cuilcagh mountain, to Skreen Hill III in Marble Arch. While it’s easy caving with little squeezing or climbing, the cold water and series of deep lakes make it somewhat refreshing!
I have been to this cave many times and always enjoy a return visit. The fact that there are numerous stretches of wet passage that needs to be swum, means it is an extra challenge to photograph. Not just because it requires all camera gear to be waterproofed but also due to the extra moisture in the air which reflects light and can causes a haze.
Every time I swim the First Lake, with my camera gear locked away inside its ‘Pelicase’ I always get the uncomfortable feeling that maybe I didn’t tighten the latches on the waterproof box. (Swimming in the dark and wondering if my camera is drowning!). Or that maybe I haven’t attached the bags to my belt properly and that when I get across I will realise all my gear has been washed downstream!
It hasn’t yet happened, but I have still a return trip to do here to photograph the most iconic section of the cave, the Main Chamber, with it’s big stalactites and large open spaces.
The photo above, a joint effort between myself and Axel Hack, was taken during a recent trip to Pollnagollum in which we wanted to do justice to the parenthesised element of it’s name “(Of The Boats)”. Unfortunately, the inflatable dingy was just not made for the cave environment and burst almost instantly on contact with the sandstone boulders on the bed of the first lake! Here, Axel can be seen bailing for his dear life!
Pretty upper chamber with flowstone, gour pools and ‘glowing’ bacon curtains
The aven over the first lake
A closer look at the vast aven
The pretty upper chamber of Pollnagollum
|County Fermanagh||Caves By County|