Despite being the only cave in the region to be signposted, Pollnagossan is definitely not the sort of place one would wish any hapless tourists to wander in to. On approach, a stream disappears just meters before the doline entrance. After a 3 meter down-climb the stream is met as it percolates down mercilessly on cavers crawling over the sharp rocks lining the 1m x 1m passage, named “The Car Wash”.
After a 10m pitch the cave opens up nicely and one comes to a large mud chamber. The mud in here is quite special and is very keen for cavers as I discovered on my second visit when, racing through the mud in the hope of photographing another caver struggling with his footwork, I found myself sinking almost waist deep. It was funny for a few minutes but I became fairly exhausted trying to free myself!
Then, after the punishment of the the ‘car wash’ and the indignity of the mud hall, the cave begins to open up and rewards the caver for his efforts. We now enter the pretty Trench Hall and associated passages.
A passageway runs north‐west from here containing many beautiful formations. Straws, stalagmites, stalactites, curtains, helictites, moonmilk and flow‐stone, all different manifestations of calcite precipitation in the cave environment, can be seen.
After this pleasantry, the cave returns to tight squeezes and muddy chambers, as well as another section of stream passageways and sumped pools (which I have not visited yet). Pollnagossan is a large cave with a complex geology and sits in relative isolation. I reckon it has good potential for new discoveries which might yield virgin passagesways and in turn help to explain it and its geological ‘role’ a little better.
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