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Pol Eighe (eyehole entrance)  Pol Eighe C  Pol Eighe (Upper)  Pol Eighe B  Pol Eighe E  Pol Eighe A  Pol Eighe D  Eighe, Pol  Earthquake Sink  Mayday Hole  Scott Robinson's Hole  *Dig Site  Manhole (The)  Traligill Rising  Lost Hole  Tree Hole  Bhrisdeadh-Duile (Uamh a')  Dry Weather Sink  Birthday Hole  Torran Garbha  Lower Traligill Flood Sink  Inclined Rift Cave  Lower Traligill Cave  Waterfall Rising  Traligill Basin [Overview]  Small Cliff Cave  Gleann Dubh Un-named Cave  * Rising (Traligill)  Un-named Dig 

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Pol Eighe

Assynt, Traligill, Glenbain, Sutherland.

NGR:NC 27029 21289
WGS84:58.14655, -4.94048
Length:35 m
Vert. Range:5 m
Altitude:210 m
Tags:Cave, Sink

Park at tourist car park at Inchnadamph Hotel. Follow the footpath east from Glenbain Cottage past a corrugated iron barn then follow the stream bed to northern edge of L-shaped plantation. The cave entrance is approximately 25 m west of the western corner of fence [possibly]. A stream resurges from a low crawl near the entrance which closes down after 4 m. The water crosses about 3 m of open shakehole (probably a collapse into the passage) then sinks again in a triangular rocky passage floored with flake breakdown (breakdown may need to be removed to gain access). Upstream part of cave, in a tight bedding plane, can be entered for about 6 m. A small chamber, 2 m in, allows turning. Water enters at right angles to the bedding plane form an inclined rift which is too small to enter. Above and to the left, a small crawl reaches another small chamber (the continuation of the inclined rift) which continues for 2 m before becoming too tight. Downstream, entered by dropping about 1 m through the triangular passage, slopes gently down into a wider section (a small chamber) where it is just possible to turn around. The way on is through a small bedding plane, along a passage with a square cross-section about 1 m wide and 0.3 m high, off on the left-hand side descending at about 10 degrees reaching a small chamber after 3 m. Beyond this is a narrow 0.3 0.4 m wide rift, best traversed sideways, which continues for about 7 m to a sharp left turn. The stream passage is too tight to follow and the way on is through a small eyehole to the left. This passes through an awkward Z-bend and 1 m in drops into a small pool which the stream enters from the right. A couple of eyehole cascades drop about 2 m into an low oval shaped chamber with a larger pool fed from a small inlet to the left where one can once more turn around. The water flows away into a very tight wet triangular crawl, a bedding plane floored with large blocks which make progress extremely difficult. Way on appears almost sumped and too narrow but (in 1974) no serious attempt was made to push further. At the right-hand side, rubble and gravel give way onto a narrow rift running at right angles to the chamber. Half-way along this 4 m fissure one must negotiate a 1.5 m drop; this is a tight squeeze and should not be attempted by larger cavers! The foot of this drop opens into another tiny triangular crawl. The rift becomes larger and about 2 m on reaches another chamber where water comes in from high on the left. The stream then drops 2 m into a tight rift which may be followed about 3 m before becoming too tight. The way on at the foot of the lowest crawl appears almost sumped and too narrow, but no serious attempt has yet been made to push the cave further. In wet weather the cave stream appears to resurge down valley, at a point near the footpath. Short trip but very serious. Pol Eighe not to be attempted lightly.

Alternate Names: Eighe (Pol), File Pot, File Hole, Ice Hole, Pol Eigghe, Watertie (watertight) Hole

Notes: Discovered 23 February 1974 by John Tillson, Pete Dowswell, Dick Grindley et al. returning from trip to Cnoc nan Uamh. Shakehole sink blocked. Preliminary clearance by Dick Grindley. Returned Saturday 6 July 1974. After small amount of digging by Phil Barton and Pete Dowswell, the entrance was entrance opened up and 80 ft (24.5 m) of passage explored. John Tillson extended the passage Sunday 7 July 1974. Further visit 3 Aug. 1974 by John Tilllson, John Travail and Bob Shuttleworth failed due to wet conditions but mentions two sink holes about 100 m to the north-west. Larger sink hole opened up - small stream sinks under large boulder passage dug out to reach a small pool sump which was relieved to allow stream to drain down a narrow fissure. 4 Aug 1974. Alan Jeffreys, Pete Dowswell and Phil Barton attempted to extend passage but abandoned in final chamber. Digging trip on Saturday 24 May 1975 by Alan Jeffreys, Pete Dowswell and J. Campbell, found small drop into 1st chamber had collapsed over the winter raising the floor of the canal. Too tight so unable to proceed beyond the mid point of the canal. Also investigated upper section of passage and sink below Pol Eighe next to footpath. Independently rediscovered by Malcolm McConville, 6 Oct. 2007 who found hand to wellie connection through eyhole to surface.

The Gaelic name 'Pol Eighe', can translate into English either as 'File Hole' or 'Ice Hole'. Pronounced Pol Ay, the Gaelic 'Pol Eighe' translates literally as 'Hole of the File' from 'eighe' meaning file or peat cutter. 'File Hole' is the translation favoured by the GSG and is used most often, as it supposedly relates to the roughness of the main passage although Pete Dowswell claims the name was chosen just because it sounded like 'Polly'. Another translation of Pol Eighe is 'Ice Hole', literally 'Cave of the Ice' which derives from the genitive or possessive of 'eigh' meaning 'ice' although this translation is less likely as the cave was discovered in summer. File Pot appears in only one reference and does not adequately describe the cave. Pol Eigghe appears to be a misspelling. No information on 'Watertie?' Hole.

Hydrographic Feeds: Small stream on north side of Glen

Hydrographic Resurgences: Stream feeds into Traligill River

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This entry was last updated: 2017-12-13 16:06:13

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