This was one of the trickiest passages in the cave, you had to straddle the two pillars and not fall into the crack. It truly is not as steep as depicted here, but it is where that person broke their leg when they slipped.
I've taken the liberty of quoting from "The Underground Atlas": At the southern end of the Dead Sea, on the long, low Mount Sedom, there is a very pronounced salt karst which includes funnels, lapies, shafts and
caves. The latter include the longest and deepest known in the world in salt; Malham Cave has some 3,100 meters of passages and is 130 meters deep.
They did not mention that it is also beautiful.
This was one of the most perfect stalamites we saw, you can see its smaller stalactite cousin on the roof of the cave. Some of the salt formations are of an almost pure salt, you can lick them and shine a light through.
You can see some of the salt formations off to the right hand side of the picture, the passage through the caves is fairly easy in most parts, even the inclined surface you see here is easy if you watch your step not to slide. But do be careful we had to do a rescue of a person who "slipped" here and broke their ankle. Carrying a person through these caves for several kilometers was NOT FUN....
Some of the chambers can be quite large as you can see in this picture. Was able to take this picture from a distance of about 20 meters. This is one point in the cave where the ceiling has fallen and I have climbed the rock (or salt) pile to find the continuation into the next chamber... If you look carefully at the picture you will see stirations or streaks in the "rock" of the ceiling, the white streaks are actually almost pure salt.
Here are some good examples of the salt stalagmites to be found in the Malham cave. If you think about the time it takes to build something this size (the big one is over a meter tall), it ranges in the hundreds if not thousands of years. They are beautiful to see up close and imagine them building one slow drip after the next as time passes on the outside of the cave.
You can see several of my friends here and notice the lack of special equipment, all you really need here is a pack for water and plenty of batteries. I had 4 seperate lights with me, just in case....
There are of course a few places where it is quite a tight fit. If you have any excess weight, this is not the place to begin losing it...Also if you have problems with tight spaces this is not for you, although in most places here in Malham the passages are wide and comfortable there are two or three "tight ones".
This was the most spectacular room I think in the entire cave, just beautiful. I know the picture does not do it justice, but this is the only way I can share a little of it with you. We had to be so careful while moving through this room so as not to touch any of the Stalactites or Stalagmites, but as the flashlights played around the room, the difussion of the shadows by the distorted light shining through the salt was surreal.
What do you call a stalactite when it extends from the ceiling to the floor, or a stalagmite when it reaches the ceiling. Is it now a stalactite/stalagmite, or what. I am sure there is a way to tell from which direction these grew, but we could not tell.
Almost all caves are the result of water flow (unless it happens to be a cave formed in a lava flow from a volcano), Malham is no different in that respect. Here we are traversing the "river bed". It is a passage for several hundred meters with a low ceiling that only the smallest of our group could crawl through, the rest of us had to slide on our sides, backs or stomachs. It is active in this desert area only when there are some of the infrequent rains.
My friend Giora is sitting and saying OH NO, to himself just as he gets a glimpse by way of his flashlight of the way we have to continue here in the Malham Cave.