This earlier question discusses how to get through the three gates in Ustengrav Depths. Unfortunately my follower can't run as fast as me and is trapped behind the gates.

According to a couple of sources, after I get through the gates they're supposed to remain open. They don't.

My plan right now is to complete the quest then cycle back through the dungeon to retrieve my follower. But am I missing a trick here to keep the gates open? Are the sources wrong? Is my game just bugged?

Edit: this after getting through the end of the dungeon and looping back around to the upper level of Ustengrav, my follower ran up to meet me, so it wasn't a big inconvenience in the end. But experimenting, researching, and fretting about it until then was definitely an inconvenience (and an annoyance). I imagine it'll annoy others, so I'd still like an answer to this question if anyone has one.

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    It certainly appears like a patch or something to do with hearthfire and dragonborn dlc. I've done this on multiple characters before and they used to stay open after sprinting through, now it seems like there is no way to keep those gates up.
    – user67173
    Jan 20, 2014 at 1:19

3 Answers 3


In general, if I pass an obstacle that my follower can't navigate, I can walk up ahead a bit then rest for an hour. This almost always forces your follower to teleport beside you.

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    I often do that too, but I assumed it wouldn't work in this case because of the hard barrier. I was wrong: it worked just fine. Better yet, it let me bypass the whole unpleasantness with the flaming floor that can kill followers. I went past that area and then waited an hour. My follower joined me with no scorch marks. I felt a little cheap doing it, but I suppose it's fair: exploit a glitch to get past a glitch. Jan 3, 2012 at 21:46

I've gone through Ustengrav three times with different characters (albeit never with a follower) and the gates have always stayed open after I got through without me needing to do anything deliberate to open them. I have a vague memory of there being a pull chain there which I assumed would open them if necessary, but I may be imagining that, given all the other traps with a pull chain to disable them after you get through.

In any case, it sounds like it bugged out on you. Maybe you timed things just right so that you went past the activator that's supposed to lock them open so quickly that it didn't trigger?

  • There are chains to pull if you get stuck in between the gates, but there is not one on the far side. The gates stayed open for me when I got through, though, so it does sound like a bug Jan 3, 2012 at 0:12
  • The gates actually stayed open after I made it half way through them (really I think its just beyond the first one to stop you from timing it just wrong and getting stuck in an unplayable game between two gates).. Lydia was then able to follow me and set herself on fire ... alot... hehe. I did make her 'stay' until I had made it through though, maybe that was the key? I then went back and picked her up.
    – James
    Jan 3, 2012 at 0:52
  • I don't think it's a timing issue since I've run through at least 6-7 times, trying different rates and stopping places. Given the problems with followers dying in flames after the gates, I wondered whether Bethesda patched it recently to keep the follower from coming through (I went through after downloading a new patch today). Either that, or my particular run-through is just bugged. Jan 3, 2012 at 4:17
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    @DrewG I had literally just finished Ustengrav when I posted my first comment, so I don't think you would have been running a different version Jan 3, 2012 at 16:24
  • @DaveMcClelland +1, thanks for the clarification. I must just have a bugged instance for some reason. Jan 3, 2012 at 21:47

I just went through Ustengrav for the first time and when I used whirlwind shout to pass by all three stones, the gates stayed open afterwards. I didn't even have to sprint through the gates, just past the stones. So, my follower could get by without a problem.

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