Mark R, Mark W
Sunday 21st Nov 2010
Meeting at the farm at 10:30, we were quickly changed and walking over the fields to the top of Rowter Hole. There were only 2 of us this morning but we were expecting to see Robbie some time just after lunch.
The first thing we did when we got down was to have a good tidy up of all the bits of plastic sheeting and pipe that were lying around doing nothing. It was starting to get a bit of an embarrassing mess down there so it was nice to get things cleaned up. Once this was done, we headed down to the ‘phreatic’ dig to see what effect the water was having now it was being piped down there. We played around with the pipe for a bit before heading on to the abyss. We had both recently read in Ian Barker’s book- Classic Caves of the Peak District that in the 1920’s the Yorkshire Ramblers Club discovered a second large rift and called it the Abyss and that no sign of this had ever been found since but the name has since been given to a large aven. We had a good look around, trying to think where the first abyss could be but left none the wiser.
After a cup of tea, we headed down to the dig to haul out some buckets. We did roughly 25 buckets in an hour and came back up for another tea and hoped to catch Robbie coming down the shaft as we were on our break.
We never saw Robbie but I managed to heat up and eat a lovely Uncle Ben’s tomato and herb risotto and finished it all off with a bar of chocolate, some fudge, lemon and raisin pancakes and another cup of tea. Mark didn’t eat much- I was getting a bit worried about him actually but he assured me he just wasn’t hungry- his loss!
We went back down to the dig and swapped over, I was digging and Mark hauled. We took another 40 buckets out of the floor until water started to pool. One last swap over and another 10 buckets and we are at a point where you could now crawl down the passage (albeit flat out) for about 4 or 5 metres. I crawled in and could see perhaps another 4m after that.
We will need to lower the floor about another metre to keep the passage crawling height for as far as we can see but the digging is so easy, it should be done in another week or so and we can start making proper horizontal progress towards the main shaft.
One last cuppa to celebrate a healthy 75 buckets and we were out of the shaft before you could say Yorkshire Tea.
Another good day in the dig (6 hours ish)