Chris A, Robbie S, Mark W, Grigoris Anastasopoulos
Having set off late due to a 120 litre pick up of vegetable oil for my car, I arrived at the farm about 20 minutes after everyone else so quickly got changed in the clear and brisk evening and made my way to the entrance of the dig.
I had been asked to get a couple of short handled shovels and a pickaxe (style implement) to help with the digging efforts and make chipping away at blocks of clay and stone walls easier. Without extra rope or any way of holding them, I fumbled around with my long cows tail to ‘secure’ the shovels and put the slate hammer (my pickaxe wannabe) into a welly then made my way down the shaft.
When I arrived, the others told me that the dam had been overflowing, this was caused when a piece of pipe lower down in the dig slipped and kinked itself, it only took a few minutes to get it sorted again but they had to endure the lower part of the dig under a heavy shower of icy water in order to get it fixed!
Half way down the last pitch near the face, I found Mark R and Robbie workin’ it with flash guns and faux trips of bucket emptying (repeatedly walking forward and backward) as Robbie tried to get THE shot he was after, but one of his flashies wasn’t playing ball and refused to go off when it was demanded of him. This was kindly attributed to me initially, but even without my radio interference the flash gun still wouldn’t behave and do what was asked of it, so there were probably underlying gremlins at work which Robbie will need to resolve at a later date. Eventually the shot Robbie was after emerged and I can proudly say even featured my little face and blue helmet (thanks for the temporarily loan LUPC), the finished article of artistic persistence can be found http://www.shonephotography.com/?p=1699.
After about 25 buckets Mark W and Robbie’s greek friend Grigoris begun to make their way out from the dig face where they had been diligently working away then we all begun the ascent up and out with all 5 of us on ropes at one point thanks to the addition of another re-belay last week.
Gina was waiting at the farm having neatly avoided being back from work in time to get involved in the dig, then instead of the usual trip to the Olde Cheese in Castleton we headed over to Eyam to meet some of Mark W and Robbie’s friends to discuss the Rowter dig and watch Grigoris nurse a pint of Guinness.
Another successful episode of digging, hauling, inappropriate flashes (... bad flash gun) and photography!