Mark R, Chris H, Ben E, Adam P, Tim N, Sam – our latest badger….
Following a productive Saturday of preparation for the Oman Expedition (see here), the Badgers retired to BBPC HQ to enjoyed a quiet night of gin sampling, beer gulping, nerf gun wars and some indoor archery before a (relatively) early night to prepare us for another trip down Rowter.
Following the traditional healthy breakfast, we set off in convoy for the dig, struggling to avoid the thousands of cyclists who had suddenly appeared in the Peaks and seemed intent of integrating their bikes with my wheel arches. Arriving to find Rowter Farm bathed in warm sunshine, we had a tricky time convincing Tim that the day should be spent underground, but the (false) promise of porridge soon had him moving.
Despite the dry conditions on the surface, Rowter was still a little damp, more so as some of the drainage systems had failed resulting in a very soggy dig. Not wanting to catch hypothermia we divided into two groups. Group 1 (Ben, Tim and Sam) set about surveying the dig thus far, making full use of Sam’s skills in this area, while Group 2 (Mark, Adam and Chris) headed for our dry alternative dig (Rowter 2.0) to undertake some dry stone wall construction (or in Adam’s case, dry stone piles) to try and stabilise things.
With the piles of rock in place, group 1 (minus Tim, who had realised there was no porridge and left) returned to start digging. Our newest member, Sam, demonstrated his commitment by grabbing the shovel and diving straight in, leaving Adam, Ben and Mark to chain the spoil up to Chris, who had by this point wedged himself in the stacking area and refused to leave.
After many tons of spoil were removed and stacked, it was time to head home, with Mark, Chris and Sam chasing each other up the main pitch while Adam and Ben “took in the sights”, made all the nicer by Ben’s lovely new lamp. Another successful day , we all departed for warm food/showers/long drives home.
Up the Badgers!
Apprentice Surveyor's Report
Eager to test out our new cave surveying expertise, the Badgers entered the now legendary Rowter Hole on one of, if not, the most horrifyingly warm, sunny and beautiful days this year. Once all the badgers had convinced themselves that they would rather spend this glorious day underground, the oversuit dance was quickly performed in good spirits and the entrance pitch descended. The encroaching darkness rose up from the depths of the main pitch with its, now all too familiar, enveloping hug. As the bottom of the pitch loomed out of the shadows the badgers split themselves between the two chosen tasks for the day.
Whilst the construction team, Mark, Chris and Adam, started on some impromptu drystone walling and slope stabilisation on the marginally less squalid 2nd dig site, Sam and myself set about the task of surveying the dig. The previous day's workshop based surveying tuition was invaluable for me as I set about selecting survey points, taking measurements and recording data. With my lack of surveying skills easily out weighed by Sam's expansive experience, the survey was completed in good time. The rest of the day's underground activities saw a good amount of sand moved from the 2nd dig location with a well oiled badger chain coupled to an eager digger, Sam, and Chris in his element; a confined space.
Using the superb free cave surveying software, “Survex”, the gathered data can be de-cyphered and plotted in 3D (see below). Survey result = ~8m till main shaft break through! Next task – trying to work out how can I be available for the next Buttered Badger Rowter Outing!? !?
Dig for victory!!
Rowter Plan View Survey: