Buttered Badger Potholing Club
A+ A A-
  • Hits: 1715

A dig and a tidy

This Saturday was a planned digging day, naturally the response was overwhelming and we had to thin the numbers to a respectable 5. Two of those were either arriving late or leaving early!

We were underground at something like 10:30 and immediately pleased to see the dig relatively free of water. Despite the majority of the passage being dry, there was still quite a bit of water at the dig face which required the wetsuit wearers to lie flat out and try to dig the gravel bank away at the end of the passage. This was made difficult by both the water temperature and the ever present danger of boulders falling out of the choke! We wanted to try and lower the floor to make life easier and remove the need to constantly fight to keep your head out of the water but the passage floor is really hard, compacted rocky gravel and under 6 or 8 inches of water it was just not happening. We need to push forward and drain the water down the choke before life gets any more pleasant.
We all headed out at about 4 feeling wet and very cold, we spent some time that night coming up with fore-poling ideas for making that choke a bit safer to work under.


Today we returned to No-Hope mine near Eldon Hill Quarry, this was something on Slitherstones (I think) rake that Phil Gregson and I had found a few years ago. We spent quite a lot of time down there digging and re-stacking old deads and eventually found our way into a shaft to a depth of about 50 or 60m. Phil left CAN and we both left the dig alone for a couple of years. I knew that we left a load of tools and materials down there and recently have been wanting to go and clear the place out. Chris and I woke at about 10, feeling a tad rough from yesterdays digging and had a leisurely breakfast before heading over to the mine. We managed to park pretty close and battled against the strong biting cold wind and spindrift to the boulder under which the entrance shaft descends. I was immediately reminded how much crap was there... So much in fact I was a little bit shocked!

We spent a couple of hours tidying up, de-rigging ropes, removing bolts and packing everything into 4 eye wateringly heavy tackle bags. We took these back to the car and returned for more crap before covering up the entrance and creaking back to the car for the last time. I'm really pleased we got rid of all that stuff, there is just a little bit left for the next quiet Sunday.