Mark R, Tim A, Mark W
25th April 2013
Tonight was the night that we made the first step towards starting the new dig in Rowter Hole. We had decided to have a go at the old DCC dig in the level towards the abyss. This meant learning how to cap and getting hold of some capping rods, acquiring scaffolding and timber, re- bar, drills, scaff clips and a load more bits and bobs. Tim was down in Sheffield doing some assessing for Mark so came along to help carry a load of this kit underground.
I arrived at the farm first at 7, closely followed by Tim and a little while later Mark. We were soon changed and had taken the piss a bit out of Marks new shiny kit when we turned our attention to the pile of materials and tools I had brought to take underground. We each selected 2 scaffold poles and we split the clips between two very heavy bags. Mark had brought a couple of ropes which we took for the entrance. Not 100% sure one would reach the first re belay we tied two together and threw them down the shaft. Tim was the first down and ended up not only having to do a knot pass to reach the re belay but also had to disentangle the scaff tubes which had handily dropped one either side of the rebelay loop. It was at this point that he pointed out it felt very much like an IRATA assessment day, made to feel even more so by the fact we were using the double stop method for passing the rebelays with the heavy kit.
We dropped the stuff off and spent quite a long time examining the existing scaffolded shaft and planning which bits could stay, which would come out and which would just be repaired or improved. The trip out was swift, we were all spurred on by the promise of a couple of pints in Castleton. I took a transporter bag out filled with rubbish. This is something I will be doing on every trip from now on, it's about time those large old pipes started to come out of Rowter.
All in all a good trip- six 8ft scaff tubes a load of tools and about 30 clips underground.