Buttered Badger Potholing Club
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Silage and weighted crotches

Luke, Mark, Tom
09/01/14

Luke and myself made it to the field of warmth just after half 7 where our cowering in the car was cut short by Marks almost immediate arrival. He had brought many presents with him that all needed to be strapped to our crotches and dangled several metres above our colleagues faces. A spot of down prussiking to avoid a board/rope tangle later we were all at the face of the dig. It was pretty wet down there with a trickle of a stream running through the kitchen, something which I feel may not be under warranty. There was good news on this trip, our ears would not be bleeding since Luke had remembered the WD40. Once most of the dig face smelt of oil the pulley was ready for smooth and quiet action, bliss!

One of our first jobs of the evening was hammering in some boards to secure our new ring and ledge of no name. Much jiggery pokery was used to pass the boards down without death and then the job of hammering, crowbaring and digging began. There had been a bit of slippage since the last dig so we back filled behind the new boards once they were levered into place. Our mild panic of a lost capping rod was averted when Mark found it under some sand that had washed onto one of the ledges over time.

Our new ledge needed a name and Mark managed to push successfully for Silage (different spelling?). Once silage was secured I got to digging with Mark and Luke dealing with the hauling/dumping. I tried to avoid filling in the unnerving void and dug around it to reveal more of the boulders that form the air gap. Whilst hitting fairly fragile rocks I managed to find what I dubbed ‘Tom Pot’, a 2 foot shaft accessible to small rodents and crow bars.

It’s pretty hot work digging in an ever decreasing area of dig face and so sometime after 10 it was time for a brew. Everyone was spoiled by genuine tea, milk and official boiling water, although the milk I accidentally left down there from the Christmas dig was borderline cheese. Apart from the social faux pas of mini sized chocolate bars and Lukes leaking cup I’d say full success was enjoyed all round.

We made our bid for freedom at 11pm and just after 11:30 Rowter field was empty of cars.

Until next time

TomTom xxx