Adam, Ben, Chris H, Mark K, Maddie, Luke, Lizzy
18th day of the 1st Month of the 2014th Year.
The excitement mounted as a large boulder was prized out of position at the bottom of the dig, the unseen stream below us roared with water and the draught chilled your ears and face as it raced past. The net was lowered down and the boulder rolled into it. It was then heaved upward inch by inch. The cavity below now looked navigable. I dangled my legs down into the hole and shuffled forward on my bum and pushed off from the edge and started sliding down and down. Round a bend to the right then a sharp bend to the left. The angle of descent kept increasing. An inlet to the left had water pouring out of it and this flowed down the channel I was sliding down until all of a sudden I was in free fall.
Crap! Thats a long way down. Glancing around quickly I was now in a large chamber, water falling all around me and below... SPLASH. Bubbles raced upwards beside me as I swam up to find air, and BREATHE. I caught my breath and looked around. The chamber was vast, the ceiling maybe 90-100m above, walls could in the distant gloom and mist of the chamber I could make out the outline of what looked like a boat. My light wasn't powerful enough to make out the detail but it looked like a tall ship.
"God I need a slash", I awoke from my slumber to find Adam popping to the bathroom. It was all a dream, no break through yet. Time for breakfast, sausages and bacon, yum, might help soak up the litre of Gordons that was consumed last night.
After a not unusual amount of faff we made our way to Rowter via Hitch 'n' Hike to look at outdoor kit.
It was an unusually mild January day for changing in Rowter Farms field, just a light chill in the air, no precipitation either vertical or horizontal.
We took 2 loads of boards and 6 scaff poles into the depths of Rowter. I headed straight for the dig face rapidly followed by Adam and Ben and we had about 10 buckets out by the time the rest of the gang joined us.
The digging continued at pace, well as pacily as it takes to haul buckets upwards 20+m to the rapidly filling spoil heap. In between, boards were hammered and the material loosened off to fill the next bucket quicker. A good foot and a bit of progress was made, not enough to get another ring in, at least not a full size one.
We swapped over the digging several times to gives others a chance at the coal face, with Mark K finishing the day getting pissed off at a boulder that wiggled but just wouldn't give up its position in the mud. He'll be ought for revenge next time. The digging generally seems to be getting drier but boulders and mud still abound. Next to the wall there is still a largish cavity that keeps us hopeful.
Some catch netting at the top of the shaft would be nice to stop the odd errant boulder that decides it wants to escape the pile. Damn that gravity.
Until next time.... here are some more photos....