Just around the corner....

Mark W, Tim a, Mark R
27th February 2014

It was a beautiful evening when I arrived at the farm.. An hour or so later Tim arrived and we were able to get underground!

We went right to the dig face and Tim called up to see if I had had a good look at the hole "around the corner"... Errrr no actually, I didn't know what he was talking about.

At the end of yesterday's dig we had capped loads of large boulders and placed a new ring at the base of the shaft. The right hand side of the solid wall was heavily fractured low down and it was this fractured area that Tim was looking at.

Just off the right hand wall of the dig the fractures curved away into the rock face and intersected what turned out to be a horizontal bedding plane/fracture surface roof. This roof undercuts horizontally by about 1-2m and consequently the rubble heap hasn't filled it. We had black space visible through the gaps in the boards we hammered down before we left yesterday!

With some digging and poking we soon had enlarged a hole at the foot of the dig big enough to get a head in and look up into the void. This was somewhat nervy given the suspended boulders hanging directly above the hole we were peering through.

When Mark W arrived we managed to speed up the boulder pulling and before too long Tim had managed to wiggle in some temporary bits of scaffolding to support the boulders above. We went through, gingerly pulling rock out of the way and levering it off the fractured walls to open out some more space. We crawled over the boulders and by lying on them could look down the back wall of the undercut. The back wall is smooth and has calcite on it in places, to the left, parallel to the solid dig wall and cutting back behind the face of our dig is a narrow rift. The floor of the undercut is loose boulders but by contorting our heads against the back wall we were able to see down a couple of small dark holes into black space below towards the now very clear sound of nearby running water.

It's a really delicate, unstable section of dig which will require some time to get it safe to work in but before we spent an hour hauling rocks to the kitchen we had formulated a plan of attack for the weekend.

If you want to go and have a look, by all means do but please be very very careful not to dislodge any of the very loose material that will be balanced precariously above you I advise you don't leave the relative safety of the scaffolded shaft... Probably best wait until we have more news!

Mark R

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