Buttered Badger Potholing Club
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The Party Sausage

Luke Cafferty, Rob Eavis, Mark R
30th October 2014

China was great but it was no Rowter hole so it was with great excitement that I arranged a trip with rob and luke to go and look at the Party Sausage on Thursday night. We met at 6 at the farm and I was just about organised enough to have brought some of last nights dinner re heated in a thermos jar (why have I only just discovered this!?) and a flask of tea.

We kitted up and I was reminded what it feels like to wear an SRT kit with more than a single thin layer of clothing on underneath- bliss.

In about 1 hour 45 we were at the sausage and looking around at the possible options. The party sausage rift sits at an angle perpendicular to the vein and lower than the point at which Breathless intersects it. There is a small tube up against the back left wall that we had a quick look in and discounted as being not as good as we remembered. Our attention was focused on the main boulder filled floor of the rift at the widest point, where an old calcite flow suggested a stream or trickle once flowed down. We pulled boulders out of the floor for probably more than an hour and capped one particularly big one before realising that the very steep slope we had created was looking somewhat suspect. The really interesting bit of the evening was when we stopped digging and put our head to the floor and could hear the sound of a stream below us! It wasn't a big river but it didn't sound like a tiny trickle either. There was definitely something happening down there.

Our optimism took a bit of a dip when I poked the big slope towering above us and the whole thing shifted an inch downhill all at once. We poked again and within a few minutes had completely filled the hole we had dug with rubble and giant boulders from above!

The tantalising noise was gone. Interestingly though we had inadvertently opened up an area at the back of the rift near the top of the slope which undercut fairly well and where the boulders were quite loosely packed. This is quite a bit higher than where we had started and is under some relentless drips and dribbles that will need sorting but looks really interesting so will be the focus of the next trip. By now we had exhausted our meagre supply of warm tea so hurried back out de rigging the entrance ropes as we went which were in a bad way. Changed by 01:00.

On Saturday evening I met Pete ONeil who had been digging in Rowter originally, it was great to chat to him about it and describe what we were doing on Thursday. If you're reading this Pete get in touch when you're ready for a trip!

Next trip will be a Thursday evening re rig and tidy up trip and then next Saturday we will be back at the sausage :)

Good to be back.
Mark