Mark R, Mark W
Years and years of caving, digging, tipping and more digging has left Rowter Hole looking a little bit more like a scrap yard in places than a mine or cave. It’s strange how you just get used to walking past what is essentially just rubbish and how it becomes a familiar sight, especially after 100+ trips. For this reason I was shocked at the sheer quantity of stuff that Tom Tom and I had assembled at the base of the main shaft on Wednesday night.
Un fortunately all the regulars had some sort of excuse so it was just Mark W and myself to haul as much stuff out as we could tonight. Mark wanted to stay at the top and haul and I was more than happy to descend and tie on the kit. Mark had brought his large (and heavy) rescue tripod with him which we set up over the lid for me to abseil down on and to help with the hauling. I got to the floor and began sending stuff up the 70m shaft one load at a time. Mark did a sterling job hauling for a couple of hours or so non- stop up the 70m shaft. We probably did around 20 loads of crap- buckets, scaff clips, bags and bags of litter and old bits of rope, rotting wood, ladders, planks left over from the Badger dig, saws, rusty bits of metal, shovels… you name it, it all came out.
Amazingly Mark kept going until the entire shaft floor was clear and I ascended the rope to survey the half skip full of stuff on the surface. We had time to ferry three trips of stuff back to the car and van for disposal and neatly stacked the remaining wood and scaffolding inside the fence on the surface. Fortunately the pubs were still serving when we got down into Castleton at around 11:00 and we had a couple of glorious pints to celebrate.
It feels great to have all that shit out of the cave, it’s been weighing on my mind for a long time now and the whole place looks totally different. It feels like a great weight has been lifted and I’m sure if you ask Mark this morning he would say exactly the same!