Buttered Badger Potholing Club
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Death's Head- New Years Eve

Mark R, Lizzie H, Luke N, Tim Allen, Mick Numwick
31st December 2012

A group of 6 of us were up in the dales for 3 days over New Year, Lizzie, Luke and I took the opportunity to go caving on the Saturday with Tim and Mick. I had been down their Death’s head dig a couple of weeks ago and spent the day helping with the hauling, on Christmas eve they broke through and connected the Death’s Head entrance to the main streamway they had been aiming for. I was keen to get back down there and have a look at what they had accomplished and we would be able to help out with the last few bits of tidying and stabilisation of the shaft. I also took my camera with the aim of getting some record shots of the dig.

We all met up in the carpark at the bottom of the hill to find that Tim had forgotten his clothes.. there’s always one! Tim shot off to get his clothes and Liz, Luke and I took the opportunity to go and fetch some fluorescein. Tim and Mick were already down the hole when we arrived at the top, changed and already wet from the persistent drizzle. The 3 of us dropped down the large entrance shaft to find T&M busying themselves at the bottom of the scaffold shaft. We cut a pole for them and lowered tools, planks and poles to the bottom for an hour or so until they were happy that the bottom of the dig was stable and ready to “stand the test of a thousand kicks” from the inevitable onslaught of happy day trippers.

After the dig was ready, we all headed down and left Tim in the large chamber with the bottle of dye. They wanted to find out if the 2 small streams that appeared below the boulder choke were fed from the one that sank at the top or if one of the 2 small streams came from elsewhere. Whilst Mick stood watching the streams the 3 of us carried on down the passageway to the main stream at the bottom. There was a short pitch into the very fast flowing Death’s Head main stream passage which was far too ferocious to go very far in but was interesting to see.

On the way out Luke, Lizzie and I took a few more photos whilst Mick and Tim had a poke around looking for new leads to work at- as it turns out they found one or two interesting spots that they will be re-visiting.

The main shaft back to the surface was a torrential shower of water, the pitch seemingly hanging in the direct line of a falling stream. By the time we got back to the car we were well and truly soaked to the skin but had enjoyed an interesting day underground.

Mark R