Chris, Mark, Tim Allen and Frank.
21st April 2013
After Saturdays successful rubble clearing and bang session down Rift Pot we arranged with Tim Allen to visit the other end of the dig in Low Douk on Sunday. An evening spent in the pub, beer in the curry house and then a good portion of the night spent nurturing more beer and several G&T night caps meant there were a few sore heads when we woke. A trip to Inglethief Café to meet Frank and a greasy breakfast later we were feeling much better and ready to provide Tim with some extra man-power for the dig. Back up to Ireby Fell we changed quickly in a light wind and some much appreciated sunshine.
We gathered in the entrance to Low Douk and Mark wanted to have a practice at capping. After selecting a couple of subjects he set about drilling holes, placing several caps in each and prepping for firing. While he was cautiously poking caps with his newly purchased rods we were looking at the precarious glacially deposited transit van sized boulders that hung above us. Not much seemed to be supporting them. Oh well.
Mark was ready. We huddled behind a large boulder, fingers in ears and waited for the bang. Hammer tap, hammer tap, hammer tap, BANG! “WOW” was the response that followed. The target had been split in two, not what we had expected at all. The second was approached, again fingers in ears, hammer tap, hammer tap, BANG! We watched as large lumps of rock flew horizontally past us knocking over a daren drum and continuing to fly off into the darkness. This was rapidly followed with a shout of pain from Mark who had been stood in the trajectory of one of the bits of rock. A lesson learnt, fortunately with no lasting damage.
Capping practice over we proceeded on down Low Douk to move some more rubble. The dig is reached after a short 20min cave some of which involves some interesting gymnastics and a couple of wriggles and squeezes. Once at the bottom we were presented with a wall of rubble which had been stacked to the point of collapse. A short ‘wriggle room only’ passage led to a small space which was to become the new home for the rubble wall. Mark and I crawled along this passage to set up to receive the drag trays of material from Frank while Tim went off to the dig face to clear the previous trips loose rock and to drill the holes for the next section of rubble creation.
Moments later there was a rumble and a crash as the rubble wall finally collapsed. After some muttering and noises the first of many drag trays made its way down the passage to Mark and I where we proceeded to fill the void with as much rubble as possible. After a couple of hours most of the space was occupied with the exception of the passageway and space large enough for a midget with a trowel.
The rubble wall however had only been reduced to half its original size and Tim had been busy clearing the rubble from his previous trip at the dig face. After a bit more stabilisation Tim finished what he had come down for and we proceeded out with pause for just one final BANG.