Buttered Badger Potholing Club
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Carrock Wolframite Mine (photos)

Chris H, Chris A, Mark R, Luke, Ryan, Adam, Tom Tom
18th April 2015

Having all departed from different points across the UK (Chris H having left London on Thursday to take account of the time difference ‘tup north) we all arrived at Luke’s third home in the Lakes to enjoy the promised central heating and hot showers; unfortunately the boiler was out of gas (as confirmed by several untrained engineers), so we had to keep ourselves warm with beer, gin and social smoking.

A glorious morning welcomed us with sun streaming through the cottage, so while Luke cooked us breakfast, we busied ourselves deciding which walls should be removed to improve the view and committing Luke’s parents to local land purchases.  That done and Ryan arrived (with some poor excuse about having gotten lost and forgetting that phone signal is banned in these parts) and we headed out towards victory and Carrock fell.

   

has been on the “to do” list for a while now and probably would have been done earlier if we’d realised that it satisfied our “ideal underground location” criteria (warm weather, parking within a few 100m, an easy foot path to the entrance and a wide selection of informative signs).

The mine has a recently installed gate at the entrance, on inspection it appeared that the designer had neglected to include a handle, fortunately we brought a selection of our own and found that the 16mm Allen key fitted the bill perfectly.  Access arranged we plunged into the depths.

   

The mine is well laid out with a good selection of passages to poke around.  Not knowing our way around, we decided to stick to the largest passage available at each junction then inspecting the sub-passages on the way back.  Much walking around the mine ensued, allowing us to discover lots of old kit, a wide selection of warning signs too faded to read, an empty explosives store, precarious ladders which seemed to go on for ever into the ceiling and a lot of sparkly rocks.

   

 Down one passage we also encountered a metal wall which seemed to be holding back a lot of water (some of it escaping at impressive pressure from rusted holes).  Following a quick inspection of this death trap feature, we decided to bravely run away and look elsewhere for fun.  Another passage was declared to have “bad air” as some of the party noted shortness of breath and “feeling a bit unwell” though this could also have been attributed to the previous night’s fun.

After a few hours we felt we had seen enough of the mine and headed to the surface to dry off in the sun before heading to the nearest public house to enjoy victory beer and food in the su

 

A nice little trip with no crawling required, thumbs up all round.
Up the Badgers.

A few more photos available here.