ORPHEUS IN IRELAND (photo by Paul Lydon)
|Boyd P.||Jenny P.||Mark O.||Simon B||Tricia W.||Paul L.||Coke||Ned R.||Pete W.||Mick H||Liam||Pili|
|Jenni B||Ken M.||Eileen M.|
|Full Member||£25.00 + £3.00 = £28.00|
|Privileged Full Member||£21.00 + £3.00 = £24.00|
|(in full time education or unemployed)|
|Associate||£23.00 + £3.00 = £26.00|
So, if you haven't yet paid, the Treasurer would like to hear from you with a cheque, payable to O.C.C.
Hon. Treasurer, Tricia Webber, 38 Wheeldon Ave., Derby. DE22 1HN.
26/27 - Yorks. Notts Pot / Notts Pot II. *
23/24/25 - Bank Holiday.
30/31 - North Wales. Oread Cottage.*
13/14 - Yorks. Birks Fell (Sun) / Langstrothdale. *
27/28 - Yorks. Lancaster Hole / Pippikin. *
3/4 - BCRA Hidden Earth. Gloucestershire.
11/12 - Yorks. Juniper Gulf / Long Kin West. *
18/19 - Derbys. OCC ½ Yearly / Long Rake (Bradwell)
1/2 - South Wales. OFD / Pant Mawr
8/9 - Derbys. OCC Bonfire Weekend.
15/16 - Yorks. Swaledale. Crackpot / Sir Francis Mine.
29/30 - Yorks. Long Kin East / Rift Pot. *
13/14 - Derbys. OCC Christmas Dinner.
To be fair, OCC Members and Associate Members only up till 31st. July; after that it's open to anyone to book for friends, etc. Deposits should go to Boyd please, cheques payable to Orpheus Caving Club. Any queries, contact Boyd on 01335-370629 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
This will change when the insurance comes up for renewal after 30th. September - after that date every member who wishes to go caving with the Club will be required to take out his or her own insurance for caving as an individual. A letter from BCRA & DCA has been sent to all caving clubs explaining the changes and this was discussed in detail at a Committee Meeting on 16th. July. A letter explaining what this will mean for Orpheus is included with this Newsletter for all members. PLEASE READ THE LETTER CAREFULLY. If you have any queries, please contact Boyd.
A copy of the BCRA/DCA letter and the accompanying papers will be posted on the notice board at the Club Cottage.
All cupboards are accessible by a library key as they all share the same padlock combination.
Simon Brooks (Hon Librarian OCC)
Many thanks to Doug for all his hard work on this.
Particular points arising from his efforts are:
Total cost per person, including all charges for electricity, etc. was £30.00, and this even left £20 over to go into Club funds.
We were 50 yards from McGann's Bar, less than 100 yards from McDermott's and a stroll from O'Connor's - could cavers ask for more?
Boyd & Jenny Potts, Simon & Jenni Brooks, Mick Hogg & Pili (plus young Liam), Paul Lydon and Mark O'Keefe all arrived by various ferries from Britain and drove to Doolin to arrive on the first Saturday. Ken & Eileen Morton caught the ferry to Cork on the previous Thursday and then drove to Doolin, meeting up with the cyclists en route. The cyclists, led by Pete Wagstaff, were Tricia Webber, Ned Rice and Coke Calcott.
After a second attempt to find the entrance, the original being a waterfall entrance, we followed the stream for about 200 yards to meet up with daylight, which was another entrance (our first attempt). From here we carried on along the passage, crawling and crouching, and eventually came to a canyon-type passage, which is quite normal for caves on the Burren. This went on for about a kilometre with the passage being quite high.
Our way out through the other entrance was by climbing and traversing in the roof for quite some distance before we finally climbed down, but, guess what? We'd climbed down too soon. So, after a short break and a look at the survey guide, we climbed up again into the roof for another short traverse until finally we came to daylight.
The cave itself did not have any formations apart from the occasional stal boss or stalagmite but it was a good trip. It was a new cave for both the Club and for the four of us. Time underground about 2½ hours.
Nevertheless we persevered. We zigged, we zagged, we grovelled under some lower bits; we even saw some formations - these were good.
Eventually the cave relented to broad passage floored with moonmilk, two pitches and the end of cave was apparently only a short distance further. However, none of us were sufficiently inspired to check them out.
The return trip seemed shorter for some inexplicable reason, and not as uphill as the inbound trip had suggested.
A bit of a disappointment really after the excellent trip in Poll Dubh.
The cave had two ways on so Boyd and Mark took one route and Simon, Mick and myself the other. We took the ladder as there is a 7½m pitch which links our system to Boyd and Mark's, making an exchange through trip. So, led by Simon, off we went and soon entered a small chamber with several ways off. Simon says, "I think it's this way," a small, flat out passage. I didn't fancy it if it wasn't the way on so Simon offered to scramble through to investigate while myself and Mick waited. After a short while a voice comes back from a distance, "this is it, it leads to a walking-sized streamway."
So off we scrambled, heading downstream in a good sized passage with boulder blockages occasionally to scramble over and deep pools which we traversed over (we didn't want to get our goolies wet and cold). Anyway, one pool caught me out; I yelped as cold water encircled my goolies. Simon didn't say anything - he must have been wearing a willy-warmer or else he hasn't got any.
After a while we heard voices; yes, we'd reached the pitch. Boyd and Mark were relieved to see the ladder come down so the exchange was on. Boyd told us there was a cairn at the passage which leads to the exit as it isn't obvious because you have to duck under a wall. However, we headed down-stream again; interesting passage shapes being encountered, e.g. headroom only sized if walking. We continued on downstream until it got to crawling sized, then back to the cairn, up the passage to a 4m climb, a bit of traversing and finally met up with Boyd again close to the exit. We exited into pouring rain - nice and clean.
After returning to our accommodation and collecting our caving gear, we were joined by Mark and Jenny Potts gave us all a lift to the gateway leading past the farm to St Catherine's entrance. After changing, we found the farmer in his tractor nearby in the barn and he was more than happy to give us permission to do the trip and directed us to the entrance.
We entered the cave at 3:00 PM and Boyd and I were soon entertained by Mark doing his impression of Winnie the Pooh getting stuck in a hole as he tried to get past a constriction just inside the entrance! Although there had been a bit of rain recently and the river near McGann's pub was higher than the previous day, water levels underground seemed reasonable (although later in the trip we spotted a large polythene bag caught on a projection some 10 metres up from the bottom of the streamway...).
We had a brilliant journey through this river cave admiring the periodic decorations and benefitting from the spacious passages and easy going. Simon recounted the slight problem on a previous trip when entering the system via Arran View Cave and having some route-finding troubles on the way to St Catherine's - but today there were no problems in route-finding at all.
As the roof lowered signalling the end of the trip, we were pleased to see that an exit via Fisherstreet Pot was definitely on as the water levels were easily low enough. We arrived at Fisherstreet Pot at 4:45pm and were all soon back on the surface and had the ladders tidied away.
It was a short walk back to the cottage for a meal after another excellent caving trip and another evening in McGann's to look forward to!
T.U.G. 1 3/4 hrs.
More interestingly Inisheer had two recorded caves and a lake that was rumoured to be connected to the sea via a "blue hole" underwater style tunnel. We set off to investigate. A good look at the lake (Loch Mor) suggested that the rumours of a blue hole are likely to be unfounded. Attempts to find Loch Mor Cave were unsuccessful finding only limestone pavement and beautiful scenery, and a small dog that chose to accompany us on our search. This search involved a bit of 'casual trespassing' or 'Piking' as it is more affectionately known. Being unable to work out who owned the land we opted for the 'Paul Lydon - High Visibility Approach to Piking' where Paul wore a bright pink T-shirt thereby removing any threat of being accused of sneaking around. It certainly worked and we could be seen for miles, but no body seemed to complain.
We then turned our attention to finding Pipers Cave, one of the longest caves on the Aran Islands. This proved no less difficult until we happened upon Mr Antony Kane the landowner on whose land the cave lies. Mr Kane enthusiastically agreed to show us the cave which was most helpful as the small entrance, completely concealed in a hollow behind a wall near to the summit of a hillock, would have proved impossible to find on our own. Pipers Cave was an excellent little cave with 39m of clean, mainly walking size, abandoned stream canyon passage ending in a diggable choke. Clearly a remnant cave; there are most likely to be more similar sites at other locations on the Aran Islands. Mr Kane mentioned another similar cave (entrance now buried beneath beach cobbles) that lay on the far (West) side of the Island. We did not have time to check out this rumour, suffice to say a return to this delightful Island could be fruitful. Generally a fine day out and Pipers Cave a fine collector's piece. (Photos on p. 5 )
(For more information on the Caves of the Aran Islands see UBSS Proceedings 1998 21(2) p 159-173 article written by Charlie Self)
Poll na gCeim is situated in the middle of a field surrounded by a few clints and some boggy ground and covered over by rusty metal sheets. A couple of spits allow you to rig a rope down the free climbable 6m entrance pitch. This then leads you to a gradually descending narrow passage quickly dropping onto the second pitch. An easy short traverse leads you onto a ledge with spits for a Y hang for this 6m pitch, which is a free hang in a wide circular shaft. The whole cave is supposed to be fairly dry, even in poor weather, but it certainly proved quite damp on this particular trip. Paul had problems with the narrow and bouldery access to this pitch and so I continued on my own.
The third (31m) pitch goes directly off from the foot of the 2nd pitch and here I had a surprise. (All the rest of the cave was rigged with shiny new hangars and very new looking rope. I presume someone must still be digging down here! Anyway thanks to them as it saved me a lot of rigging.) This pitch has a Y hang start from which you descend and traverse across to an interesting Y hang rebelay to take you away from most of the water. The rest of the pitch is in a beautiful water worn vertical shaft though you do end up in the water at the bottom.
From here the cave continues down over a series of four small pitches, following the water, all rigged. At the foot of these a small stream passage descends a series of climbs to a sump pool. This pool is supposed to be passable by using the pipework etc. sitting in the passage. Most of the cave is a clean and water washed system and a really sporting little trip. The only thing I had to watch out for were Leeches having met one fat three inch specimen on the way down. The return trip proved very pleasant and I met Paul again at the top of the second pitch where he had just succeeded in getting through. Anyway we both then headed out after about an hour and a half underground. Pollnagree. Once we were back on the surface and at the van we relocated about half a mile to the west and parked on the Burren Way. From here a short walk south took us to a rifty sink hole with an old water pump in situ; this was the entrance to our second cave, Pollnagree.
This cave required no tackle and proved a pleasant and, in places, well decorated streamway. An easy almost vertical climb down took us into a high but narrow, steeply descending passage over boulders until we met the stream as we came into a very impressive aven with water falling from its roof. We then continued through the cave for over half a kilometre, mainly in a narrow joint controlled streamway with some crawling involved. Eventually we turned back when it became obvious that the only way on was a tight climb at roof level into a narrow traverse. At this point we gave it best and made a fairly quick exit.
Definitely a cave worth a visit even if only to see the first section which contains the well decorated and impressive 40m high avens.
Back out after less than two hours we soon changed and, collecting Mark enroute, were back at the Cottages for our evening meal.
Pushed on through Pool Chamber into the lower streamway with its chert false floor. This was reminiscent of the lower stream series in Speedwell. The fluted last climb had a fair bit of water flowing so we declined the chance to get wet and returned to Pool Chamber.
Climbed up to look at the old stream route and remembered the book's description as interesting so tried the first few metres, but Mick thought the book's word "interesting" was a challenge so we decided on the lower route. Ventured back to the alternative exit and followed the stooping passage through several sections of pretties and a tight squeeze/roll. At this point Mick's leg went into a spasm and the confined nature of the squeeze made an hilarious picture. (Sorry Mick but it was funny at the time and no damage was done.)
Round the next bend where the rift passage enlarges Mick snagged his cable and lost his main light (connection pulled out). No problem I thought, as Mick had a spare light attached to the side of his helmet. He then told me that this had failed earlier in the week and hence he was now totally "Simon Brooks'd" (lightless). This is a worrying trait as Mick usually has Megawatts of spare lights and Simon not even a reliable main light. In Ireland this was reversed because Simon now appears sorted. Quickly changed my main light with Mick and I caved on the faithful Petzl Tikka.
Soon arrived at the Boulder Breakdown Chamber with water flowing at a lower level and a 'good feeling' about the exit route hanging in the air. Thrashed around a bit and found no sign of daylight but was convinced by the UBS ensignature in the mud that this had to be right.
Eventually traversed over the boulders high above the waterfall and squeezed out to daylight. On the surface a dense cover of trees made route finding back to the cave entrance guess-work. Ended up in a parallel field 100m along the road. Extracted the hire car from the mud (thanks for washing it Ken) and returned to Doolin for Tea.
Time Underground 4 hrs. Mick Hogg & Pete Wag.
Entering via the low Polldonough South entrance the initial aquatic bedding was passed to reach the delightful double passage followed by gour passage. Reaching the 6m climb down into the main Coolagh River Passage we were pleased to see that it had a rope on it. Rather more concerning was the fact that this was the same rope as was on the climb when the Orpheus last visited the cave in 1999. I elected to go down first, working on the principal that I was heavier than Pete. If the rope broke Pete could go out and get help, if it held then it would be OK for Pete, and more importantly for our return. It held, we got down, and we set off down the fantastic black limestone sculptured main river passage to the terminal sump.
Returning back up the river passage we exited the cave via the entertaining passages leading to Polldonough North Entrance thereby making and excellent through trip. All in all one of the finest trips to be had in County Clare made more exciting by the knowledge that heavy rainfall can flood it to the roof. (The nervous are advised not to read the account in the Caves of Clare of the flooding in this cave)
Paul couldn't be bothered by this time. Boyd rigged the 40m freehang and himself and Mark descended. It was a relief to get underground and out of the roasting sun.
Initially a crawl and rift passage avoided the waterfall area in the pothole then, by generally staying left at junctions and following the robust draught, we made our way through to the major streamway. There was a lot of hands and knees crawling but no squeezes or significantly awkward bits.
After several hundred metres of main streamway a cairn indicated some alternatives, these were: straight on narrowing to inlet, low-level deep water option, or high level crawling over narrow rift. The latter seemed well used so this was followed to eventually drop back into a broad streamway. This proved to be the main Polnagollum streamway so the rest of the trip was assured, despite person(s) unknown obliterating the cairn at Main Junction which had been present just two days previously. About half an hour later we emerged into the Polnagollum shakehole.
An excellent trip and well worth all the effort in finding the entrance.
On reaching the sea we turned left (West and then South) and swam around the headland at between 12 to 16m depth following a large underwater cliff passing numerous cave entrances on the way. These included Mermaids Hole, Noon's Hole and Through Cave, the latter which we swam through. What amazed me was the size of the entrances with some being over 10m wide and 8m high. With our limited equipment we were able to enter some of the caves for 30 to 40m, finding them full of large spider crabs and frequently wall to wall in black 'Spiney Norman' Sea urchins. We surfaced on the far side of the headland after a dive of some 40 minutes. An impressive dive and one that I would certainly repeat possibly with larger cylinders and more cave diving oriented kit. Many thanks to Tony for the guided tour.
The Carrowkeel Graves are well signposted from the main road north of Boyle and we found ourselves on winding minor roads and eventually on a track leading high up to near the top of an extraordinary limestone outcrop above Lough Arrow. A short walk up from the parking spot took us to the first of the graves: a megalithic tomb built of slabs of rock, roofed with slabs, and then covered with a huge mound of limestone rubble. Sadly, after several thousand years the roof slabs are no longer stable and the tombs can't be entered, though you can see inside if you crouch in the entrance. The various finds from the tombs when they were excavated are now in a museum somewhere.
Dotted across the hilltop were more of the mounds and yet more across a narrow valley which splits the outcrop in two. In all it seems there are more than 30 of these things on Carowkeel itself and from the hilltop you can see even more on other nearby hills. It's a spectacular site with amazing views, particularly to the north and west where you can see range after range of mountains.
The booklet has excellent and detailed maps and the walk passes through the narrow valley at Carrowkeel and does a complete circuit, starting from Boyle, using minor roads, trackways and footpaths, and visiting a number of other sites of interest including what were, at one time, claimed to be the largest coal mines in Ireland at Arigna. Though we had time only for a quick visit to Carrowkeel itself, the area does seem worth a return visit sometime.
The booklet is called "The Miner's Way & Historical Trail Map Guide" and it details the 74 mile circular walk. It includes a series of 1:50,000 strip maps and notes on geology, archaeology, natural history and local history. The mines at Arigna produced iron ore and, more lately, coal and operated for nearly 400 years, closing only in 1990. The booklet, ISBN 1-899815-090, was published in 1999 by EastWest Mapping on behalf of Leitrim, Roscommon and Sligo County Councils. It will be passed on to the Club Library
En route we detoured to Dunmore Show Cave that is situated some 10 kms to the North of Kilkenny (now there's a thought!). This amazing cave is situated all on its own in a large hill of limestone that looks less like a caving area than any I have seen. Entrance to the cave is via a large collapsed entrance more similar to something that would be found in South East Asia than the UK. This leads to a series of impressive chambers many of which contain good sized Stalactites, one of them named the 'Market Cross' a 7m high free standing Stalactite that is reputed to be the largest free standing Stalactite in Europe, (yet another record Stalactite!). Despite this the cave is well worth the visit and one of the few where you have the option of walking around the cave by yourself or joining a guided tour.
One question I could not get an answer to was why are there not more caves in this area as Dunmore proves large caves can exist. (Further information on Dunmore Cave can be found in the OCC Library.)
After a quick consultation with the photocopy of the guidebook description, we set off back down the Main Passage, retracing out steps until we arrived at the junction leading to Main Stream Passage. All except for Mark Silo, who headed out of the cave with the excuse of "lack of fitness", continued on down the Main Stream Passage eventually reaching the Second Boulder Choke (the First being before Barons Chamber).
We climbed up to the top of the boulders and continued onwards to a small chamber. Next was a 2 metre climb down with in-situ hand line, followed shortly by another drop of about 3 metres. This was a bit puzzling as there was no obvious, easy way down - the way on was to the right via a step protected by a short traverse line into a tube which lead in a few metres to an easy clamber down at the end with a jammed ammo box, marked as containing rescue supplies.
Following the stream and a crawl through boulders, we climbed up to Keyhole Chamber, immediately recognised by Mick. There were the options of a traverse to the right, needing a line for protection, or a climb down at the start of the traverse. Mark O'Keefe was soon down followed by myself, after a bit of thought at the final drop, which was a bit awkward (but much easier on the way up), I soon joined Mark after a bit of assistance by supporting one leg. Mick didn't fancy the climb and after attempting the traverse, elected to wait for us to continue and return.
And then there were three...
The rest of us continued down the Main Stream, reaching easy walking passage but with the floor a bit slippery. The roof started to lower and the water deepened as Northwest Junction was reached. We followed onwards through a narrow rift with a climb reaching Turkey Streamway. At Coal Cellar Junction, we met another party of cavers having a rest, probably en route via the "Outer Circle".
Continuing up Turkey Streamway, passing Shattered Passage and Phreatic Passage on the right, we reached deeper water at Turkey Pool. Following a bend round to the left and short section of chest-deep (at least on me!) water brought us to a tube-shaped passage. Continuing upstream and climbing up a slope we arrived in Turkey Chamber. There was no obvious way out at the top of the chamber but there was an interesting pot about 4 metres deep with the route following down boulders to the right - verified by Mark while Pete and I waited at the boulders.
The time came to turnaround and we retraced our route to find Mick waiting at the top of the climb in Keyhole Chamber. Continuing onwards I ended up in a squeeze between boulders which didn't seem familiar. After a bit of a struggle to get my legs around a boulder blocking the way, Pete realised that this was where we had climbed down after crawling through a tube. So we climbed back into the tube and reached the climb down which was protected by a short traverse line and needed only to step around a corner. Spotting the jammed ammo box which we had noticed on the way in would have prevented this mistake!
Next it was back up an easy 2m climb then, after a slight detour climbing up when we should have turned left through a short tube, we walked back along the large Main Passage and were soon back at Baron's Chamber. Another small route-finding error found me and Pete following a well-polished squeeze into a dead-end! We soon realised where we had gone wrong and made the short climb down to the correct way through the boulder choke.
Onwards via the entrance series with a very strong draught to exit the cave at 7:45 p.m. after an excellent and enjoyable trip.
Unfortunately, the rain continued to fall non-stop throughout the day, so the usual game of "Let's decide on which cave to do" was started after breakfast. As we had no permits for Bar Pot and we were very near to Horton-in-Ribblesdale, it was decided to have a quick trip down the Fossil (Dry) Route in Sell Gill Holes.
We set off through the rain and parked in the car park at Horton. Boyd and I elected to get changed in the public toilets, while Derek braved the wet and changed in the car park. Perhaps he was worried about his reputation if he was caught in a state of undress in a public toilet?
Anyway, we set off up the track near The Crown and were soon at the cave. Here we found water flowing into the normally dry entrance! Added to which there was a strong wind whistling right through the gap between the rocks on the surface as we were kitting up. It was here that Derek discovered to his dismay that while he had left his SRT gear at a friend's place, somebody had "borrowed" his harness and it was now much too small to get on. Derek had to spend some time in the wet, cold wind re-adjusting his harness. We were soon all down the short first pitch which thankfully provided shelter from the wind. There was some water dropping down at the normally dry second pitch, but this was easily avoided by a traverse on the left with a deviation. Unfortunately, as I swung out at the bottom of the pitch to avoid the water by trying to land on a boulder, I missed, and swung back right under the full force of the waterfall!
Boyd was soon down the third pitch but there was a bit of faffing as we had to readjust the first belay as there wasn't enough slack to get my Petzl Stop on the rope. All the time we were doing this we could hear Boyd coughing, due to a cold, at the bottom of the pitch.
It wasn't surprising then, when I arrived last at the foot of the final pitch, Boyd set off back on the ascent. The final chamber was like a gargantuan washing machine with waves of water crashing down and against the walls.
We were soon back on the surface and the rain continued to pour down. Back at Horton, the stream which flows under the bridge by The Crown had risen by about a foot.
After repeating the changing ritual with Boyd and I, joined by some walkers, getting changed again in the public loos, with Derek out in the rain, we all retired to the Pen-y-Ghent cafe for a brew.
T.U.G. 2 1/4 hrs.
After yesterdays heavy rain the water levels had dropped in some places and we decided on a visit to the Alum area. Jenny went off walking whilst the rest of us tried to dodge other groups and rig some of the system's routes.
Derek, Mike and Mark rigged the long side of the Main Shaft whilst Paul and myself, entering almost literally over the heads of another group, rigged Dolly Tubs direct and continued on down the Greasy Slab and on over the Bridge.
Paul stopped here so I rigged a very wet 50' pitch and descended to join the other three at the bottom. Diccan waterfall was as impressive as ever but after a quick look around we headed out from the spray and noise of the sump area.
Derek went out by the Direct route with Mike following to derig. The rest of us back via the Bridge and the Dolly Tubs after watching, with some consternation, a novice party having some real problems on the 100' Tree pitch. Mark even had to tell one girl how to use her prussiking gear correctly!
Anyway everyone, as far as we know, survived and we soon had our gear out of the cave. Then a quick change and back to the YSS before heading home later in the evening.
The other three seemed to have had a good trip into Smallcleugh Mine earlier in the day but the weather was so good that everyone was lured back to the surface to enjoy the sun.
Sunday, after a frosty start, turned into another hot and sunny day so everyone went off walking. Pete and Paul westwards towards Cross Fell whilst Lesley and myself drove down to Cow Green Reservoir. Our walk proved a very interesting sight seeing trip, mainly on the Pennine Way, with views of High Force and Cauldron Spout. It also proved very energetic as I found to my cost the next day.
Lesley set off home that night whilst the other three of us headed down for the YSS and a visit to the Helwith Bridge.
Next day Pete and Paul did a through trip in Yordas.
I nursed a swollen knee, thanks to the previous days walk, so once they were out of the cave and we had called at Bernies I headed home for some rest and recuperation!
We decided on a trip into OFD1 as we were not sure of the water conditions elsewhere. Changed down by the roadside and then once in the cave we did the usual tourist route, in via the Escape route and once we found the water levels were low we came out down the streamway. A great sporting trip of around two hours.
Later that evening we were joined by Mark S. and Mike C. and next morning by Pete W. OFD II, Sun. 4th. May
Sunday we had planned a visit to the Columns as it was an official "open day". However there was one problem - no warden available.
Luckily being an SWCC member of some repute? I was co-opted as an 'acting' warden and once supplied with a key, we 6, along with 5 Speleo Rhal and later another group of 6 headed into the cave around 11am and via the Labyrinth in to the lower gated entrance to the Columns area.
With a few minor diversions we found and unlocked the gate and then through or bypassing the wet crawl all arrived at the still superb Columns.
I was surprised at their condition for I remember the floor being dry and badly damaged, it certainly looks a lot better since the work to pond up the water and control access.
After everyone had had their fill of the Columns we came out and locked the gate.
Through the Labyrinth to the Arete where Paul joined another group heading out. The rest of us headed down to Crossrift and on to the OFDII Traverses to go and visit the Great Oxbow series formations.
Spent an hour in the area before deciding we were getting close to our callout time so we turned around and headed out through Edwards Short Cut. Here Pete gave us a classic demonstration of how to climb a slippery rift before we all continued up through Gnome Passage and out of the cave by 5pm.
A very enjoyable trip looking at some of OFD II's best formations.
I then packed up and headed home leaving the others to another possible days caving of which I have no record.
What did you do guys?
Conservation & Access Officer, John Taylor: Tel. 01663-734918, Mob. 0786-6705149, E-m. email@example.com
Access Officer, Iain Barker: Tel. 0114-2530112, Mob. 0771-0689704, E-m. firstname.lastname@example.org
Conservation Officer, Dave Webb: Tel. 0115-840-1109, E-m. email@example.com
Jez Parr, of Edale YHA, reported on 30th. May, "I had a group (from Edale YHA) visiting the Resurgence Entrance of Carleswark Cavern, to try the duck at the far end. We left some caving kit INSIDE the entrance chamber at the resurgence. It took us 10 minutes to do the duck and return; on our return the kit had 'gone'. Pass the word to all parties please - the thieves have returned to Stoney Middleton."
Please be warned that thieves know all the usual spots where cavers park and are known to hang about watching for the chance to move in. If they think there is anything of worth left behind, you won't keep them out of your vehicle and they will do damage getting in. The best defence is to leave someone on guard in your car, preferably with a mobile and a notebook to take down suspicious vehicle numbers.
Oxlow Cavern: The pull thro' up to Pilgrims Way has been checked and is working properly
Tim, Helen, Pete H. & Ross
Tim, Helen & Pete H.
Note: at least 30m rope useful for Waterfall Pitch.
Darryl & Andy Manners
Mick Hogg & Coke
Ken, Coke, Boo & Pete Wag
Ken & Boo
Ken & Paul B.
Had shouting conversation with Tim, Helen & Pete H. from bottom of Engine Shaft while they were on surface and agreed to leave Climbing Shaft rigged for them. Pete ascended the Engine Shaft and de-rigged - Paul returned back up Climbing Shaft. (Found in situ rope on bottom pitch of Climbing Shaft.)
Went over to Knotlow to replace missing bolts from the Engine Shaft as requested by Ralph Johnson, only to find Waggy had already done it (see above). Had a shouting conversation with Pete Wagstaff and Paul Lydon from top of Engine Shaft, while they were at the bottom, and they agreed to leave the Climbing Shaft rigged so we descended the Engine Shaft.
Tim descended first, only to make a complete fool of himself by getting off the rope at the wrong passage! After much swearing and moaning he was back on the rope for a further 50 ft. into the proper "Meccano Passage". A grotty, tight, wet, grim crawl eventually saw us at Hillocks Engine Shaft. Then back up the climbing shafts and out to a fine sunny day. All in all a very good trip. T.U.G. 2½ hours.
Tim, Helen & Pete (Deep Penetration Ltd.)
Helen, Derek, Steve W. & Win
Down to the main sump with very low water levels. Tosh managed to cave with one of Pete Wag's dodgy connected lights (see Lesley, Ireby Fell) although this time it was intermittent.
Followed the other party out and then wandered over to P.7 for a look at the locked lid. P.6 was then visited and looks like a promising site with vertical rifts enticing the diggers onwards but the silt running in at high water levels does look like a major headache. Stacked bags at the first vertical bit shows how much effort some people have already put in. This dig makes Owl Hole seem attractive. T.U.G. 3 hrs.
Pete Wag, Kenny, Boo, Robert (Tosh) & Carmel Swan
Kenny removed rocks and debris from this and managed to penetrate some 2m to where the passage appeared to split and get smaller. Passage could be seen to continue - small, minimal prospects for further extension.
Meanwhile I removed many buckets of mud and several large rocks from the dig. Passage is now some 2m beyond Chamber and is 1.6m high and about 0.9m wide and continuing. Fill a mix of rocks and coarse, sandy sediments. Kenny and myself then joined forces to remove more mud and rocks before dual lamp failure prompted a return to the Hut.
OK, the site is a bit of a "poo mine" but the passage looks good and is continuing.
Si Brooks & Kenny
Tim, Helen, Pete, Jo
To find cave come through tunnel under the railway (footpath) and on far side ascend directly up steep slope to find cave high on valley side. Obvious entrance on small platform is 1.5m wide by 1.2m high and finally closing as a rubble choked crawl - no draft, formed on vein.
Named after A.T.Cottrill who spotted cave from road (A6) to demonstrate the "piking" advantages of buying a high driving position "Discovery". This cave is doubtless known to others.
N.B. Both Ashwood Dale Cave and Ashwood Dale Cave No.2 formed along fissure/vein at 350o.
Si Brooks Ashwood Dale Caves Surveys on p. 14
P.S. bottom pitch of Climbing Shaft still had in situ rope dated 03/00.
Pete Wag & Tosh
Boyd, Selina, Cedric & Mick P.
Simon, Alec & Sally
Pete Wag & Tosh
P.S. If you want to know where, you will have to come digging tomorrow.
|Aug. 30/31||- North Wales. Oread Cottage.|
|Sept. 13/14||- Yorks. Birks Fell (Sun) / Langstrothdale.|
|Sept. 27/28||- Yorks. Lancaster Hole / Pippikin.|
|Oct. 3/4||- BCRA Hidden Earth. Gloucestershire.|
|Oct. 11/12||- Yorks. Juniper Gulf / Long Kin West.|
|Oct. 18/19||- Derbys. OCC ½ Yearly. Long Rake (Bradwell)|
|Aug. 2-10||- Shepton members staying (2)|
|Aug. 9/10||- Bracknell & District C. C. (9)|
|Sept. 7-14||- Karen's group (10)|
|Oct. 18/19||- OCC Half-Yearly. Members|
|Oct. 25/26||- Toby C. C. (9)|
|Chairman: Boyd Potts, 3 Greenway, Hulland Ward, Ashbourne, Derbys. DE6 3FE. 01335-370629 e-mail via dca@theDCA.org.uk|
|Secretary: Pete Wagstaff, 43 Sandbed Lane, Belper, Derbyshire. DE56 0SJ. 01773-826920, e-mail. firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Treasurer: Tricia Webber, 38 Wheeldon Ave., Derby, DE22 1HN. 01332-362568, e-mail. Tricia@mcgregor-corporate.co.uk|
|Librarian: Simon Brooks, 11 Margery Close, Ashbourne, Derbyshire, DE6 1GZ. 01335-346411 e-mail. Simonj.Brooks@btopenworld.com|
|Hostel Warden: Dick Marley, 15 Elmwood Road, Streetley, Sutton Coldfield, B74 2DF. 0121-353-1504 e-mail. Richard.Marley@btinternet.com|
|Tackle Master: Tim Holling, 35 Burdock Close, Oakwood, Derby, DE21 2BX. 01332-830460 e-mail. email@example.com|
|Caving Secretary: Boo Webster, Flat 56, The Firs, Ashbourne, Derbys. 01335-343606, E-mail. Boocaver@hotmail.com|
|Doug Hobbs, 40 Madison Ave., Chaddesden, Derby. DE21 6JA. Mob. 07960-781148, e-mail. firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Paul Lydon, Hefford House, Main St. Winster, Matlock. DE4 2DH Tel. 01629-650482, E-mail. email@example.com|
|Hostel Booking Secretary: Jenny Potts, Greenway, Hulland Ward, Ashbourne,Derbyshire. DE6 3FE. 01335-370629 e-mail. dca@theDCA.org.uk|
|Dave Jones, Cedar House, Burton Rd., Streethay, Lichfield, Staffs. WS13 8LS. 01543-263082, e-mail. firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Mick Hogg, 32 Birchley Heath, Nuneaton, Warwicks. 01827-713958|
|Heather Lomas, Cedar House, Burton Rd., Streethay, Lichfield, Staffs. WS13 8LS. 01543-263082 e-mail. via email@example.com|
|Boyd Potts, 3 Greenway, Hulland Ward, Ashbourne, Derbys. DE6 3FE. 01335-370629|
|Boo Webster, Flat 56, The Firs, Ashbourne, Derbys. 01335-343606|
|Pete Wagstaff, 43 Sandbed Lane, Belper, Derbyshire. DE56 0SJ. 01773-826920, e-mail. firstname.lastname@example.org|
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