We had a plan to go poking and prodding in LoH&G, then got an email from Nick: “I’ve got a pXRF but, can’t take it underground.” So, samples to be collected too.
It was noted others were in the cave somewhere, either divers or a group of “tourists.” Steady trip through the cave, as usual, it was warm. Met the “tourists” coming out of Colston Hall.
We continued on to the first ‘potential’ location. Turned out it wasn’t really worth the effort – not any hope here. On to the next spot. This looked better but stuff needs clearing before a proper evaluation can be made. Looks to be viable, at least in the short term anyway. Satisfied, we went off to collect some samples (for pXRF analyses) before making our way out of the cave.
Continued work at diamond mine dig. Rotating between roles, good progress can be made through the mud floor, as holds it shape well and is eagerly cleared with a shovel. Progress increased by 1 & 1/2 feet from previous taking it down a minimum of 3 feet at highest point.
Many buckets cleared, to the point were it was not possible to keep count. This resulted in agreed 100 buckets, between the team.
The good news is that the air in the dig is finally clear and Nick dug a mini-mountain of mud which made its way back to Tav and Dunc for distribution elsewhere. Nick suggested that one more session might decide whether or not it was worth pursuing. Tav also replaced the broken conservation tape in the big rift that other parties seem to think is optional.”
Due to various ailments and commitments this was the first digging trip for a while. Connor and Alex busied themselves with the untouched dig at the end of the narrow rift reached from the climb up opposite Fuzzy Wuzzy, opening up a small hole that needs chemical persuasion to pursue. This will probably connect eventually with the hole in the roof of Gas End. Meanwhile Nick and Tav inspected various options in and around the big rift before collecting the tools stashed there for transport either out or to a more useful place. Duncan took a rope to the 24 connection and then the whole team gathered up various broken tubs, old skips and broken and redundant tools which were cleaned and then mostly removed from the cave, thus making the place quite a bit tidier. The remaining tools and tubs were left near the Diamond Mine dig in readiness for a fresh assault on the Gas End continuation but the air in here is still very poor so it will have to wait until the summer draughty season, assuming we’re still allowed in of course. Jake’s ladder was removed from Gas End and stashed on the slope leading down to the Diamond Mine dig to await his spanners. The evening finished with a beer in the ravine.”
The three of us made our way to LoH&G, Connor lugging a sack full of stemples up to the top of ‘20’ to be used sometime later in ’24.’ Beyond Fuzzy Wuzzy, Duncan parted company and went off to do his own thing. Me and Connor continued through the ‘Hole in the Floor’ and beyond to the narrow rift at the end. The plan being to get Connor to squeeze through the constricted rift so an assessment might be made regarding its potential as a viable lead to follow. The upshot, he did it (I was impressed).
Connor’s description of what lies beyond the squeeze, “…after removing a few annoying items (helmet and belt), I made steady progress through the restriction. The passage continues along the narrow rift and follows the same direction for approximately 30-40m. A small opening in the floor leads to a drop down of about 3m, to a short ledge and down again, c.3m. The climbs were relatively spacious, c.1m wide. The floor below comprised of rocks and sand; it was saturated. A trickle of water was noted to the right when facing into the passage. Sadly however, there is nowhere to put spoil, and no significant other side passages were noted.”
The lack of spoil space and the massive effort to get there means this lead is not worth pursuing (at this time). But c.50m of passage gained is a positive result.
Vince, Steve Sharp and Dan (Steve’s daughter’s boyfriend)
Steve and Dan went for a tour around LoH&G while I set about clearing the debris from the rapidly induced speleogenesis. It was a small charge so not too much to remove. There was a large rock-flake to shift, and I was glad that Dan turned up to assist. The result was rather inconclusive, a bit more digging might give a glimpse of whether this lead is worth pursuing any further.