Author Topic: Halls Old Grove Mine - Eldon Explorations  (Read 1732 times)

Online Rob

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Halls Old Grove Mine - Eldon Explorations
« on: December 30, 2016, 10:35:59 am »
Over the last few months a few members of the Eldon have been exploring and surveying an old lead mine called Halls Old Grove, high up above Bradwell. The finds continue to be quite significant in size (although with only small natural so far) and mentioned here as a record and also to draw attention to the main trip reports on the Eldon Website.

Exploration of HOG Mine was first conducted in the 80-90s with little recorded, in fact we have no idea who did this (although could probably guess some of the culprits). As far as we can tell it was next investigated properly in 2009 by Dan Hibberts, Bob Toogood and a few other Eldon members, and recorded well in an Eldon Journal at the time. Loose and deep in nature, it was mainly enticing to us due to the proximity to our recent projects and also the large draught at the entrance.



With the help of mini me I located the entrance one weekend in a long abandoned quarry. With no evidence of restricted access, the Team started rigging our way down the following week, using a mixture of the previous bolts and new ones. Down short climbing shafts and through large rifts, we quickly reached the previous ‘end’ at 73m deep, but as we were surveying each trip we could quickly work out the likely way on to be a bolt traverse higher up. That indeed lead through to what seems to be another mine, with some large open rifts and chambers. Here the mineral vein was up to 4m wide in places!



Further bolt climbs and muddy traverses lead us to a short cartgate and through to potentially another mine, this with even wider chambers probably from a worked out pipe vein. Artifacts are sparse but present, including tallow candles and bits of clay pipes. It is near here that the work continues with further bolt climbs up into something lurking above.

Now 430m in length, with a max depth of 83m, it is a predominantly horizontal trip, but one that uses +300m of rope! The plan is for the place to be opened up as a “trip” once the exploration has been concluded, so much so that we hope to leave it rigged for a while to allow people to enjoy it.

Until then you can keep up with developments in forthcoming Descents and also with the trip reports on the Eldon Website here:
http://www.eldonpotholeclub.org.uk/index.php/homepage/current-uk-projects/halls-old-grove
The end is where we start....

Online Brains

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Re: Halls Old Grove Mine - Eldon Explorations
« Reply #1 on: December 30, 2016, 11:03:52 am »
Sounds like a great effort and find, look forward to seeing more info as you progress. When ready a trip sounds like a must!
keep up the good work  ;D

Offline Madness

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Re: Halls Old Grove Mine - Eldon Explorations
« Reply #2 on: December 30, 2016, 06:02:46 pm »
It sounds very interesting and would be a welcome addition to current Peak caving trips. Thanks to you and the team for putting in the effort.

Keep up the good work.

Online royfellows

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Re: Halls Old Grove Mine - Eldon Explorations
« Reply #3 on: December 30, 2016, 06:25:40 pm »
Absolutely. Good work.
Thank God Samsung don't make caving lamps.


Offline pwhole

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Re: Halls Old Grove Mine - Eldon Explorations
« Reply #5 on: January 13, 2017, 05:00:49 pm »
Good work.

Offline AR

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Re: Halls Old Grove Mine - Eldon Explorations
« Reply #6 on: January 13, 2017, 08:55:41 pm »
Reminds me of the first drop into Intake Dale with Sam and Phil, with all those deads on dodgy stemples!
Dirty old mines need love too....

Offline mr conners

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Re: Halls Old Grove Mine - Eldon Explorations
« Reply #7 on: January 14, 2017, 04:07:35 pm »
This is a great effort by all involved as I believe the whole place is pretty dodgy.
 :thumbsup:
"Life is a thankless struggle"

Online Rob

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Re: Halls Old Grove Mine - Eldon Explorations
« Reply #8 on: January 21, 2017, 07:14:49 pm »
So the Eldon’s work in Halls Old Grove (HOG Mine) is nearing its end, so we’re happy if people want to go for a look around. It’s an impressive place and a sporting bit of SRT, so will probably be enjoyed by many for an evening trip.

The entrance is here (53.319238, -1.773450), right at the bottom of the trench on the Northern face (not the obvious modern thing at the end). We’ve tried but we are still not fully aware of the official permission situation, so cannot and will not recommend a trip…!

It’s all rigged to the end and probably will be until end of April once a few of us are back from Mulu. In general it’s bolt to bolt caving so there should be no route finding challenges. Be very mindful of rocks and each other, it’s pretty loose in places!

There are four quite demanding rope traverses, so only the fit and capable should attempt a trip to the end. The rigging was deemed safe for our exploration activities, but it’s exploration rigging nonetheless, so be very mindful. If you reach the large Chamber of Secrets there’s a muddy, sloppy slope up the far end which goes to a short pitch up. Be wary not to touch the wall in front too much. At the top of said pitch follow the rope across the traverse, not up the blind bolt climb rope on the right.

If you do go for a trip please can you put up a note on here, so we can keep an idea of numbers and rope wear. Of course, if anyone spots any significant rope deterioration please also put up a note on here so the next people can take a replacement rope or we can get it sorted.

There is a big trip of people already planned for Tuesday (24th Jan), so best avoid that evening.

I’ll hopefully put at least a sketch survey up here in the next week or so. Photos and an article to follow in a forthcoming Descent issue and on the Eldon Website at http://www.eldonpotholeclub.org.uk/index.php/homepage/current-uk-projects/halls-old-grove] [url]http://www.eldonpotholeclub.org.uk/index.php/homepage/current-uk-projects/halls-old-grove[/url].

Final stats:
Total surveyed length = 476m
Deepest point = 83m
Rope used = ~335m
Bolts = ~46
The end is where we start....

Offline Mark

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Offline Katie

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Re: Halls Old Grove Mine - Eldon Explorations
« Reply #10 on: February 11, 2017, 10:19:39 pm »
HOG mine – 24 Jan 2017, trip report
Having heard all about HOG mine from my husband, Rob, after a series of Thursday night trips and read Jon’s trip reports I was keen to see the place for myself. Due to having 2 small children Rob and I cave separate nights (I cave Tuesdays, he caves Thursdays) so I suggested the trip to my Tuesday night caving group – in total 5 of us went.
In  the entrance and down the easy first pitch – which leads to an excellent mined ‘window’ to the top of a vein passage and the start of pitch 2. This quickly leads to pitch 3 in which caution is needed. There are a serious number of stacked deads about, and they would fall a long way to hit any caver below you on the pitch. After this pitch you reach the first of 4 traverses. This first one is the easiest but don’t forget to look up and admire the beautiful stacked dead roof far above you.
The second traverse is soon reached and is wider and more exposed than the first. There also a right way to face and I picked the wrong one! So ended up inching along the traverse with my feet on the side with no ledges whilst unused ledges passed behind my back! I didn’t make the same mistake on the way out! This traverse also feel a bit committing as the height that has the good ledges would involve a reasonable fall on to cowtails should you slip. Lower down feels safer from a fall point of view but doesn’t have the ledges!
Down another pitch, past some dodgy sagging stemples holding up many tonnes of rock. A short walk to a very short pitch leads down into the impressive Chamber of Secrets. As you enter look up and admire the impressive stacking about. Some very thick stemples are in place, holding up a huge quantity of rock! The far side of the chamber climbs to reach an ‘up’ pitch – it also starts to get seriously muddy with mud that really clings to your wellies. At the top another two traverses are reached. These are airy and made more fun by the coating of mud you are now wearing and covering the useful ledges. We all passed these using varying degrees of elegance, skill, grace, sliding, slipping, hanging on the rope and swearing. Down another pitch we had two options – up a pitch lead to a well decorated end. A climb down a ginged shaft lands in a small chamber featuring some interesting miners artefacts.
On the way out I thought my hand jammer may prove useful on some of the traverses – however due to the quantity of mud it just slid back at me when I pushed it up the rope. This also made the pitches fun as both jammers took it in turns to slip and prussiking involved constantly pushing the cams in. As we gathered near the entrance, preparing to brave the cold, I told the others I needed to come and see HOG mine for myself to check on what Rob was really up to on a Thursday night, to be sure he didn’t really have a secret mistress. The reply came back ‘he does, she is just really good at bolting’. Little did my friends know it is worse than that – there are two of them! And he is off on a romantic trip (to Mulu) with Jon and Luke for three and a half weeks this April!
It is a really good trip and worth a look whilst it is still rigged. But be warned it is very loose in places and extreme care is needed. Also the traverses are a little technical, and exposed. Rescue would be very difficult!
One final (dire) warning – our trip of 5 had a pretty good look around but never stopped for long……. However we nearly missed last orders! Luckily the pub we burst into dripping mud at 2 minutes till 11pm was still serving………..

Offline mr goose

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Re: Halls Old Grove Mine - Eldon Explorations
« Reply #11 on: February 17, 2017, 06:19:47 pm »
3 of us took a trip as far as The Chamber of Secrets on Tuesday evening. It's an impressive place with an awful lot of loose rock knocking about - great care is needed as mentioned above.
The ropes were all in good nick, although the black rope on P3 (?) is getting muddy enough to make it hard to fit in a stop - still ok for now though. A few bolt hangers had worked a little loose, so were tightened by hand as best we could - might be worth anyone heading down taking a spanner to nip up with.
Thanks to all involved for the effort in making this place accessible again. Good evening trip as far as we went, making the Bowling Green comfortably for a pint ;D
   

Online Rob

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Re: Halls Old Grove Mine - Eldon Explorations
« Reply #12 on: February 20, 2017, 09:50:59 am »
Glad you enjoyed the trip Mr Goose, and thanks for the equipment update. Shame you didn't see the rest of it...

If anyone does head down before us, it'd be worth taking a 13mm spanner for those through bolts, as they often take a while to settle.
The end is where we start....

Offline MikeyP

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Re: Halls Old Grove Mine - Eldon Explorations
« Reply #13 on: February 23, 2017, 05:01:26 pm »
4 of us had a trip through to what we think was the end the other week. Really impressive (muddy!) place with some great traverses. Well done everyone who was involved pushing it and thanks for making it available for others to go down :beer2:  I think we had the same experience as everybody else regarding loose rock!