Author Topic: Ireby fell cavern  (Read 6099 times)

Offline littletitan

  • addict
  • **
  • Posts: 148
Ireby fell cavern
« on: December 08, 2008, 01:08:39 pm »


The big news is that the whirlpool dig has finally gone through to Ireby 2.  A huge thanks to all those who have helped with the project especially the Grand Days Out this year.  In total 135m of passage was dug out and a silly quantity of sand shifted.  There is still a little more to do, clearing out bags etc, so if you are down there please pull some out so that we can leave the through route clean.  Finally please tread carefully around the sand banks and formations in Ireby 2 or the whinging moaning minnies (especially from this forum) will have far too much to harp on about.  HaHa

Take a big slap on the back - top digging!

Tim Allen

Offline Anon

  • Nobody
  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 2
Re: Ireby fell cavern
« Reply #1 on: December 08, 2008, 02:30:47 pm »
Great news  :thumbsup:

Offline Goydenman

  • Black Sheep Digger
  • junky
  • ****
  • Posts: 905
Re: Ireby fell cavern
« Reply #2 on: December 08, 2008, 04:03:03 pm »
Great example of how when people come together they can achieve big things quickly - awesome digging well done everyone involved. Who has the next big project to gather the troops?

Offline Rob

  • forum hero
  • *****
  • Posts: 2262
  • The Eldon
    • My Photos
Re: Ireby fell cavern
« Reply #3 on: December 08, 2008, 04:14:15 pm »
Good effort to all involved! Dunno why i turned down the breakthrough trip yesterday to instead head down Brackenbottom Pot!  :wall:

...Who has the next big project to gather the troops?
Eldon Hole still needs emptying!   :thumbsup:

PS that was not an offer!
The end is where we start....

Offline Goydenman

  • Black Sheep Digger
  • junky
  • ****
  • Posts: 905
Re: Ireby fell cavern
« Reply #4 on: December 08, 2008, 04:44:54 pm »
...Who has the next big project to gather the troops?
Eldon Hole still needs emptying!   :thumbsup:

PS that was not an offer!
[/quote]

Count me in for that one :thumbsup: bit of a trek but I'd be there especially given Lloyd and King's report 1772 of a decorated streamway below the main chamber.

Offline graham

  • Retired
  • forum hero
  • *****
  • Posts: 10943
  • UBSS, Speleo-Club de Perigueux, GSG, SUI
    • UBSS
Re: Ireby fell cavern
« Reply #5 on: December 08, 2008, 04:52:46 pm »
...Who has the next big project to gather the troops?
Eldon Hole still needs emptying!   :thumbsup:

PS that was not an offer!

Count me in for that one :thumbsup: bit of a trek but I'd be there especially given Lloyd and King's report 1772 of a decorated streamway below the main chamber.
[/quote]

If you reach that streamway I'll donate a barrel of beer to the diggers.
Caving is for Life not just for Christmas

Online SamT

  • Global Moderator
  • forum hero
  • *****
  • Posts: 6131
    • The Eldon Pothole Club
Re: Ireby fell cavern
« Reply #6 on: December 09, 2008, 12:14:26 pm »
In total 135m of passage was dug out and a silly quantity of sand shifted. 

A 135 meters  :o

was that all solid digging though clay/silt.

 If so that is an audacious quantity to move. where was it stacked.

I'd be interested to hear about the logistics of this dig (I caught the tail end of the Grand day out lecture at HE - but just the hilarious pumping demonstration.)

What made up a typical digging trip, how many bodies etc etc.

Offline Anon

  • Nobody
  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 2
Re: Ireby fell cavern
« Reply #7 on: December 09, 2008, 02:39:48 pm »
I'm sure someone more informed will reply with more detailed info but I believe it was anything from solo trips to Grand Days Out of 20+ bods where digging was possible at both ends of the passage.

I only ever had one trip down there, we were out on a jolly and just before leaving Inglesport Dave told us we should shift some sand to help out - we figured we may aswell have a look. So two of us decided to prusik up into Skylight Passage, did some crawling and reached the dig face where we did a brief bit of easy sandy digging - filled four bags (looked like your average rubble sacks) - dragged two back halfway along passage, the other two all the way to Duke St where there is, shall we say, ample stacking space!

Offline littletitan

  • addict
  • **
  • Posts: 148
Re: Ireby fell cavern
« Reply #8 on: December 10, 2008, 03:35:51 pm »


The passage was about a metre diametre and mostly filled to within a few inches of the roof.  The digging was always the easy bit.  A few inches of dried cracked up mud on the top and then layers of fine silts and sand.  Originally the passage was open on the Ireby 1 side for a total of 58m of crawling until the sand rose too close to the roof.  This was dug over the years for a further 60+m to where the connection was made on sunday.  All the spoil from this side was bagged and then transported between 'laybys' about ten times before being lowered down the pitch into Duke Street where it was piled up on the bank away from the stream where it was safe from being washed into the sump.

Obviously this became more and more tedious as it progressed.  A dig was started from the other side, beyond sump 1 in Duke Street 2.  This was where the Grand Days Out started as to get the required amount of diggers there involved pumping out 18,000 litres of water from sump one.  The corresponding passage in Ireby 2 starts in the roof of Canal Passage which is about 4m high.  All the spoil was dropped over the edge into the canal.  Initially this was easy and quick progress was made, until the distance on this side grew to 60+m and required ten people to dig it.  I should say that it wasn't until the first GDO in January that a proper survey showed just how far apart the two ends were, and it was a 'we,ve started so we'll finish' sort of thing.

One of the good things about this dig was that any amount of people could help out from a team of 40+ helpers on the GDOs, to six, four, two or even solo diggers could all make progress from the Ireby 1 side.  Apart from the ratholed connection all has been made hands and knees size.  This has been a very low tech dig which relied on caver power to succeed.  Obviously there have been a number of stalwarts who have done many, many trips but without the great numbers of other involved, some for just one trip, then it would never have succeeded at all.

This might sound like a big effort but it was nothing compared to the monumental effort by only a few cavers who broke through the Cripple Creek route earlier in the year.

Top digging

Offline barrabus

  • I am a
  • forum star
  • ****
  • Posts: 636
  • KCC
    • Join an active sport caving club
Re: Ireby fell cavern
« Reply #9 on: December 10, 2008, 10:52:25 pm »

Well done everybody!

I did manage a few bags but never made it for any of the GDOs.

Looking forward to seeing the other side.

Who has the next big project to gather the troops?

What about shifting all those cobbles at the bottom of Arson Shaft....?
Join an active sport caving club

"The views expressed are my own and don't reflect the views of my employer."