Well Hopeless Hole is certainly proving to be hopeless!
As you've probably guessed by my first sentence we've not found the caverns measureless to man (on Portland that refers to anything Richard sized) we'd hoped for. Myself, Sas and Richard spent a good few hours in Hopeless again today. After removal of a reasonable amount of spoil I managed to grovel my way along the low, 'open' passage seen on our last trip making around 4 m of progress. 1 m ahead was the flow stone bank we'd gained a glimpse of previously; unfortunately no further passage was found. In fact it seems the flow stone is completely blocking the way ahead (assuming one exists) leaving us with a dead end. Another large spoil removal task would be required to open the route to the 'end' allowing sufficient room to work, and that's assuming there is something at the end worth working on. All very disappointing really considering how promising it had all looked. We have a solid roof, a good wall and it's heading in the right direction! Bugger.
So we called a committee meeting. The outcome being that we're going to leave Hopeless for the foreseeable future. Consequently we've had a bit of a tidy up today and Richard plans to return to remove the rest of our junk over the next week or so. As for the future, we might clear a proper route as far as the stal bank for three reasons...
1. To be certain there's nothing further worth digging.
2. To make a proper end to the cave which has a view of a few pretties.
3. It's all been rather good fun so why not continue even if there's no purpose.
Or we might not bother!
What I did manage to do is take a few photos:
Here's Sas and Richard in our chamber:
Sas looking through the hole on the far side of the above chamber which leads to the end of the cave:
Richard about to round the final corner (to the right beyond the boulders). This whole section has been cleared during our last 2 trips.
And round the corner he goes:
Once round that corner, a bit of wriggling later this is the view of the end:
The flowstone bank mentioned is central on this picture behind the last few rocks I couldn't be bothered to move when I had my head up level with them.
Well Hopeless has provided us with much amusement over the last 18 months so I dare say we'll be back one day! In short though our efforts have resulted in the connection to Steve's providing a cracking through trip (which incidentally was completed again today by Nick and Jerome whilst we were digging) and we've doubled the length of the phreatic tunnel. We've agreed the priority over this side of the island now needs to be the potential Steve's - Blacknor connection. I've also got a few ideas for new places to bugger around in and of course there's always a return to Showerbath to consider.