WHERE THE CAVES ARE - The Caving Regions > Black Sheep Diggers
Nidderdale Digging Reports
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Having been told many times by the nice UK Caving lady :furious: that Facebook is for losers and we should post more on here, I have decided to try and mirror our FB digging reports for all to read.
They are generally not very exciting but do form some sort of a record of events.
If anyone has any comments on any of the reports it may be better if they start a new thread so this digging report topic can be kept clean and to the point.
I hope our scribblings are of some interest.
To get the ball rolling here is BSD UKC Dig Report No1 02.12.2018
BIGGER TEAM AND WET WEATHER CHANGE PLANS
Originally Tony, Nick and Chris planned to follow up the incredible Big Push event down Guscott with some scaffolding work and reinstalling the tip bucket. We then found out that Ian Cummins and Adele Ward were able to join us which was great. The weather turned very wet indeed and although Scarhouse reservoir was still very low after the very dry summer it did mean some of the caves were affected by localized streams in high flow. Guscott was very wet indeed. This all added up to too many people for this set of tasks and in wet conditions, people getting cold hanging about not doing much.
We all met at the How Steam café and a new plan was hatched. Tony would go off to install the tip bucket at Guscott while the rest of us went for a dig at Thrope pot.
Sundays digging log star-date 201812021730:
Unusually over subscribed for Guscott Pot tonight + being very wet Chris, Nick, Adele and Ian elected to poke about the dig in Thrope Edge Pot - it was drier! As I'd brought back the water intake kit taken out of Guscott on Friday I elected to go and put it back in. So just a maintenance trip on my part.
1. Did an excursion up the inlet passage to find out where the water was coming from. Answer ~5% is from Farm Inlet and 95% from Ralf Inlet. Be interesting to find the sink on the hillside.
2. The back wall of the dig has been slowly collapsing as mud peels off. The top row of scaff poles are no longer supported by the walls and need down poles to connect them to the scaff cage below. Do this on next trip.
3. The water is now following a new route to the back wall of the dig and disappearing in an undercut. This is directly under a large hanging death boulder that's just outside the scaff cage. This needs to be removed to make safe and gain room to work on following the water. The water in the undercut goes sharp left to join its original path. So basically the stream is just going either way around the vertical stack of boulders on the left side of dig face.
4. Restarted the tipping bucket. Funnel and new metal filter installed to replace the shredded cloth filter. This was done rather quickly as under the waterfall coming down the "half tube" climb. Cleared the water pipe by banging on it down its length to loose the trapped silt load. Once the bucket filled the axle promptly broke. Repaired the axle and once the bucket refilled for the second time it promptly snapped at the other end. The bucket is now using the long round-shafted crowbar as an axle!
Job done after 2 hours work so exited to meet others at the pub.
Report From Thrope Pot Team...……..
The team went down Thrope pot to a point halfway down the climbs where a scaffold pole bridges a deep hole to phreatic passage the other side. Previously Black Sheep Diggers have pushed this tube east under the main riverbed on the surface into the hillside beyond towards the obvious lead mines that at present have no access.
Adele and Nick dug forward pushing back boulders, mud and pebbles down the passage. A water blaster like we set up once before would be a great help in moving stuff along more easily. Ian threw the stuff down the hole by the scaffold pole. Chris was at the bottom of the hole using the large boulders to build a retaining wall so that spoil was kept at the top and did not go down to block access to the main New Goyden stream passage. It was important Ian did not throw stuff onto Chris' head so they set up a communication system of sorts. It worked very well which is surprising since they only called 'clear' to each other whether starting or finishing throwing stones!!
At the end of the session there is now a clean washed hole rising up to probably join a high-level passage we know about. The whole passage right through to the end of the dig is clear of debris and all is ready to install the water blaster probably in the high-level passage and make the link there. It will be easier to remove spoil from the lower passage so the link is a good idea.
Good to join Tony afterwards and swop reports in the pub..where else!
Picture is of Adel, Ian and Chris in Thrope Pot just prior to walking the scaff pole of doom to get into the dig.
I found that Crossing the scaff bar is far less scary when the water is at the same level (provided the water level is going down and not up) Only issue on the way back after digging the drop suddenly became a lot further.
Dig Report No2 09.12.2018
WET CONDITIONS MAKE FOR SPORTING DIG!!!!
Dave, Adele, Chris and Tony met up at How Stean for a quick coffee and eats before going digging. It had been raining for several days so we wondered what conditions down in Guscott would be like. Scarhouse reservoir is still not full after getting so low over the hot summer so there is noway Goyden system will be badly flooded. Guscott though reacts to local streams and we knew it might be taking quite a bit of water. We were now wrong once past the entrance chamber and down the first scaffold climb a good size stream poured out of the many gaps between the stonework. Slithering down the large boulder was a very wet experience with water pouring in from different heights down your neck. The following the crashing stream to the final drop...a waterfall. Once down this, we followed the stream down the steps and over the final drop into the dig area.
Tony and Adele immediately set about erecting scaffold to support the horizontal tubes in the roof. These had been pushed into the mud and boulder wall but this was now washed out exposing the ends of the scaffold. Dave and Chris wondered what we could do to help other than pass scaffold and clips. Chris then went down to join the pair and set about drilling into a large rock to demolish it. Conditions were difficult with water everywhere and sure enough the demolishing gear dis not work. At this point, Tony had to go.
Chris, Dave and Adele erected more scaffold and built a wall that will stop further erosion of the end wall and supports the roof preventing movement there. Adele at this point started digging and soon made herself a whirlpool with an ever increasing hole into a large void beneath. By the end of our digging session, they could see easily in the large void about 2m deeper. There are just a few large boulders to remove for access BUT the slower and essential job will be making a scaffold frame to protect our way through and prevent a humongous boulder the size of two large fridge freezers moving.
Chatting by the cars after the trip it was clear Adele and Dave had the digging bug...and so wanted to return to see where the hole leads to...the dig continues...
Dig Report No.3 22/12/2018
EAST FAULT PASSAGE, THROPE POT NOW A CIRCUIT
Nick, Chris, Tony, Dave and Alex met at How Stean on Saturday 22nd .
We left How Stean cafe and delivered Christmas presents to the farmers then headed ober to Thrope pot. A quick look at the lower level of East Fault passage and it reminded us of the vertical hole going up towards the Upper Level. Alex went round to the Upper Level and started digging there while Dave made the dig area bigger below.....and we mean bigger! Rocks and mud were coming out at an alarming rate with Nick pushing them down the passage towards Chris and Tony.
Tony and Chris used many of the larger boulders to build a wall in the large gap half way down the passage. Alex and Dave managed to get a voice connection initially and after a while were able to see each other’s lights.
Eventually after Dave had created a large void Tony took over. Chris after a while heard a crash and shouted if Tony was ok he said yes and then soon after another crash was heard. This time Tony indicated a large boulder had fallen from the roof but he had managed to side step it. Chris volunteered to break it up with a lump hammer and then pulled some more large boulders out the roof. While trying to get these out with Tony they heard Alex and Nick (he had gone round to help Alex) shouting so Chris crawled back into the end of the dig and stood up and to his surprise he saw someone face. Alex then squirmed his way down and went back up immediately after Nick came down. Just as he popped through into the dig area the wall behind him decided to part company and he instinctively pushed back so it slowly slid down the wall even though it was huge. To finish off all the many boulders were taken down the passage to near the drop at the end.
We left satisfied with our efforts...the upper level and lower level are linked. The dig is definitely still ongoing and moved half a metre towards the lead mines. It will be easier progress now we have done that work and when we get a water blaster installed.
As usual we left for the Crown for eats and drinks.
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