UK Caving

TRIP REPORTS - what have you been down to? => Digging & Exploration Trips in The UK => Topic started by: Simon Beck on November 05, 2017, 01:31:42 pm

Title: Mossdale - Ouroborous project
Post by: Simon Beck on November 05, 2017, 01:31:42 pm
I've been visiting Mossdale purely for sport for many years but it's only in the last few that I've begun to take the exploration side of things seriously. Over the course of 2017 I began work at a number of sites. Several of these are yet to be written up but my progress at one of these sites can be found via the links below. There is still much to write up and bringing things up to date will follow soon.

Mossdale Session 3 - http://simonbeck.blogspot.co.uk/2017/08/mossdale-session-3-decisions-decisions.html

Mossdale Sessions 4-9 - http://simonbeck.blogspot.co.uk/2017/08/mossdale-sessions-4-9.html

Mossdale Sessions 10-18 - http://simonbeck.blogspot.co.uk/2017/08/mossdale-sessions-10-18.html

Mossdale Sessions 19-20 -  http://simonbeck.blogspot.co.uk/2017/11/mossdale-sessions-19-20.html 

Mossdale Sessions 21-22 - https://simonbeck.blogspot.co.uk/2017/11/mossdale-session-21-22.html

Mossdale Sessions 23-24 - https://simonbeck.blogspot.co.uk/2017/11/mossdale-sessions-23-24.html
Title: Re: Mossdale - Ouroborous project
Post by: tamarmole on November 05, 2017, 02:12:28 pm
Excellent read.
Title: Re: Mossdale - Ouroborous project
Post by: David Rose on November 05, 2017, 02:46:50 pm
Is the Adele Ward who accompanies you in many of these explorations  the same Adele Ward who only recently was writing eloquently about her first caving trip in Gaping Gill? 

If so, I am seriously impressed. Never really thought of Mossdale as a novice trip!
Title: Re: Mossdale - Ouroborous project
Post by: Goydenman on November 05, 2017, 02:48:22 pm
You have me hooked .......trip 21 cant wait
Title: Re: Mossdale - Ouroborous project
Post by: Simon Beck on November 05, 2017, 02:51:30 pm
Yes David it is the same Adele. She's a born caver but jumped in at the deep end from word go and learn't fast!

I'm in the process of writing up the rest. Needed a break from it so this recent bad weather has been a godsend. Work continues. Thanks
Title: Re: Mossdale - Ouroborous project
Post by: Ian Ball on November 05, 2017, 03:36:13 pm
There's my evening sorted  :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Mossdale - Ouroborous project
Post by: Stuart Anderson on November 05, 2017, 04:39:28 pm
So good to have Simon back with his write ups.
Title: Re: Mossdale - Ouroborous project
Post by: Simon Beck on November 05, 2017, 06:33:57 pm
Mossdale Sessions 21-22 - https://simonbeck.blogspot.co.uk/2017/11/mossdale-session-21-22.html


Title: Re: Mossdale - Ouroborous project
Post by: richardg on November 05, 2017, 07:45:25 pm
Excellent to see these episodes of your Mossdale Cavern Adventures written up and appearing here on the UK Caving forum Simon....

It's always great to be able to follow someone's ongoing  exploration....

With the long story of the Mossdale Cavern being well documented  in literature and  in the hearts and  minds of generations of British cavers, your present explorations herald in a new era....

It's great that you are taking us along with you...

Keep going and take care my friend...

Richard
Title: Re: Mossdale - Ouroborous project
Post by: Andrew Wilson on November 05, 2017, 08:51:55 pm
Sounds good Simon. Let me know if you need any kit fetching up.

Andy
Title: Re: Mossdale - Ouroborous project
Post by: Simon Beck on November 05, 2017, 09:14:21 pm
Mossdale Sessions 23-24 - https://simonbeck.blogspot.co.uk/2017/11/mossdale-sessions-23-24.html
Title: Re: Mossdale - Ouroborous project
Post by: PeteHall on November 05, 2017, 09:16:15 pm
I'd only just finished reading 22!

Good work and good write-up's as ever  :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Mossdale - Ouroborous project
Post by: kroca on November 06, 2017, 06:47:13 pm
Brilliant blogs Simon, all this sounds like hard graft mate you have my upmost respect keep up the good work mate take care.    Keith .   ;D
Title: Re: Mossdale - Ouroborous project
Post by: Balmerfish on November 19, 2017, 09:33:41 pm
Good to get back there, thanks for writing these up mate. I have enjoyed reading them.
Session 25 left an impression, cold it took a day for me to warm up. Great Session today.......(26)

http://simonbeck.blogspot.co.uk/2017/11/mossdale-session-25.html
Title: Re: Mossdale - Ouroborous project
Post by: Simon Beck on December 10, 2017, 08:09:04 pm
Beginning to feel like I've progressed further in wordage than any other way.

Here's a little more for those who give a damn

https://simonbeck.blogspot.co.uk/2017/12/mossdale-sessions-26-28.html
Title: Re: Mossdale - Ouroborous project
Post by: tamarmole on December 10, 2017, 08:54:26 pm
As always a superb read. 

For Christ's sake take care, it sounds like you're cutting things increasingly fine.
Title: Re: Mossdale - Ouroborous project
Post by: Simon Beck on December 10, 2017, 09:11:25 pm
Yes, 'cutting it fine' it may sound, but not really. Generally most are undertaken on the right side of the weather and my Call-out margin is always large, 12 to 24 hours.
Title: Re: Mossdale - Ouroborous project
Post by: David Rose on December 10, 2017, 10:35:06 pm
OMG. I've got to get back in there with you. Simon. Your writing is just so inspiring - and thank you for the kind words on mine. I know you have the experience and judgement to deal with this cave - but do continue to be safe!
Title: Re: Mossdale - Ouroborous project
Post by: Mattrees on December 11, 2017, 11:47:27 am
Simon,

It might worth knowing that smaller size plug and feathers can be had cheaply from China: https://www.banggood.com/search/plug-feathers.html (https://www.banggood.com/search/plug-feathers.html)

I've found that the small ones only work where the rock is hard and good quality, in soft/poor limestone they splinter little bits off but don't split the rock.

The necessary supplies of resolve and commitment are less easily obtained! Exciting reading and evocative writing as always, best wishes.
Title: Re: Mossdale - Ouroborous project
Post by: Ian Ball on December 11, 2017, 12:10:30 pm
 :thumbsup:  thrilling reading
Title: Re: Mossdale - Ouroborous project
Post by: Rob on December 11, 2017, 01:38:15 pm
Some great reads there, thanks Simon for finding the time and energy to share your work. And i have to say that even though i know nothing about the area, i was relieved to read that you're now heading left towards the draught.

On a different note, i'm sure my father (Andy Eavis) got squashed by a boulder in Ouroborous in his ULSA days, and had to be dug out. It's been on my (digging) bucket list ever since i first heard his tale....
Title: Re: Mossdale - Ouroborous project
Post by: Simon Beck on December 11, 2017, 02:19:39 pm
Thanks! The boulder in question has to be passed under to reach the work area. It's had a lengthy settling period and appears well seated - that's assuming my description of it's whereabouts is correct.

Will always keep my options open regarding the way to go. The bottom line is in following the route that requires the least amount of damage. Unlike others I'm not about to enlarge my way to success just for successes sake! I enjoy the challenge, the risk, but most of all Mossdale. The experience of just working in that environment outweighs the potential discoveries by a long shot.

Thanks also to Mattrees for the link!
Title: Re: Mossdale - Ouroborous project
Post by: droid on December 11, 2017, 03:24:01 pm
Fun (of a sort) rather than glory.

Good. Completely right attitude.
Title: Re: Mossdale - Ouroborous project
Post by: paul on December 11, 2017, 05:25:19 pm
These stories are brilliant Simon. Please keep posting them.
Title: Re: Mossdale - Ouroborous project
Post by: mrodoc on December 11, 2017, 06:41:58 pm
Simon,

It might worth knowing that smaller size plug and feathers can be had cheaply from China: https://www.banggood.com/search/plug-feathers.html (https://www.banggood.com/search/plug-feathers.html)

I've found that the small ones only work where the rock is hard and good quality, in soft/poor limestone they splinter little bits off but don't split the rock.

The necessary supplies of resolve and commitment are less easily obtained! Exciting reading and evocative writing as always, best wishes.

thanks for the tip. These are so much cheaper than the ones I have bought in the UK.
Title: Re: Mossdale - Ouroborous project
Post by: Simon Beck on January 19, 2018, 06:51:59 pm
Something aside from everything else and possible fuel for the fire!

http://simonbeck.blogspot.co.uk/2018/01/mossdale-session-29-281217.html
Title: Re: Mossdale - Ouroborous project
Post by: David Rose on January 19, 2018, 07:09:49 pm
"The night of this place is absolute.' I love it. Another great write-up, Simon.
Title: Re: Mossdale - Ouroborous project
Post by: Stuart Anderson on January 19, 2018, 07:50:08 pm
"The night of this place is absolute.' I love it. Another great write-up, Simon.

Couldn't agree more.
Title: Re: Mossdale - Ouroborous project
Post by: Kenilworth on January 19, 2018, 08:10:10 pm
Enjoyable as always Simon.
Title: Re: Mossdale - Ouroborous project
Post by: paul on January 19, 2018, 08:22:21 pm
Excellent.   :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Mossdale - Ouroborous project
Post by: Simon Beck on March 06, 2018, 04:58:01 pm
Session 30 - https://simonbeck.blogspot.co.uk/2018/03/mossdale-session-30.html

Session 31 - https://simonbeck.blogspot.co.uk/2018/03/mossdale-session-31.html
Title: Re: Mossdale - Ouroborous project
Post by: blackshiver on March 06, 2018, 10:58:11 pm
Excellent read Simon, and nice to read that Richard is still looking after you. Your exploratory efforts in Mossdale and association with RDG make you a honorary Moldywarp!
Title: Re: Mossdale - Ouroborous project
Post by: Balmerfish on March 06, 2018, 11:26:27 pm
Enjoyed reading these mate.
Adele
Title: Re: Mossdale - Ouroborous project
Post by: Andrew Wilson on March 22, 2018, 08:22:49 pm
Great stuff Simon. Q branch ready.

Andy
Title: Re: Mossdale - Ouroborous project
Post by: Ian Ball on March 23, 2018, 06:58:03 am
 :thumbsup:y
Title: Re: Mossdale - Ouroborous project
Post by: Simon Beck on May 25, 2018, 10:48:18 pm
Sessions 32 - 34  https://simonbeck.blogspot.co.uk/2018/04/mossdale-sessions-32-34.html

Sessions 35 - 36 https://simonbeck.blogspot.co.uk/2018/04/mossdale-session-35-36.html

Sessions 37 - 41 https://simonbeck.blogspot.co.uk/2018/05/mossdale-sessions-37-41.html

Sessions 42 - 45 https://simonbeck.blogspot.co.uk/2018/05/mossdale-session-42-45.html
Title: Re: Mossdale - Ouroborous project
Post by: cavemanmike on May 26, 2018, 08:41:50 am
Dedication man deduction  :clap2: :clap2: :clap2:
Title: Re: Mossdale - Ouroborous project
Post by: The Old Ruminator on May 26, 2018, 09:08:28 am
Good to see base jacks in use. Also having time for photos. Will post some of mine one day.
Title: Re: Mossdale - Ouroborous project
Post by: danthecavingman on June 30, 2018, 02:04:45 pm
Presumably water levels are exceptionally low right now?
Title: Re: Mossdale - Ouroborous project
Post by: Badlad on June 30, 2018, 06:01:34 pm
looking forward to hear the next instalments :thumbsup:.
Title: Re: Mossdale - Ouroborous project
Post by: Simon Beck on June 30, 2018, 07:24:51 pm
As you can imagine I'd rather be up there working than wasting the weather writing about it. I'll be desk bound for a good few days when I do finally get round to it!
Title: Re: Mossdale - Ouroborous project
Post by: SamT on June 30, 2018, 10:27:44 pm
As you can imagine I'd rather be up there working than wasting the weather writing about it.

... is the correct answer!!  :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Mossdale - Ouroborous project
Post by: Simon Beck on July 12, 2018, 05:44:05 pm
Finally got a chance to sit down and write-up at least some of my backlog. More to follow shortly if I can stick at it.

Mossdale Sessions 46 - 49 http://simonbeck.blogspot.com/2018/07/mossdale-sessions-46-49.html

Mossdale Sessions 50 - 51 http://simonbeck.blogspot.com/2018/07/mossdale-sessions-50-51.html

Title: Re: Mossdale - Ouroborous project
Post by: MJenkinson on July 12, 2018, 06:54:07 pm
As I am about to disappear for a week or so with work, its always good to know that I have some good "caving" reading to be doing, if I can't be doing it myself!
Title: Re: Mossdale - Ouroborous project
Post by: Simon Beck on July 13, 2018, 03:58:50 pm
I find the writing up bit to be absolutely exhausting!

Mossdale Session 52: http://simonbeck.blogspot.com/2018/07/mossdale-sessions-52.html

Mossdale Session 53: http://simonbeck.blogspot.com/2018/07/mossdale-session-53.html

Mossdale Session 54 - 57:  http://simonbeck.blogspot.com/2018/07/mossdale-session-54-57.html
Title: Re: Mossdale - Ouroborous project
Post by: Alex on July 13, 2018, 04:44:30 pm
Fantastic read and it really sounds like you have made quite a few small extensions.
Title: Re: Mossdale - Ouroborous project
Post by: Simon Beck on July 25, 2018, 12:44:57 am
Mossdale Sessions 58 - 62  https://simonbeck.blogspot.com/2018/07/mossdale-sessions-58-62.html

Mossdale Sessions 63 - 66  https://simonbeck.blogspot.com/2018/07/mossdale-sessions-63-66.html
Title: Re: Mossdale - Ouroborous project
Post by: Mr Dinwiddy on September 10, 2018, 09:58:20 pm
Latest updates:
http://simonbeck.blogspot.com/2018/09/mossdale-session-69.html
Thanks for the latest instalment Simon. I know you said somewhere you find the write-ups draining but please keep them coming. First the story is gripping and I want to hear the next instalment and second your writing style is engaging and atmospheric. Cheers
Title: Re: Mossdale - Ouroborous project
Post by: Simon Beck on September 10, 2018, 10:25:35 pm
Strangely enough I was in the process of adding the latest three. Slow going I'm afraid. The less I interact with the place the harder I find the write-ups, the disagreeable weather is the cause in this case. A few more to go.

Mossdale Sessions 67-68 http://simonbeck.blogspot.com/2018/09/mossdale-sessions-67-68.html

Mossdale Session 69 http://simonbeck.blogspot.com/2018/09/mossdale-session-69.html
Title: Re: Mossdale - Ouroborous project
Post by: Clive G on September 10, 2018, 11:20:56 pm
Strangely enough I was in the process of adding the latest three. Slow going I'm afraid. The less I interact with the place the harder I find the write-ups, the disagreeable weather is the cause in this case. A few more to go.

Mossdale Sessions 67-68 http://simonbeck.blogspot.com/2018/09/mossdale-sessions-67-68.html

Mossdale Session 69 http://simonbeck.blogspot.com/2018/09/mossdale-session-69.html

I was reading your reports with great interest as you wrote this! Years ago (early 1980s) I made up a file of reports of pushing Mossdale with a view to going there one day, but that day has still to come . . . Remember that if the draught picks up noticeably whilst you're underground it's probably been caused by a significant change in temperature outside or there is considerably more water flowing through the system. If the draught stops then there will probably be a sump somewhere between the deep cave and the entrance.

At present I haven't got my file and survey to hand to see where you are digging, but the progress sounds very promising with more to follow. Imagine the possible open passage ahead (especially from the draught) but don't try and visualise it or assume it's going to continue a long way until you actually experience things for real. It's a balancing act between opening your mind to possibilities but corking down otherwise euphoric enthusiasm until it's really all there in the hand. I found the way into and pushed Northern Stream Passage in Agen Allwedd (off the mouth of the Southern Stream Passage and Main Passage junction) for some distance on my own, until I realised that it would be more fun enjoying experiencing 'caverns measureless to man' for the first time with other people. Also, if you end up with too many new obstacles stacked behind you to get back through, with possible moving rocks along the way, you need to have left very good instructions with the person who would initiate any callout. A pea whistle is a good way to announce your presence when shouting or banging on rock might otherwise have little effect!

Mike Boon turned up from Canada or wherever at the BCRA Conference around the mid-1980s and we met. He didn't use many words - it was all in the eyes - and I think he would be well pleased with the efforts you are making. He got lost in the cave and mentally challenged to the point of tears by Ken Pearce who picked the correct way on towards the exit, probably because he was more tuned in to where the way on may be found and was being led by his inner voice. Perhaps read or reread his chapter on the cave in 'Down to a Sunless Sea' (1977) and see if he can assist where there are choices to be made - to help dispel the shadow of Ken Pearce's challenge.
Title: Re: Mossdale - Ouroborous project
Post by: Simon Beck on September 11, 2018, 02:21:37 am
Hi Clive thanks for taking the time to respond, I appreciate your words and advice, but some of it did give me the impression you think I was born yesterday. No disrespect intended. I do have a bit more experience of this cave than the impression you've given me above.

The draught info was very valuable. Would definitely like to hear more on this subject.
Title: Re: Mossdale - Ouroborous project
Post by: Roger W on September 11, 2018, 11:05:55 am
Smashing stuff,but do cave carefully,Simon.  It would be more than a tad distressing if we never got to read about Session 70 'cos you got stuck in the cave and couldn't get out to write it up.
Title: Re: Mossdale - Ouroborous project
Post by: Simon Beck on September 11, 2018, 11:16:29 am
Smashing stuff,but do cave carefully,Simon.  It would be more than a tad distressing if we never got to read about Session 70 'cos you got stuck in the cave and couldn't get out to write it up.

Hey Roger, no need to worry, I've come this far and managed to stay in one piece, and don't expect any sympathy if it did go wrong. If the going begins to get really dodgy again I've a pile of recycled scaffold at my disposal. Plus I have already managed to survive 70 & 71, I just haven't written them up yet. Things are going well but I've yet to hit terra firma and suspect I'll be needing more rope, this is just a hunch at the time being though. Relating to Mossdale and previous exploration/discoveries this development is all very new, there's really no rule book to fall back on. I have every intention of maintaining an open mind and not getting ahead of myself, the process is reward enough. Thanks
Title: Re: Mossdale - Ouroborous project
Post by: Ian Ball on September 12, 2018, 06:22:51 pm
Very much enjoyed those entries  :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Mossdale - Ouroborous project
Post by: Simon Beck on September 12, 2018, 09:11:58 pm
The last offering till I manage to return.

Mossdale Session 70 - http://simonbeck.blogspot.com/2018/09/mossdale-session-70.html
Title: Re: Mossdale - Ouroborous project
Post by: tamarmole on September 13, 2018, 08:31:07 am
The last offering till I manage to return.

Mossdale Session 70 - http://simonbeck.blogspot.com/2018/09/mossdale-session-70.html

Always a good read.

If your wetsuit is shrinking / getting stiff  chuck it in the washing machine with loads of fabric softener, that usually does the trick.
Title: Re: Mossdale - Ouroborous project
Post by: Simon Beck on September 13, 2018, 01:08:33 pm
The last offering till I manage to return.

Mossdale Session 70 - http://simonbeck.blogspot.com/2018/09/mossdale-session-70.html

Always a good read.

If your wetsuit is shrinking / getting stiff  chuck it in the washing machine with loads of fabric softener, that usually does the trick.
Thanks!

One of the best things I ever started doing was using the washing machine for wetsuits and all other neoprene items. I think Adele recommended this and the use of fabric softener. It does make a big difference especially when using the suits regularly, but shrinkage hasn't been avoided overall.

I don't recall having any shrinkage problems with a Scubapro suit I once had, which was also double lined and used sporadically for half a decade.

I am curious what the manufacturer recommends, to avoid shrinkage, especially when they tend to be dead against using washing machines. In this instance though I'd rather not bother, they'd probably tell me it's due to poor storage conditions or vermin nibbling away at the suits overall integrity.

When you've forked out £300 for two suits in the hope they will keep you going for quite some years, it's a shame when neither fits, or bears it's original dimensions, long before the suit is damaged beyond repair (less than two years).
Their old suits were far superior and lasted forever when patched well. Can't deny they are still good in wet cold caves, but doubt I'll be putting further money in their pockets.

I also don't think that treating long term customers poorly is worth this type of bad publicity either.
Title: Re: Mossdale - Ouroborous project
Post by: Ed on September 13, 2018, 02:49:25 pm
Less beer and pie.... :tease:
Title: Re: Mossdale - Ouroborous project
Post by: Speleotron on September 25, 2018, 02:49:41 pm
Simon, is your dig the first passage in Mossdale to go below the gritstone band?
Title: Re: Mossdale - Ouroborous project
Post by: Simon Beck on September 25, 2018, 04:34:46 pm
Simon, is your dig the first passage in Mossdale to go below the gritstone band?

Most definitely yes.
Title: Re: Mossdale - Ouroborous project
Post by: Speleotron on September 25, 2018, 05:04:46 pm
That's exciting! If I understand correctly, there's a thick slab of limestone with the usual famous systems in it like GG and the 3 counties, but on great whernside this slab is underneath a gritstone band and then a layer of less 'cavey' limestone, so the hope is that mossdale or Langcliffe gets below the gritstone into the good stuff beneath?

I'm sure this is hugely simplified and will annoy a geologist but is that the gist of it?
Title: Re: Mossdale - Ouroborous project
Post by: Simon Beck on September 25, 2018, 05:53:25 pm
That's exciting! If I understand correctly, there's a thick slab of limestone with the usual famous systems in it like GG and the 3 counties, but on great whernside this slab is underneath a gritstone band and then a layer of less 'cavey' limestone, so the hope is that mossdale or Langcliffe gets below the gritstone into the good stuff beneath?

I'm sure this is hugely simplified and will annoy a geologist but is that the gist of it?

Yeah you've got the gist.

The cause of all the breakdown - from where the choke begins (near the existing limit of Piston Chamber) to where I'm presently pushing - appears to be a fault formed along the NW/SE master joint. My guess is, it's still got some way to drop before it goes horizontal again. Work is to recommence over the coming days so watch this space.   
Title: Re: Mossdale - Ouroborous project
Post by: Simon Beck on October 31, 2018, 03:50:22 pm
A couple of recent additions, which I've finally found the energy to complete. Two more to go and hopefully a visit this friday for another.

Mossdale Session 71 -  https://simonbeck.blogspot.com/2018/10/mossdale-session-71.html

Mossdale Session 72 - https://simonbeck.blogspot.com/2018/10/mossdale-session-72.html
Title: Re: Mossdale - Ouroborous project
Post by: Speleotron on October 31, 2018, 04:08:57 pm
This is gripping stuff thanks for doing so much writing!
Title: Re: Mossdale - Ouroborous project
Post by: Mr Dinwiddy on October 31, 2018, 06:48:59 pm
Thanks for the updates Simon. I particularly liked the photos in session 71- the lowest chamber looks dark and oppressive.
Thanks also for the information about how active you think your extensions are in flood.  I was going to post to ask you but you covered this clearly in 72. Looking forward to more updates when you can. Your Legends Blog is an epic.
Title: Re: Mossdale - Ouroborous project
Post by: Simon Beck on October 31, 2018, 09:09:34 pm
Thanks for the updates Simon. I particularly liked the photos in session 71- the lowest chamber looks dark and oppressive.
Thanks also for the information about how active you think your extensions are in flood.  I was going to post to ask you but you covered this clearly in 72. Looking forward to more updates when you can. Your Legends Blog is an epic.
This is gripping stuff thanks for doing so much writing!

Thanks chaps..

The cave was subject to very severe flooding around the 12/13th Oct, far worse than the one I commented on Session 72. I managed to return the following weekend (session 74) and filmed the Swims in post flood condition. I posted the two segments on youtube a week or two ago, so will add the links below. A little further info on the effects of the flooding down Ouroborous will be included in 74. Cheers

Mossdale Swims part 1  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Xjm1jLt3s8&t=159s

part 2 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dBylH_u2TJw
Title: Re: Mossdale - Ouroborous project
Post by: Alex on November 01, 2018, 12:39:20 pm
Quote
Underground for 1:15pm, with what my diary states as an uneventful descent, I'm not sure what I was expecting though with that statement. Considering I moved to Bradford about the same time I began the Mossdale Sessions, I've still visited Mossdale more than I have the local papershop, which should guarantee a Mossdale descent is less eventful than going for the Milk. At the right time of day the latter is probably more dangerous than the former as well.

I can certainly agree with you there, having once cycled through Bradford, well the out-skirts, I concluded it was far safer to go down Mossdale then spending any time in Bradford, and I wished i had spent that particular Sunday doing that instead.
Title: Re: Mossdale - Ouroborous project
Post by: Goydenman on November 01, 2018, 04:50:44 pm
Thanks for sharing your explorations, survey and photos....really fascinating....Im hooked!
Title: Re: Mossdale - Ouroborous project
Post by: Ian Ball on November 05, 2018, 01:01:16 pm
Gripping stuff indeed!  Almost makes you fancy a visit. 

Title: Re: Mossdale - Ouroborous project
Post by: Simon Beck on November 06, 2018, 02:20:24 am
Not many more of these left in the year.

Mossdale Session 73 - https://simonbeck.blogspot.com/2018/11/mossdale-session-73.html

Mossdale Session 74 - https://simonbeck.blogspot.com/2018/11/mossdale-session-74.html
Title: Re: Mossdale - Ouroborous project
Post by: ObviousSpectre on November 06, 2018, 10:25:29 am
As if the water wasn’t enough to worry about, you say there’s voices in there too?! I admire your determination   :bow:
Title: Re: Mossdale - Ouroborous project
Post by: MJenkinson on November 07, 2018, 12:26:13 am
Gripping stuff indeed!  Almost makes you fancy a visit.

If you haven't, you should. I only saw a smidgen of the place and it was well worth it. 
Title: Re: Mossdale - Ouroborous project
Post by: Simon Beck on November 07, 2018, 09:05:51 pm
Up to date, tf!

Mossdale Session 75 - https://simonbeck.blogspot.com/2018/11/mossdale-session-75.html

Title: Re: Mossdale - Ouroborous project
Post by: Mr Dinwiddy on November 08, 2018, 09:13:53 pm
Really appreciate the survey at the end of session 75. Brings the previous posts into sharper focus.
Title: Re: Mossdale - Ouroborous project
Post by: Simon Beck on November 08, 2018, 09:43:37 pm
Really appreciate the survey at the end of session 75. Brings the previous posts into sharper focus.

It's a case of improving as I go with the surveying/drawing, albeit they will always be on the rough end of the spectrum. Articulating the experience is what's most important about all this for me, and takes most of my energy, nor do I have the need or desire to improve enough to compete with the very high common standard.

I would hope that the younger end of the spectrum, who appear very adept in the art, will take on the challenge of a complete re-survey of the cave.
Title: Re: Mossdale - Ouroborous project
Post by: Mr Dinwiddy on May 08, 2019, 09:58:57 pm
Hello Simon
I have been checking your legends session blog now and again and I am delighted to see that you have some more Mossdale trips to report on. Trying not to apply pressure on you to write up, but just a comment that your blogs are appreciated when you do post. Would have commented direct on your legends blog but could not work out how. Regards, DW
Title: Re: Mossdale - Ouroborous project
Post by: Simon Beck on May 14, 2019, 09:26:18 pm
Hey Mr Dinwiddy, haven't visited the site much recently, so apologies for late response.

There are three to write up, but nothing of significance, will summarise here. 

Sessions 76-77 were both productive. Scattered excavations were made at the 'Notch', vicinity of during session 76. This area was found to link with the lowest chamber, 'Last Resort'. Bits of surveying were done on both visits. The Boiler Room (aka Early Starter) was quickly surveyed first thing Sesh76, and long overdue having only been entered a few times prior. This chamber was the first discovery early on in the project, entered via a tiered rift climb above the scaffold/choked rift. A section of passage previously missed, heading northwards, formed between blocks, was investigated to a squeeze over pointed boulder, and appearing blind ahead, though I couldn't be 100%, the righthand ¼, beyond squeeze was out of view. I was eager to continue work at the notch after a long lay-off, session 75 Nov18, so left the partially attempted gendarme for another day.       

The 'North East Branch' from Featherstone Ch' was surveyed and probed session 77, and tough going with abundant seepage & morale sapping mud. Looking back I was far from 100% health but got stuck in as usual. Trial holes were made in the false mud/boulder floor, and a small passage noted to one side. The outlet of Last Resort was surmised to link with this, and the better of the two sites to push. Headed out a shivering wreck with some I-phone photography in Boulder Hall to warm back up, before the Swims back out.
Both the above were around the 4.5/5hr mark.
Invigorating they both certainly were, and even after the lay off, relaxed as if going for the milk.   

Alex Ritchie visited and filmed the journey to the choke in March, after a monster flood, but failed to find the way on via the squeeze to the White Hotel.
Although sceptical, I knew there was a possibility the capped boulder, key to the original breakthrough and abandoned to one side, had shifted allowing debris build up to occur.
Under considerably poor health, compared to usual, a quick visit several days later (78) was made with the way on found to be still open. I could see how easy it would be to miss.
An inspection was made of the lower choke to assess whether flooding had opened anything up. A few close calls were had with some large loose boulders.

Any visitors here should be on their guard. Flooding will no doubt have a significant effect on this area, with the opening of something that was a debris choked bottle neck before.

I will try get the survey complete over coming days.
 
Had I known Session 78 would be my last trip, I'd have at least tidied up, and said goodbye to something that's been my primary motivation for a long time, and stretches back to a promise made during those early visits to the site. Caving for sport and conditioning etc... diverted me, then I burnt out and lost the direction necessary for a good number of years.

Interest was rekindled at the site late 2015, and aside from the odd break, I haven't stopped since then. Around 90+ visits since 2015, for Sport, Mossdale Telecom and the Sessions.

In the end it wasn't Mossdale that got me, but myself. I self medicated with outdoor sports for the most part, but got greedy etc...

I flipped my future the bird in my late teens and it finally caught up with me. I saw it coming way back but always had enough stability to just keep my head above water.
I had the opportunity of a bright(er) future, new career, when the sessions were beginning to gather pace, and purposely sabotaged it, choosing Mossdale instead. A last ditch attempt to make the most of all those years, living and preparing in the present, not giving a damn about the future. I can't complain, was a full time job throughout spring/Summer 2018!

Go forth and thrash!

 
Title: Re: Mossdale - Ouroborous project
Post by: Simon Beck on May 21, 2019, 08:58:59 pm
The survey so far.

Any recommendations regarding what next would be appreciated. Far from versed with this side of things.

https://simonbeck.blogspot.com/2019/05/mossdale-sessions-survey.html
Title: Re: Mossdale - Ouroborous project
Post by: Mr Dinwiddy on May 21, 2019, 09:36:04 pm
Thats a classy survey Mr Beck, especially as most or all of it was done alone and by the sound of the blog in challenging conditions. Thanks for taking the time to draw it up and share it with us. I have said before how it brings context to your commentary and the profile does just that. As for recommendations for whats next I can't offer any advice about the survey (or the project). Go where your will takes you! 
Title: Re: Mossdale - Ouroborous project
Post by: Ian Ball on May 21, 2019, 10:28:22 pm
That is cool, in the days of simple disto shot surveys, this is ace.
Title: Re: Mossdale - Ouroborous project
Post by: Simon Beck on May 22, 2019, 01:30:47 am
Thats a classy survey Mr Beck, especially as most or all of it was done alone and by the sound of the blog in challenging conditions. Thanks for taking the time to draw it up and share it with us. I have said before how it brings context to your commentary and the profile does just that. As for recommendations for whats next I can't offer any advice about the survey (or the project). Go where your will takes you! 
The survey so far.

Any recommendations regarding what next would be appreciated. Far from versed with this side of things.

https://simonbeck.blogspot.com/2019/05/mossdale-sessions-survey.html

Apologies I wasn't very clear there. I mean't regarding what next with survey...
Title: Re: Mossdale - Ouroborous project
Post by: nobrotson on May 22, 2019, 10:09:07 am
My suggestion of what to do next is to put your survey data (distance, compass, clino) on the cave registry data repository (or find a geek willing to do it for you). This will mean that if and when the cave gets a resurvey and the exploration here continues people can easily check how accurate it all is. Particularly if there was the possibility of digging a connection to other known passage, knowledge of survey accuracy can be crucial. It also means that people can look at relationships to structural geological trends, for example, helping to advance the science.

In terms of making your survey drawings easier to use in  future, you could digitise the survey drawings using a vector graphics package such as inkscape (which is free) similar to what Si and Di did for the long kin west extensions last year. This way it saves any future resurveyor from redoing all your drawing work. Adding your survey centreline to the drawing would probably be useful to help any future explorers interpret your drawings more clearly.

Is the scale on both plan and profile 1sq/metre?
Title: Re: Mossdale - Ouroborous project
Post by: Balmerfish on May 22, 2019, 10:32:45 am
Good to see it drawn up Simon.

Adele
Title: Re: Mossdale - Ouroborous project
Post by: Simon Beck on May 22, 2019, 12:28:34 pm
My suggestion of what to do next is to put your survey data (distance, compass, clino) on the cave registry data repository (or find a geek willing to do it for you). This will mean that if and when the cave gets a resurvey and the exploration here continues people can easily check how accurate it all is. Particularly if there was the possibility of digging a connection to other known passage, knowledge of survey accuracy can be crucial. It also means that people can look at relationships to structural geological trends, for example, helping to advance the science.

In terms of making your survey drawings easier to use in  future, you could digitise the survey drawings using a vector graphics package such as inkscape (which is free) similar to what Si and Di did for the long kin west extensions last year. This way it saves any future resurveyor from redoing all your drawing work. Adding your survey centreline to the drawing would probably be useful to help any future explorers interpret your drawings more clearly.

Is the scale on both plan and profile 1sq/metre?

Thanks for the advice Rob. Yes the scale is mean't to be 1sq/metre. My heart really wasn't in it, the data collection/surveying side, but still tried to be as accurate as I could. The compass side was very frustrating, esp alone, with a strong suspicion something was throwing them off at times. I'm sure it was just me though overall. 

One thing is certain, it won't be far off, but not fully accurate regarding the true orientation of features.. The final chambers of 'Alley Cat Series' are probably smaller than actual and orientated more to the west, than on the survey. Plus Ouroborous, u/s of dot, was drawn rough. Hence my insistence it's mostly to highlight the discoveries.

However candid I still think they were, the Session's far from portray the difficulty and danger at times. I adapted to it, but would enter Mossdale on many visits accepting I may not make it back out. During many of those final twenty sessions I was pushing my luck a lot and throwing caution aside. However vain it sounds, and after all that, I'd be damned not to gain the recognition the work deserved, with what was found.

The me that existed before the Sessions took hold didn't really resurface fully come autumn last year. I'm where I am now for a whole host of reasons, much of it historical, but when I returned to work in November things quickly went south. I lost touch with reality at some point during that summer.
I probably forced it at times, to justify having sacrificed other things in my life and to get the job done, but did little in the way of a favour for myself.

Others have been critical of my approach and assume mostly that I chose to go it alone. I've explained my reasons to at least one person. All I say is, organising yourself around the weather and that cave is challenging enough, without then adding other people, their families, careers etc... to the mix. I dedicated myself to that project for a period, it hardly makes sense to then handicap myself with those who haven't.

To be honest, I thought that would've been obvious, a given almost. But you'ze haven't spent close to a decade and a half visiting the site frequently. A vast difference in perspective far from qualifies an opinion to begin with, even when you add a brain.

Although the vast majority of work was carried out alone, especially at the 'Trench' and everything beyond 'Hard Cor'rawl' - 'BlowPipe (2nd pitch)'. I can not stress how fundamental Adele Ward's help was in getting the project up and running and keeping me motivated throughout much of it. There were times when the territory beyond gave me the creeps and I lacked the will power to go it on my own. I severed ties there mostly to pressure myself to do just that, and no other reason. Especially when I was running out of time and money and watching good days go by. I'm not proud. She was twice the caver I was when I first began and I always admired that about her.


Title: Re: Mossdale - Ouroborous project
Post by: Simon Beck on May 22, 2019, 03:32:10 pm
My conclusion relating to the feature are still not dissimilar. I long tossed the old adage it's an aven, although it does connect in some way with the surface above, seepage etc...

A fault formed along that common SW/NE joint trend with downdip down throw. The uniformity of those 90 degree legs may suggest that axis, but my understanding is limited. Prior to faulting it's possible this area was some form of much taller joint guided feature. Again, I accept I could be way off.
The area I worked at the limit of Alley Cat was against solid rock and the possible hanging wall of the fault.

Another thing I suspect is the possibility of an easier way through. I've experienced some strange draughts, especially from the South West, around the low bedding extending away from 'Award Room' and 'Little Shop of Horrors'.

Since dropping the 'BlowPipe' I really haven't had enough time to be completely thorough. That area alone is far from fully ticked, with a few loose ends in the level above. The low bedding extending SW from the 'Award Room' deserves a look for sure.

Following the course of the water thus far appears to be through nightmarishly loose terrain. I couldn't help feel I was on the edge of an abyss down there on occasions.

At a loss as to what to do with myself at the present time. With nothing better, the thought of one last all or nothing push until I can't push any longer is bearing fruit. I feel the need to justify where I am, and the result of it all. I don't appear to know anything else except self abuse as it is.
Suck it all up and beat myself against something real as opposed to this hopelessness. Session 79 may well happen yet.

Note: My reference to the Alley Cat Series in the earlier reply, the chambers are probably bigger than what they are on the survey, it was mean't to read. The Boiler Room was also reduced in width at it's widest point, because of the overlap with below. I hadn't expected to make it so far with the drawing up, and began with little concern toward exactness.
Title: Re: Mossdale - Ouroborous project
Post by: nobrotson on May 22, 2019, 09:45:36 pm
Hope you get everything you want from the discoveries, these latest reports are the last time I read of anything that interested me on UKCaving for a long time. So if you do anything else make sure you write about it!
Title: Re: Mossdale - Ouroborous project
Post by: Simon Beck on May 23, 2019, 03:44:27 pm
Hope you get everything you want from the discoveries, these latest reports are the last time I read of anything that interested me on UKCaving for a long time. So if you do anything else make sure you write about it!

Thank you Rob. It is a comfort to know it's appreciated.

Although slow work, I'm in the process of writing up the final three.

Added ink to survey and updated pictures. Hopefully an improvement on before.
Title: Re: Mossdale - Ouroborous project
Post by: Kenilworth on May 23, 2019, 09:12:25 pm
Have enjoyed reading, and appreciate your maps too. The author of a well-known US book about cave surveying once said, in print, "cave maps do not need to be super accurate."  Of course, he lived to regret that statement as surveying "progressed" to new speeds and greater precision and his old work became seen as obsolete. But I still believe the original premise. Cave mapping is part art, part documentation, part chest beating, part practical. Only very rarely is there use for extreme accuracy or precision. Your maps are an artifact and an interpretation of your work and its place. Well done.
Title: Re: Mossdale - Ouroborous project
Post by: Simon Beck on June 06, 2019, 07:18:45 pm
A couple of recent additions.

Mossdale Sessions Survey - https://simonbeck.blogspot.com/2019/05/mossdale-sessions-survey.html

Mossdale Session 76 & Other favourites (part one) - https://simonbeck.blogspot.com/2019/06/mossdale-session-76-other-favourites.html
Title: Re: Mossdale - Ouroborous project
Post by: Simon Beck on June 11, 2019, 12:56:01 pm
Although the caving is far from prominent in these previous few pieces, covering the whole - the other side of the sessions, and what was going on in the background - is just as relevant I feel.

https://simonbeck.blogspot.com/2019/06/mossdale-session-77-other-favourites.html