• Hello From Descent

    The publication date for issue 289 is the 10th of December, meaning subscribers should receive their copies during the week leading up to that date. It is also available from caving suppliers such as Inglesport and Starless River, or from our new website

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Mossdale - Ouroborous project

Simon Beck

Member
Mr Dinwiddy said:
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! 
Simon Beck said:
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...
 

nobrotson

Active member
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?
 

Simon Beck

Member
nobrotson said:
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.


 

Simon Beck

Member
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.
 

nobrotson

Active member
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!
 

Simon Beck

Member
nobrotson said:
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.
 

Kenilworth

New member
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.
 

Simon Beck

Member
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
 

Simon Beck

Member
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
 

Simon Beck

Member
Still nothing of significance to report on really, aside from almost being uptodate. Some of these are a little overdue!

The intention is to buckle down and try get this cracked before I do. Just waiting for the weather now.

Have felt I've been scraping the barrel abit lately with these reports, though much of it as to do with my approach this past handful of sessions..

'It's time to accept I need a long term plan here, I've wasted enough time now hoping I'd eventually stumble upon a short term one'

Mossdale Session 78 - https://simonbeck.blogspot.com/2020/01/mossdale-session-78.html

Mossdale Sessions 79-81 - https://simonbeck.blogspot.com/2020/02/mossdale-sessions-79-81.html

 

Mr Dinwiddy

Member
Hey Simon
In session 79 you mention that you are glad you kept a detailed journal after each trip- well I am glad too as it means we have some more chapters in your long running Mossdale story. In fact I think it has become a Mossdale Odyssey.

During these recent chapters I found myself drawn back to your excellent survey from May last year. I find it easier to understand your choices having the survey there alongside your words. I don?t know why but somehow the survey makes it more real.

Looking forward to reading of your long term plan or, if that takes a while to emerge, just enjoying more of your your powerful descriptive writing.
Cheers
DW
 

Simon Beck

Member
Here's this years Sessions so far, the final two were squeezed in between the poor weather and lockdown. The write-ups are far from finished but for the time being it's all I can be bothered with. I made a couple of short videos also during the final two, the intention once I return is to greatly expand on content.

Mossdale Session 82 https://simonbeck.blogspot.com/2020/04/mossdale-sessions-82.html

Mossdale Session 83 https://simonbeck.blogspot.com/2020/04/mossdale-sessions-83.html

Mossdale Session 84 https://simonbeck.blogspot.com/2020/04/mossdale-session-84.html
 

The Old Ruminator

Well-known member
To be honest this is just about the best thing on this forum. A caver talking about caving. It certainly beats the endless waffle about CROW ( sic ) BCA/CSCC and Draenen. Perhaps the mods would like to split the forum into two parts. " Endless Waffle and Piffle " and " Real Caving By Real Cavers ".
 

Simon Beck

Member
Embarrassingly little to report on considering eventual freedom and the continued good weather allowing far more.

Mossdale Sessions 85 - 88  https://simonbeck.blogspot.com/2020/07/mossdale-sessions-85-88.html
 

Simon Beck

Member
Again very little to report on and no doubt next year at the earliest before I will, if ever. Even though it's a pain in the arse extra I could do without I've begun trying to document the sessions with video, takes a little pressure off the writing and adds a modern dimension to the documenting side. Have unwittingly found it a handy tool for making notes and reminding of stuff usually long forgotten by the time I'm writing it up. With little work on the agenda this past weekend I was able to concentrate a little more on gathering footage, though it didn't help the camera was low on battery and playing up pretty early on. Taking the unit had been an afterthought, but in the end it actually gave me something to do that day.

Mossdale Session 90 video -  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zQhvJ89-zqw&t=470s       
 

Goydenman

Active member
That passage going out is a lovely section of passage...your video picks up its features nicely. The dig area is confusing for sure and loose
 

Simon Beck

Member
tamarmole said:
Great video

Are there any solid walls down there?

I thought so yes, but as one person said it could just be a very large block. If I stick with the plan I'll be forging a route through debris towards it.

Goydenman said:
That passage going out is a lovely section of passage...your video picks up its features nicely. The dig area is confusing for sure and loose

Confusing yes though I was beginning to think it was just me and my jaded sight.

Back in May I captured the whole of Easy Passage and most of the exit with better lighting, but with little else to add to it at the time but a load of rambling didn't bother uploading.
 
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