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Water levels in the Gentlewoman /Youds squeeze.

davemowle

New member
Planning a trip through Thursday evening this week. Has anyone any info on the water levels and or size of the squeeze recently?
 

LarryFatcat

Active member
Peak CC have been through a couple of times this year. The first of the two squeezes tends to get clogged up with rocks falling downhill and the second by gravel so both are worth having a good dig at before attempting them. There is no evidence that I have see of them backing up and sumping.

Apart from the squeezes, that some pretty well built guys in our club passed, the route finding up to and down from the Crystal Highway is tricky and if you've anyone not confident with climbing and exposed traversing, you'll need a 20m rope.

There's a good vid of the trip and especially the squeezes on our public Facebook page see 'MATLOCK THRU TRIP'
 
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davemowle

New member
Thanks Larry,
I have been through a few times but with Owd Git who knows the cave very well so I was very much a passenger. Others in our group tomorrow have also been through before but not lead.
We were unsure if the squeeze floods and with the river being high did not know the consequences? We are capable and experienced just missing a guide.
 

wellyjen

Well-known member
The first aquatic squeeze you reach had a selection of gravel removal implements on the Gentlewoman's side to help excavate the gravel that tends to slump in. Did the trip in February, so winter time and there was air space. They are high above the river, even at its most flooded, see the elevation views in the PDMHS journal article.
Definitely leave the shaft rigged and have prussik gear, rather than pull through, to allow a retreat. Route finding has been known to catch people out.
 

owd git

Active member
How did it go Dave, I assume Mitch was your back up idiot at the front.Catch you soon and you'll 'get why' I dodged this one! . Might manage a bottle candle and mincepie to T'Owd man before the end of the w/e. probably in the Wapping. x O.G.
 

davemowle

New member
We had a very sporting evening last night.
The ab in and route down was clear and great fun.
The first squeeze took a lot of digging out but was passable eventually.
However the chamber immediately beyond was impassable and 2nd squeeze barely visible with the 100mm of water rushing through and 50mm air gap. We judged an impossible dig out at that time without better kit. We had to reverse the descent and ascend the abseil shaft.
The chamber was full of mud, gravel and silt as far as we could see, not just at the 2nd squeeze. I assume flood water had washed everything down into the chamber from above. Everything at the stream level was tighter than our last trip through even before the squeezes.
We were a team of 6, we went in at 6pm, reached the squeeze by 7.30, back to Gentlewoman's shaft by 9.30. However by the time all 6 of us were out it was 1130!
One to remember certainly.
 

pwhole

Well-known member
It is a lovely climb out on a Pantin though ;)

Did you get chance to look at all the natural chambers around the shaft base whilst you were waiting? Very interesting! The left-hand squeezy bit as you come out of the shaft (heading away from the main route) leads to a sandy chamber with loads of old graffiti on the wall, I think mostly from ancient explorers rather than miners, but some may be the real deal. Loads of sediment banks everywhere, and all phreatic as far as I could tell. It must go further.
 

owd git

Active member
We had a very sporting evening last night.
The ab in and route down was clear and great fun.
The first squeeze took a lot of digging out but was passable eventually.
However the chamber immediately beyond was impassable and 2nd squeeze barely visible with the 100mm of water rushing through and 50mm air gap. We judged an impossible dig out at that time without better kit. We had to reverse the descent and ascend the abseil shaft.
The chamber was full of mud, gravel and silt as far as we could see, not just at the 2nd squeeze. I assume flood water had washed everything down into the chamber from above. Everything at the stream level was tighter than our last trip through even before the squeezes.
We were a team of 6, we went in at 6pm, reached the squeeze by 7.30, back to Gentlewoman's shaft by 9.30. However by the time all 6 of us were out it was 1130!
One to remember certainly.
We''ve been in a similar situation Dave.right thing to re-group, rather than sacrifice a team member. time for Larry Mitch & all to come in from below again perhaps.sure we'll hear something soon! I'm going to be out of action for a couple of months, but after that?? we'll see(y). merry christmas all! O.(poorly) G.
 

LarryFatcat

Active member
We''ve been in a similar situation Dave.right thing to re-group, rather than sacrifice a team member. time for Larry Mitch & all to come in from below again perhaps.sure we'll hear something soon! I'm going to be out of action for a couple of months, but after that?? we'll see(y). merry christmas all! O.(poorly) G.
This wasn't the site of the Peak CC dig which reopened this trip in 2022, that was further downstream. I'd imagine the squeeze area will be passable with a bit of the usual scraping once the weather settles down. The club has a plan to do some safety work in there so we may take a look when we do that.
 

LarryFatcat

Active member
It is a lovely climb out on a Pantin though ;)

Did you get chance to look at all the natural chambers around the shaft base whilst you were waiting? Very interesting! The left-hand squeezy bit as you come out of the shaft (heading away from the main route) leads to a sandy chamber with loads of old graffiti on the wall, I think mostly from ancient explorers rather than miners, but some may be the real deal. Loads of sediment banks everywhere, and all phreatic as far as I could tell. It must go further.
There's some large solution cavities in the roof, clearly phreatic, near the base of Gentlewomans Shaft.
 

owd git

Active member
This wasn't the site of the Peak CC dig which reopened this trip in 2022, that was further downstream. I'd imagine the squeeze area will be passable with a bit of the usual scraping once the weather settles down. The club has a plan to do some safety work in there so we may take a look when we do that.
Hi Larry, having re-opened and subsequently cleared the squeezes several times, taking material downhill (access day shaft?) would be easier than dragging up stream to simply rejoin you in the squeeze for lack of space to store/ pack 'stuff' as a thought. wouldn't try to teach you to suck eggs, just a view(y),keep well and have a good Christmas. xx Ric'.
 

pwhole

Well-known member
There's some large solution cavities in the roof, clearly phreatic, near the base of Gentlewomans Shaft.

Here's one of those - and then some lovely layered sediments on the other side of the chamber. Main route downstream is just under the low arch at left and then turn right.

_IGP1731_sm.jpg


_IGP1752_sm.jpg
 

Rob

Well-known member
We went for a gander at the through trip last night. The 2 wet squeezes needed about 15 minutes work and we were through fine.

However about 10 minutes downstream from there it looks like tonnes of sediment has washed down and reached the roof! Whilst some of us ran around trying to find a bypass (none of us had been down for years) others dug with our hands for about 30 minutes and got through to a continuation and two more short digs. Passed a blind stope up on the right with a big echo and a short forefield on the left, then reached another blocked section.

Unfortunately we ran out of time and gave up, turning around at 22:15. Might go in the tail next week and clear from there, if someone hasn't already...
 

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JonP

Well-known member
It's now proper open for those who like a tasty squeeze!

I'd put it down as one of the 'Best through trips in Derbyshire' - with a bit of everything.

EPC trip reports here...

Epic Failure
Third times a charm


Gentlewomans Entrance - Luke by Jon Pemberton, on Flickr

Chris & Vic, Base of Gentlewomans Shaft by Jon Pemberton, on Flickr

Ben before the ducks by Jon Pemberton, on Flickr

Ben by Jon Pemberton, on Flickr

The Dig/connection by Jon Pemberton, on Flickr

Coffin Level - Youds by Jon Pemberton, on Flickr
 
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