Author Topic: A few pics from Titan  (Read 3432 times)

Offline Duncan S

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A few pics from Titan
« on: March 21, 2016, 12:16:35 pm »
Last weekend I was invited to join Bradford PC's trip down the newly re-opened Titan entrance.
I'm needing to up my SRT game quite a bit at the mo and this was perfect!

The original plan was an exchange trip Titan to Peak via White River, but the Titan connection is currently sumped and full of minging Cow Arse Worms; so nobody fancied it :)
A selected few opted for the JH to Peak via White River through trip with everybody else heading into Titan. 8 people is a very large group for pitches this size and it was a long day!

Stepping off the top of Titan is a truly terrifying experience. I'm glad I wasn't being videoed as I suspect my language was quite colourful!
Most of the group headed into the Titan streamway and Cascades which leaves from the Event Horizon.
But two of decided to bottom Titan since we had the ropes with us. Neither of us had been there before and we had no survey. So with a few encouraging words like "Calcite Aven is worth a look" but precious littel in the way of directions, we set off and resorted to having a good look down every passage we could find.
We located Major Sump in the Far Sump Series and climbed the first two pitches in the seriously impressive Calcite Aven.

Getting back out was a daunting experience.
I made a mistake and clipped the bag onto my harness; by the time I reached the Event Horizon the wet rope hanging beneath me was seriously heavy and my forearms were pumped and my thighs were screaming. And yes, the re-belay on Event Horizon is just as intimidating as its reputation implies.
'Only' two more large pitches to go..... Fortunately I got my second wind and made it out OK - phew!

Titan has a new lid, and cavers familiar with the old one were ooo-ing and ah-ing :)


Peering in the lid shows the 50m void into which we are descending.


At the Event Horizon showing some of the group on the dodgy traverse over to the Titan Streamway.


Exploring below Titan. This is somewhere in the Far Sump series.


End of the road at Major Sump. Crystal clear water we could see the sides dropping into the depths. The climb down looks very dicey!


Alan on the bottom pitch in Calcite Aven. The photos don't do this place justice as while calcite is everywhere!
That black bit is one of the few places my caving light has failed to penetrate. It's a seriously big climb!


Alan starting the big climb back up Titan.


Alan on Titan bottom pitch shows the impressive scale of the chamber.


Watching cavers ascend the bigger top pitch in Titan. This caver is no where near half way up, but it's as far as I could usefully pick them out with my caving light.


Finally, looking back up the entrance shaft.


I was only using my little TG4 with my helmet light, so these images are not great. But they bring back wonderful memories of the trip.
Many thanks for BPC for the invite :beer2:

Offline Roger W

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Re: A few pics from Titan
« Reply #1 on: March 21, 2016, 12:38:11 pm »
Big place!  Some nice pics, give a good idea of the scale.    :thumbsup:
"That, of course, is the dangerous part about caves:  you don't know how far they go back, sometimes... or what is waiting for you inside."   JRR Tolkein: "The Hobbit"

Offline Groundhog

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Re: A few pics from Titan
« Reply #2 on: March 21, 2016, 01:37:17 pm »
I think your pictures are excellent. Very difficult place to photo.
You did well to find your way to Calcite Aven. Many would have failed.

Offline Fulk

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Re: A few pics from Titan
« Reply #3 on: March 21, 2016, 01:49:37 pm »
I'm intrigued by the rigging of the entrance pitch. It looks as though you had to thread your descender below the Y-anchor (obviously) such that it was then attached to the rope it would end up a good – what? – 1/2 metre or more below the top of the shaft. Is that correct? If so, was it a little difficult getting on and off the pitch?

Offline Duncan S

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Re: A few pics from Titan
« Reply #4 on: March 21, 2016, 01:54:17 pm »
I'm intrigued by the rigging of the entrance pitch. It looks as though you had to thread your descender below the Y-anchor (obviously) such that it was then attached to the rope it would end up a good – what? – 1/2 metre or more below the top of the shaft. Is that correct? If so, was it a little difficult getting on and off the pitch?
I included the entrance photos as I suspected they might be of interest.
Fortunately, there are steps on the side of the shaft; so as long as you clip on before getting in/out it is fine.
We were rather puzzled about the Y-hang with no rope below it, but it is easily ignored :)

Offline skippy

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Re: A few pics from Titan
« Reply #5 on: March 21, 2016, 03:33:42 pm »
Was that Stuarts first trip into Titan?

Offline langcliffe

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Re: A few pics from Titan
« Reply #6 on: March 21, 2016, 03:40:54 pm »
Was that Stuarts first trip into Titan?

No.

Offline G. Hardwick

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Re: A few pics from Titan
« Reply #7 on: March 21, 2016, 04:04:34 pm »
IIRC the in-situ Y hang was intended to be a safety clip in when the inner lid was opened. It was then longer than it appears to be now.

With the inner lid no longer there I suspect it has been shortened so it can act as a safety for the person rigging the pitch, there being no external backup, and it now also looks to be a useful length for a cowstail when checking that your descender has been rigged properly.

I don't think I would ignore it if it looked to be in good condition and no one in the group had anything (eg a sling) to use instead.

The top step is visible in the first photo.

Excellent pictures.

Offline alastairgott

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Re: A few pics from Titan
« Reply #8 on: March 21, 2016, 04:31:31 pm »
The insitu Y-hang may have been used for hauling during the project work. I know that a rope was left knotted as a Y hang so that it could just be slung down the hole when work began.

I suspect that the Y-hang may be removed when the concrete former (that you found at the bottom of the shaft) has been hauled up to the top of the new rings and secured in place.
 but then again I don't know!?

Good to see you in the Castle on Saturday night! I thought I recognised a few faces that I'd never met before http://ukcaving.com/board/index.php?topic=19501.0
Scraps and Maps, Scraps and Maps, Squawk, pretty polly...

Offline Duncan S

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Re: A few pics from Titan
« Reply #9 on: March 21, 2016, 05:29:40 pm »
Thanks everyone!
It was an amazing weekend  :beer2:

Offline David Rose

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Re: A few pics from Titan
« Reply #10 on: March 21, 2016, 08:20:47 pm »
After this, the Picos will be a breeze.

Offline Duncan S

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Re: A few pics from Titan
« Reply #11 on: March 21, 2016, 08:35:23 pm »
After this, the Picos will be a breeze.
Cheers  :beer2:

Now I'm getting my SRT up to par and fitness will follow, I need to get back to planning how to light and photograph big pitches.
I've got some ideas and need to do a bit of experimentation.
Rhino ought to be perfect!

Offline Antwan

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Re: A few pics from Titan
« Reply #12 on: March 21, 2016, 10:53:01 pm »
Nice pictures. I remember looking down Titan with two scurion users, one on event horizon and the other on the bottom pitch somewhere and just seeing small dots of light and vast blackness.

Impressive little hole isn't it!

Offline RobinGriffiths

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Re: A few pics from Titan
« Reply #13 on: March 22, 2016, 12:49:45 am »
Great stuff. My question is, how can there be such a big void underneath limestone with no caprock?

Offline cavermark

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Re: A few pics from Titan
« Reply #14 on: March 22, 2016, 07:06:42 am »
Enlarged mineral vein cavities I believe?

I 've always thought Titan is quirky as it's nearly under the top of the local "hill" - a couple of hundred metres east and Cave Dale would have broken through the roof of it.

Offline Rob

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Re: A few pics from Titan
« Reply #15 on: March 22, 2016, 08:15:03 am »
Great stuff. My question is, how can there be such a big void underneath limestone with no caprock?
I'd have thought that with all phreatic formations (Titan is probably 95% phreatic), the presence or not of a "caprock" seems to be of negligible importance.
The end is where we start....

Offline pwhole

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Re: A few pics from Titan
« Reply #16 on: March 22, 2016, 12:22:03 pm »
I guess when Titan was forming, as Rob suggests, the presence of a dale was a moot point, as it was all 2km underground at the time. Only as the water-table lowered due to uplift, and then further drainage as Hope Valley lowered further still, was the formation of the dales possible via surface erosion and then incision. It's unlikely that the proximity of Titan to Cavedale is much more than coincidence, although the nearby presence of the Cavedale Lava probably had more to do with both forming in the manner they did. I've often wondered about the Event Horizon, and its place in the system, as it seems a very ragged hole for a phreatically-derived feature. I suspect that Titan was originally in two 'halves', separated by a narrower (and weaker) vadose 'neck' incised by the Cascades streamway, and that at some point after total drainage, a catastrophic roof-collapse was able to generate enough force to 'blast' this neck out, dumping the entire lot at the base as the boulder choke that we now see.

That's my (uneducated) theory anyway, but I'd love to hear other opinions.

Offline Mark

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Re: A few pics from Titan
« Reply #17 on: March 22, 2016, 07:16:45 pm »
I seem to remember John Beck telling me, that Titan was so big, because of the very acidic water flowing off the lava bed.

Offline Fulk

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Re: A few pics from Titan
« Reply #18 on: March 22, 2016, 09:37:34 pm »
I don't believe that 'caprock' is necessary for cave formation at all times, though obviously it does have a part to play. But is it not possible that when Titan formed there were, indeed, overlying rock strata that did play a part in its formation and that have since been eroded away?

Offline AR

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Re: A few pics from Titan
« Reply #19 on: March 23, 2016, 12:29:43 pm »
There certainly were - go a little way to the north and Rushup Edge/Mam Tor are shale and gritstone, glaciation long since scoured it off the top of Castleton Moor. Weren't there gritstone boulders in the choked swallet that was revealed in the face of Hope quarry a few years back?
Dirty old mines need love too....

Offline pwhole

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Re: A few pics from Titan
« Reply #20 on: March 23, 2016, 01:28:24 pm »
I've found sandstone/gritstone pebbles in the Speedwell system over the last couple of years, and there's related sediment banks too. If the shale margin used to be around the top of Longcliffe rather than the bottom, then I guess it's likely that a lot of cover material got washed in via early swallets before the valley floor lowered to its present level. I guess its also probable that when and where the shale, Cavedale Lava and limestone roughly coincided, there would be some far more aggressive chemistry going on around and underneath it?

I bet there's some wedged in crevices in Winnats Head too, though I've only been once, and was more concerned with getting out in one piece again than collecting pebbles ;)