Author Topic: A weekend of Weaselling about in Castleton.  (Read 3057 times)

Offline alastairgott

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A weekend of Weaselling about in Castleton.
« on: July 11, 2016, 05:15:44 pm »
A good weekend was had weaselling about, in and around Castleton.
The weekend Started slowly with a search in all the bike shops around the Hope valley for a bicycle part for my commuter which apparently is “old hat”, so I moved my search to Sheffield and after more disappointment I settled on Decathlon where they had the part and fitted the freewheel 7 speed in a few seconds (probably could have got the part at Stockport Decathlon and saved myself the time and petrol, Oh well!)
So late afternoon, I had a task to do. I’d spotted a crevice at the end of Pindale above Pindale cave a couple of weeks ago.
 I wanted to abseil down to it last weekend, but was thwarted by some local youths revving their motorbikes down at quarry floor level.
So this weekend I was determined to get down to it, and after talking to some climbers who know Graham Wolstencroft (Grum). I was off, down the hill from the quarry top entrance and into the first bench. Here I quickly ‘Vandalised’ a boulder by putting some throughbolts into it (or at least that’s what the visitor wearing shorts and selling things at the hut had said throughbolts were ;) ).
After using up all of the throughbolts I’d brought along, with several rebelays, I was down to the crevice, it didn’t look good! So I pulled my head out to see what was going on outside the crevice. And yes, low and behold it was just a block which had sheared away from the face. (so much for my grand plans of the ‘Pindale Flyover’).

Roll on Sunday, where we’d planned to do some digging, but sadly lacked enough people for our regular dig in Longcliffe. So we went after some more holes, this time up on top of the hill between middle bank and Cowlow.
First was a hole which Pwhole presumed must be an older mine (as there were no shotholes), but was quite tight and seemed to end in a rubble floor about 5m down. This was North of the Hurdlow Plantation but about 15m south of the Wall which Bounds the Top of the ‘track’ down from cowlow which passes slate-scrin mine half way down. This hole was a crack down and was on the East side of the ‘dale’.
Second we went to some Nettles near the wall on the West Side of the same field and looked at a post which was quite large and presumed to be a sighting post for the Speedwell Canal (but yet to be proved).
Third we escaped the field and went down the East side of the Valley/Track Down from Cowlow, and Pwhole threw himself at another 2 holes, to no avail!
Fourth CMCooley went back into the first field to have a look at a hole which we’d spotted in the cliff by a tree, which went for a bit, but mostly upwards into a choke (as far as I know).
Fifth we went into some holes on Cowlow Itself, with one which Pwhole Dropped into which went down (3m) to some sheep bones, but seemed to draft from the dig-able continuation. Either due to good prospects or a circular draft from another hole further up the hill.
Finally we went for a foray in Slate-Scrin Mine and a look at Middle bank Cave and Pot. Both of which were interesting, and left us feeling that we’d had a good nosey at some of the holes (some of which had been bugging me for a while, at least now I know none would go without significant effort).

I will hopefully post a photo of the locations which we scoped out later.
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Offline danthecavingman

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Re: A weekend of Weaselling about in Castleton.
« Reply #1 on: July 11, 2016, 05:43:10 pm »
I'm convinced Middle Bank Pot would almost certainly drop into Anniversary Aven and provide a route which would be the only feasible way one could access the boulder choke beneath the balcony for a digging project. All on Faucet Rake and interesting prospects downstream of the Bottomless Pit...

D.
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Offline ah147

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Re: A weekend of Weaselling about in Castleton.
« Reply #2 on: July 11, 2016, 06:13:38 pm »
Nice little weekend Gottzone


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Offline Pitlamp

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Re: A weekend of Weaselling about in Castleton.
« Reply #3 on: July 11, 2016, 06:39:53 pm »
I'm convinced Middle Bank Pot would almost certainly drop into Anniversary Aven and provide a route which would be the only feasible way one could access the boulder choke beneath the balcony for a digging project. All on Faucet Rake and interesting prospects downstream of the Bottomless Pit...

D.

I agree with Dan. (SSSI regulations would need dealing with of course.)

Offline pwhole

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Re: A weekend of Weaselling about in Castleton.
« Reply #4 on: July 11, 2016, 06:48:45 pm »
I'm not so sure about the Faucet Rake bit - below is the survey overlaid on Google Earth, and Anniversary Aven appears to be at least 100m south of Middle Bank Pot - and even further from Faucet Rake, which is the big one at top left that disappears into the east wall of Cowlow Nick, with Slate Scrin adjacent to the north. Though I have seen vein diagrams of the hillside that wildly contradict each other when it comes to this particular vein system, and they were all by geological experts. The veins that the Middle Bank series lines up with (and a run-in shaft in the valley floor directly below) are the smaller ones to the SE of Cowlow Nick, and the more northerly of the two is the one that was draughting.

Offline andrewmc

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Re: A weekend of Weaselling about in Castleton.
« Reply #5 on: July 11, 2016, 07:17:40 pm »
Here I quickly ‘Vandalised’ a boulder by putting some throughbolts into it (or at least that’s what the visitor wearing shorts and selling things at the hut had said throughbolts were ;) ).
After using up all of the throughbolts I’d brought along, with several rebelays, I was down to the crevice, it didn’t look good! So I pulled my head out to see what was going on outside the crevice.

Be careful what you put bolts into above ground - climbers are pretty united (compared to caving at least on contentious issues) in terms of bolting. Put a bolt in a boulder problem, on natural grit, or on a climbable face outside of a few accepted limestone crags, and they will probably bury you in a shallow grave at the bottom of the route :P

(although as you say you talked to some climbers I'm sure you already know this and it's probably for the benefit of the less-experienced lurker!)

Offline alastairgott

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Re: A weekend of Weaselling about in Castleton.
« Reply #6 on: July 11, 2016, 08:13:44 pm »
http://www.sportsclimbs.co.uk/mainpages/peak/Pin%20Dale%20Quarry.htm

Today I've checked this website and I've definitely not destroyed any of these routes, so I guess it's a bonus that I won't get buried under my crevice of rock. (But I guess that still doesn't stop them wanting to bury me).

I only placed two in the face of the rock which I went down one had water dribbling down it and the other I had long grass in my face. I've done it now, so I guess no one will need to go back and will know that pindale caves are the ones at quarry floor are the ones to go at?
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Offline alastairgott

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Re: A weekend of Weaselling about in Castleton.
« Reply #7 on: July 11, 2016, 08:27:52 pm »
Fourth CMCooley went back into the first field to have a look at a hole which we’d spotted in the cliff by a tree, which went for a bit, but mostly upwards into a choke (as far as I know).

Sorry Cooleycr got your username wrong! Doh!
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Offline danthecavingman

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Re: A weekend of Weaselling about in Castleton.
« Reply #8 on: July 11, 2016, 09:13:24 pm »
Phil,

This is all very interesting, I was certain Middle Bank Pot would drop into Anniversary but there would be a significant horizontal gap to cross although that's not beyond imagination given that the end of Anniversary appears to turn slightly NW on the survey, possibly following one of those classically aligned Peak - Speedwell joints.......

Faucet Rake appears to split several times once it passes beyond Rowter - the branch you suggest is Faucet would appear to continue along the line of the wall towards Goosehill - that is Tankersley Vein to my mind. Faucet Rake (I actually prefer Foreside Rake myself), passes through the top of Middle Bank Gulley, crosses Cowlow Nick and is well shown in Cavedale before it peters out.

All this begs the question of the location of the Bottomless Pit compared to Middle Bank Pot and the layout of the veins. As Tankersley Vein splits again before reaching the Gorge, one branch being seen at Slop Moll, the other at Russet Well, it could be that the water sinking in the Bottomless Pit follows the Tankersley Branch to Russet Well and / or Slop Moll. Therefore, a dig at Middle Bank Pot might well drop down straight into a conduit between Faucet Rake (which the Bottomless Pit is certainly on) and Russet Well....

This means that the Balcony Dig in Anniversary might not be dropping into the Faucet - Russet Well drainage after all.

So I will agree that Anniversary is South of Middle Bank Pot, but it is on Faucet Rake, as is Moss Chamber. All IMHO!

Dan.
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Offline danthecavingman

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Re: A weekend of Weaselling about in Castleton.
« Reply #9 on: July 11, 2016, 09:33:47 pm »
Phil,

Addendum to previous post - this is my understanding of the veins / rakes in the area in question....

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Offline pwhole

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Re: A weekend of Weaselling about in Castleton.
« Reply #10 on: July 11, 2016, 11:45:50 pm »
Very interesting, and I haven't heard Tankersley Vein mentioned in quite a while - in fact I doubted it was real owing to its absence on many maps. But that would make sense - certainly the surface expression of Faucet Rake seems to merge with Slate Scrin at Cowlow Nick and continue as one vein down the 'back' of the Speedwell Vent toward the gorge. Recent examination of that has shown at least one and probably two shaft hollows on the edge of the vent or actually driven through the agglomerate. Some of this work I would guess to be early Longcliffe-related exploration - 'skirting the limestone within Callow' and 'under the clay towards Callow' could both be references to work in this area, trying to determine the extent and/or depth of the veins beneath the vent. The Derbyshire Pennine Club also had some vague but vey interesting descriptions of explorations around here.

Longliffe Vein itself also continues SE well past the junction with Shack Hole Vein, as marked on the old Oakden plan, and also possibly indicated at surface by another open shaft and what appears to be a blocked adit entrance in the west wall of Cowlow Nick. I think the overall plan of the veins there is an 'X', rather than a 'Y'. The large hillocks on Longcliffe seem to follow the line of Shack Hole Vein rather than Longcliffe Vein.

The Bottomless Pit location is also puzzling, as in plan it is definitely not on the surface expression of the vein, whereas the more westerly connections (Pilkingtons, Assault Course, Whirlpool) are all closer - perhaps the vein hades to the south around the pit, but it looks vertical from down below. Pit Top Passage choke at the west end is also some way south of the vein surface expression, but meets the hillocks and hollows of Clark's Scrin at around the correct point.

Offline danthecavingman

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Offline pwhole

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Re: A weekend of Weaselling about in Castleton.
« Reply #12 on: July 12, 2016, 04:32:16 pm »
Dan

Yeah, I've been in there loads but didn't realise they were working Tankersley itself - makes sense. That vein continues via the opencut on the east wall of the gorge, and then seems to be the same vein again that cuts Cavedale at the bottom (Cavedale Cave #1) - that's a pipe and a vertical vein working, and it's still present on the east sided of Cavedale as another small opencut.

There certainly was some co-operation between the sough drivers and the Longcliffe proprietors, as I think the Bagshaws were funding both to some degree. I suspect the shaft hollows on the Vent were possibly explorations to determine its depth, and whether the veins were cut off, or continued downwards. Certainly Oakden's plan shows Longcliffe Vein as worked out well to the east of Cowlow Nick, right under these shafts along the top of the vent. Recent work is still trying to determine the thickness of the vent! Rest assured that there is going to be much effort thrown at this hillside over the next couple of years - if we can get the permissions. A good job done at Longcliffe is therefore critical to this.

You should get yourself down here for a weekend and I can show you what else we've found ;)

Online droid

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Re: A weekend of Weaselling about in Castleton.
« Reply #13 on: July 12, 2016, 04:51:16 pm »
Fascinating thread.

Thank you Alastair
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Offline danthecavingman

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Re: A weekend of Weaselling about in Castleton.
« Reply #14 on: July 13, 2016, 02:56:08 am »
Phil,

The rumoured 'Longcliffe Levy' would be a great discovery, Tony Marsden had an inkling of where it was in the field at the bottom of Middle Bank Gully....

D.
You see that Taxus baccata.........that's Yew that is........