Author Topic: P8 Xmas Aven dig diary  (Read 8685 times)

Online 2xw

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P8 Xmas Aven dig diary
« on: November 12, 2017, 09:47:21 pm »
I had travelled back down to Derbyshire to go dig Christmas Aven in P8 again - it felt good to be home.

The day started with me waking up on the SUSS house couch, consuming an energy drink (highly recommend the purple Rockstars). After a suitable amount of faff my companion Jack whipped off his dressing gown to reveal an undersuit in a superman esque fashion and off we trundled in my piece of shit car to the hill from Sheffield.

And what a beautiful day it was! Clear blue skies, beautiful sunshine. The trip across the moors was brilliant. The sun and cool temperatures meant it was a perfect day for grit climbing, but alas, climbing is for bellends and I suspect neither me nor Jack wanted to queue for routes on Stanage.

We arrived and paid our dues (the farmer remarked it was possibly warmer down the cave than outside but later I discovered this was not the case) and after a bit of usual faff we got underground.

Jack sped off and this reminded me of how fat I have become after just starting a PhD with its luxurious stipend, which allows for copious cake. I made a mental note to cut back on unnecessary cake (that sort of shite with raisins in it for a start). I was suitably impressed by the on-going P8 cleanup and I don't think I'm alone in never having been aware of just how much shite was in there.

Jack had re-rigged the digging perma-rigging (NB: please leave all rigging in P8. It is retired rope tho so up to you if you use it) but I am old and fat and consequently we reached Xmas aven in a sluggish 30 minutes.

For those not aware of the background: upon reaching owd man's rift at the end of dry P8 before sump 1, a climb leads up left and follows a (mainly) phreatic upwards towards an aven (Xmas aven). This is almost directly above the junction between mud hall and the main streamway and is trending towards Sump B area (ish). There's a big hole in the aven approx 2m across which the Eldon dug back when Reavis was young (maybe 1875, I believe this is why it's called owd man's rift). They were kind enough to not only let us carry on the dig (I suspect they abandoned t for less miserable prospects) but they also left several tools and sandbags.

Since we have started this dig, we have bolted the aven to add a pulley system for hauling, and extended the dig downwards by approximately 5m (I know it isn't much but we had to learn how to make a scaffold shaft wotsit) and installed a retaining wall to stop the whole sodding thing collapsing.

Anyways I digress. Me and Jack arrived and begun work. The job today was to sandbag the retaining wall installed last time by several SUSS members, with Jack doing most of the work. It was relatively easy going and the dig has been downgraded from "imminent death" to "just a bit sketchy". Assuming we put the scaff in right of course.

After finishing this, we began to dig. We were delighted to extend the dig HORIZONTALLY (gasp!) By almost a metre and find the roof flattening. This is what we have hoped for and expected - we are hoping that the dig opens into horizontal phreatic similar to the way into Xmas aven itself.

There are two options it might proceed if it "goes" - the first is that it will open into some passageway or maybe a chamber. The second option in my dreams is that the dig finds a reef marginal conduit, suddenly turns left and extends several kilometres, bypassing sump 10 and finding the passage underneath the
Badgers/Eldon dig, so that I can leave a cardboard cutout of me for them to find.

I suspect the former is more likely than the latter and at this point I'd take anything I get.

After some time digging, the CO2 build up in the dig reached a tipping point and Jack began to talk more bollocks than usual and complain of nausea so we left. I don't know what we're going to do about the bad air. I'd like to measure it. Perhaps we can throw some lithium peroxide in it or start a small cannabis plantation on the spoil heap too remove CO2 and raise dig funds. Alternative suggestions welcome.

Just before leaving, we shot the disto down it but Jack said he had tunnel vision and I doubt his accuracy so I don't think I shall send the data to the Guardians of the Master File just yet.

We cleaned our kit in the stream and toddled out to Baltic conditions, threw all our shit in the car and zoomed (trundled) back to the SUSS house for pizza.

All in all an enjoyable time digging. Feel free to go and have a look as long as you realise:
1. The climb into the dig is a 5m bridging based freeclimb with a shit handline tied to a stal so if you fall in that's your own fault
2. The dig is full of noxious gases that extend beyond the student club's normal verbal effluent
3. The dig is unstable please don't touch any of it

Good trip tho and an interesting part of P8.
« Last Edit: December 03, 2017, 10:17:01 pm by Pegasus, Reason: Title changed by request of author »

Offline Topimo

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Re: P8 (Jackpot) dig/trip report 2017.11.12
« Reply #1 on: November 12, 2017, 10:09:58 pm »
Surely it just fills up with all the rubbish you chat though?

Today was prime connies for grit escalade escapades and you know it.

;)

Offline richardg

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Re: P8 (Jackpot) dig/trip report 2017.11.12
« Reply #2 on: November 13, 2017, 09:47:17 am »
Nice to hear your back on with your P8 Project 2xw..

Enjoyed reading your amusing description of your overland and cave journey....


Online 2xw

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Re: P8 (Jackpot) dig/trip report 2017.11.12
« Reply #3 on: December 03, 2017, 02:44:25 pm »
Dig report 2017.12.03

I awoke on the suss couch again and settled in to reading the new descent (amusing to hear about controversial Southerner digs, I wish ours got so much attention). This time I had a yellow monster energy drink and some quavers which was shit.

This time we were joined by the illustrious new President of CHECC and a photojournalist by the name of Tommy Moore.

We proceeded to get to the cave via Castleton where Tommy bought some cake. I noticed a heart shaped photograph of Rob Eavis in Tommy's wallet but thought I had better not ask.

The cave was dry ish and we proceeded via the normal route. We made youth carry the tacklesack with photo and disto, to which he replied "Hi I'm David I'm the new president of CHECC"

Upon entering the dig Tommy's engineering sense tingled but he approved of our scaffold. The president of CHECC started digging whilst Tommy buggered about taking selfies.

A few kibbles later, I asked how each were doing.
"Hi I'm David and I'm the new president of CHECC" said the new President of CHECC.
"I wonder what Rob Eavis is doing right now", said Tommy, misty eyed.

Mirth was had and we surveyed the pot, the data for which Tommy promptly deleted last night. More kibbles were removed. Some rocks will require capping and/or plug and feathering.

We left early so Tommy could take some pictures.

The non-lemon flavours of San Pellegrino are disappointing.

I will upload pictures soon.

Offline Badlad

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Re: P8 (Jackpot) dig/trip report 2017.11.12
« Reply #4 on: December 03, 2017, 05:05:23 pm »
 ;D ;D :clap2:

Offline Rob

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Re: P8 (Jackpot) dig/trip report 2017.11.12
« Reply #5 on: December 03, 2017, 05:10:25 pm »
That's strange 2xw, cos there's a photo of you in my wallet   :kiss2:
The end is where we start....

Offline Topimo

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Re: P8 (Jackpot) dig/trip report 2017.11.12
« Reply #6 on: December 03, 2017, 08:56:01 pm »
Can't believe too much you read online these days, here's the proof:

Offline JohnS

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Re: P8 (Jackpot) dig/trip report 2017.11.12
« Reply #7 on: December 03, 2017, 09:28:49 pm »
No quavers in the photos  ;)

Online 2xw

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Re: P8 (Jackpot) dig/trip report 2017.11.12
« Reply #8 on: December 17, 2017, 11:10:15 pm »
No quavers in the photos  ;)

The quavers had been quaffed quietly before!

Online 2xw

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Re: P8 Xmas Aven dig diary
« Reply #9 on: December 17, 2017, 11:34:53 pm »
Dig diary 2017.12.16

This time I awoke at my mother's house in Eyam which was convenient as I needed JBs plug and feathers that she looks after. (If they are needed they can be easily retrieved, Mark N knows the address!)

Today was a bit of an experiment - we tried dealing with bad air by breathing it through a can. I thus proceeded to the TSG to meet Tony Seddon who very kindly leant me a 7L with regulator and showed me how to use it. I also gave Tony £200 which is the cost of a scurion charger nowadays*.

The SUSS photojournalist Tommy Moore joined me approximately 3 hours later because of his indulgences the night before, hanging out of his arse. A little frustrated (although I had had fine company)  we proceeded to the cave which was surrounded by snow. I had bought a fine new oversuit which I was keen to test.

It was very cold and Tommy, being precious about his camera as camera wanks are want to be, kindly carried just his camera and left me with drill kit and dive bottle. This left me quite slow and we reached the dig in approx 45 mins.

Once at the dig we proceeded to P&F it, removing a wall of calcite on the left hand side (and the bank of mud and stones behind it) and a large boulder directly beneath the dig face. This has made the dig a lot wider and it's almost deep enough that the bottom of the scaffold cage is now shoulder height. The dig might require more scaffolding soonish to hold up the right and left walls but there is a lot more room in there.

We then left the dig and tommy, recognising that I am not very fit, kindly carried the dive bottle out for me. The dive bottle did help us deal with the bad air, but it is a faff to take in and out - Tommy is thinking of using a car fan to suck air out of the dig which may work. We will continue to experiment.

Upon leaving the cave, it was dark and the snow made everything really very cold. I still have not located my genitals after 2 days.

I was forced to push Tommy's car out of the car park only to find out for 5 minutes of this it wasn't in gear and he was just revving the engine. I was not pleased with this, but proceeded to Jack's house for a lovely Christmas meal which I very much appreciated.

Ps the dig was surveyed and is making its way onto the peak master courtesy of our Lord and Saviour Reavis.

* Scurion chargers aren't really £200 Tony's prices are reasonable


Online alastairgott

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Re: P8 Xmas Aven dig diary
« Reply #10 on: December 17, 2017, 11:48:10 pm »
Glad to hear you're using plug and feathers, its very satisfying listening to the twang as you tighten them up. Then if the rock doesn't crackle, you give it a whack with the hammer! Excellent fun.

Great to hear it's on the master too! The king of rock, elvis has done a good job.
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Offline SamT

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Re: P8 Xmas Aven dig diary
« Reply #11 on: December 18, 2017, 12:13:19 pm »
Quote
I was forced to push Tommy's car out of the car park only to find out for 5 minutes of this it wasn't in gear and he was just revving the engine.

 :lol:

Offline Topimo

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Re: P8 Xmas Aven dig diary
« Reply #12 on: December 18, 2017, 02:59:02 pm »
It was worse than that actually. It had been in gear during the 3m push, but the last few cm to the clean tarmac was the most difficult for Will...

Photos to come.

Offline pwhole

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Re: P8 Xmas Aven dig diary
« Reply #13 on: December 18, 2017, 03:24:41 pm »
I'm sure some large-diameter computer case fans with some hose attached could quite happily run on a large battery and chug the bad air out in a few mins.

https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=computer+fans+hoods&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiu4azg7pPYAhUHDMAKHYFuBhcQsAQI1AI&biw=1920&bih=1093#imgrc=8QdtUY8vRZ5X5M:

Offline Topimo

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Re: P8 Xmas Aven dig diary
« Reply #14 on: December 18, 2017, 08:21:09 pm »
Realistically I'm not sure they'd overcome the pressure loss along the pipe length, I'll have a think.

Have you had success with them before? Some of them do look beefy.

Offline pwhole

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Re: P8 Xmas Aven dig diary
« Reply #15 on: December 18, 2017, 08:56:57 pm »
Only when helping out in someone else's dig, but it was a dead-end tube, so absolutely no fresh air at all, and we managed a good few hours with only one fan without too much trouble. Can't remember the exact setup, but it was definitely just a case fan, about 100mm.

Online alastairgott

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Re: P8 Xmas Aven dig diary
« Reply #16 on: December 18, 2017, 11:18:21 pm »
Have you had success with them before?

Nick might know, you could ask him next time you're helping out at bull pit? I've definitely seen a slide on a powerpoint at great hucklow with a fan in use.
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Offline SamT

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Re: P8 Xmas Aven dig diary
« Reply #17 on: December 19, 2017, 07:32:05 am »
Wasn't it henry rockliffe who had such a set up when they were digging Western Highway.  Im sure it was a car blower. 

We tried PC fans in Bagshawe and the just didnt have enough oumpf. 

The guys ended up with a manual pump.. one of those large diameter pumps for campbeds.. dead cheap from towsure etc.

Offline Chocolate fireguard

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Re: P8 Xmas Aven dig diary
« Reply #18 on: December 19, 2017, 09:43:15 am »
If you want to get air from one enclosure to another right next to it, with no run of pipe needed (like a kitchen to the outside, or the outside air to a car engine compartment) then an axial-flow fan like a computer case fan is OK.
But I don't think this is generally what you get in a dig.

If you have a pipe then the resistance to flow means that the fan you need has to be able to develop a decent pressure difference to get the desired air flow (this is exactly like needing a higher voltage electrical supply to drive the desired current in a bigger electrical resistance).

In practice this usually means a centrifugal fan. So if Tommy means the fan used in the heating system of a car (as opposed to the one used to cool the engine) he is dead right.

From what I have seen of dig extraction systems the pipe used is often what lets them down, even if paired with a decent fan.
The 4 or 6 inch flexible stuff from B&Q doesn't stay open after encounters with a few bodies and kibbles. In the confined space of the passage to a dig face it doesn't really have a chance.
Better, but much more of a faff, would be thicker walled plastic, taken down in manageable lengths of a few metres then joined and pinned to the wall out of the way - probably meaning a lot more stuff has to be removed to create the space.

Offline MarkS

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Re: P8 Xmas Aven dig diary
« Reply #19 on: December 19, 2017, 10:18:51 am »
I'm enjoying the reports. Keep them coming. :thumbsup:

If you're thinking of some sort of forced ventilation to help with bad air, don't forget the search function on here! There's loads of information to be had, e.g.

https://ukcaving.com/board/index.php?topic=4035.0
https://ukcaving.com/board/index.php?topic=7475.50
https://ukcaving.com/board/index.php?topic=15614.0
https://ukcaving.com/board/index.php?topic=20273.0
https://ukcaving.com/board/index.php?topic=10600.0
https://ukcaving.com/board/index.php?topic=2385.0

Offline SamT

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Re: P8 Xmas Aven dig diary
« Reply #20 on: December 19, 2017, 12:19:25 pm »
Better, but much more of a faff, would be thicker walled plastic, taken down in manageable lengths of a few metres then joined and pinned to the wall out of the way -

In bagshawe, they ended up with this.  I think it was just white 21.5mm overflow pipe, with push fittings taken in in 2m lengths,  Cheap, Light, robust and easily pinned to the wall/side/buried etc.

There is an argument for sucking CO2 out of the bottom of a dig, rather than trying to push fresh air in (I suspect its covered at length in the links posted by Mark above). 

Offline Topimo

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Re: P8 Xmas Aven dig diary
« Reply #21 on: January 06, 2018, 09:47:10 pm »
Overdue!

But here are the pics from the last trip.

Went to dig today with Louise but decided to go for a walk instead due to energy levels...

Online 2xw

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Re: P8 Xmas Aven dig diary
« Reply #22 on: January 06, 2018, 10:19:01 pm »
Careful Tommy, people are gunna get the impression that J do all the work...

Offline Topimo

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Re: P8 Xmas Aven dig diary
« Reply #23 on: January 06, 2018, 11:55:40 pm »
You certainly do most of the talking.  :-\ :-\ :-\

Offline pwhole

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Re: P8 Xmas Aven dig diary
« Reply #24 on: January 08, 2018, 01:34:53 am »
The beard's getting impressive too. You'll be smoking ten No. 6 a session before too long if you're not careful... ;)