Author Topic: P8 Xmas Aven dig diary  (Read 6308 times)

Offline 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....


Offline 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.

Online 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  ;)

Offline 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!

Offline 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


Offline 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.

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.

Offline 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.

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...

Offline 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... ;)

Offline 2xw

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Re: P8 Xmas Aven dig diary
« Reply #25 on: April 15, 2018, 07:01:02 pm »
A fine and productive dig was had today, me and Tommy were accompanied by prestigious sand digger Rostam Namaghi.

Anyways, we headed in, and started moving stuff. Met some folks from Rubber Ducks on the way in, and some other folks from the YSS. A good day for P8!

Once in the dig, we dumped the sandbags that had been kindly given to us by Nick Williams this morning (will buy him a pint at some point!) And proceeded to get digging!

Whilst the previous pictures show the scaffold at my nipple height, it is now above the shoulder. Below the scaffold the dig is getting larger and could comfortably fit two people. Tommy says the dig is still trending horizontally downwards.

The dig will now need more scaffold to split the pot and start a wall up the middle, as we have run out of scaffing space.

After taking out lots of spoil over 4 hours, we each payed our respects to the Eavis shrine and left the cave

Offline Rob

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Re: P8 Xmas Aven dig diary
« Reply #26 on: April 15, 2018, 10:01:14 pm »
Andy Eavis has a shrine down there? Well, it was his first ever cave...
The end is where we start....

Offline 2xw

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Re: P8 Xmas Aven dig diary
« Reply #27 on: April 16, 2018, 12:22:20 pm »
Andy Eavis has a shrine down there? Well, it was his first ever cave...

It's a shrine to the whole dynasty

Offline alastairgott

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Re: P8 Xmas Aven dig diary
« Reply #28 on: April 16, 2018, 12:58:35 pm »
 :bow:

Offline pwhole

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Re: P8 Xmas Aven dig diary
« Reply #29 on: April 16, 2018, 01:05:49 pm »
P8 is exactly due west of my window, so I can pay my respects every morning from here.

Offline Katie

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Re: P8 Xmas Aven dig diary
« Reply #30 on: April 16, 2018, 01:39:16 pm »
As long as I am left out of it - I am only an Eavis by marriage. I am far to punctual to be a real Eavis ;)

Offline alastairgott

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Re: P8 Xmas Aven dig diary
« Reply #31 on: April 16, 2018, 01:57:52 pm »
 :bow:  ;D

Offline Topimo

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Re: P8 Xmas Aven dig diary
« Reply #32 on: April 19, 2018, 09:33:08 am »
A team of 3 Backhoe Buccaneers were down P8 last night, myself, Olly, and Jack.

We agreed to meet after work, Jack's day had run over slightly, but Olly and I mitigated the delay by removing the rear seat from his 2CV, sticking some tunes on and basking in the glorious spring sunshine to pass the time.

Now changed and through the fields, Jack sped off ahead to make it from entrance to sump in a record 5 minutes, myself and Olly were there in around 10. Up into the dig and we began.

We began with the same system as last time; man 1 quarter filling a bag, passing it out to man 2, who passes it up to man 3, man 3 then consolidates it into a larger bag on the pile. Rubbish! We then remembered the reason for the scaff and bags was to enable a 2-person team to dig more efficiently, with 3 of us there it made more sense to haul out to the top of the pot and stack/tip above. Thus, no more scaff is yet required if we can keep a team together, increasing bag stocks wouldn't hurt though either way!

Once the percolation slurry is cleared from the dig face, progress becomes much quicker. We seem to have broken through a layer of clay which wouldn't have been helping drainage much.

With some 25 kibbles removed, we have now driven a trench down into the dig, meaning we are digging forwards, rather than downwards. At last! There are still some larger boulders in place acting as trench wall, for now if we don't stare at them too hard they'll stay put. We won't be able to lift them out of the dig without resorting to destructive methods, though one lay directly ahead to tackle.

After some scraping and prodding, and the smaller boulder reft from its earthen captivity, the session culminated in being able to stick my arm forwards above the face and feel some calcite coming down from the roof. Intriguing...

We made it out in good time, however slightly slower moving uphill. A quick stop off at the Wanted to see Nick and the Bull Pit team, we also found a troop of SUSSites in there for a brief natter. However, the hour was late and it was time for bed. By the time I was fed and the soil removed from under my finger nails it was about 12:30/1am.

All in all a great session, we're going prodding in another location next week to allow the air to refresh itself a little in Christmas Aven, it wasn't an issue, but we were aware of a slight change as the session went on, it's not draughting yet!

Offline Goydenman

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Re: P8 Xmas Aven dig diary
« Reply #33 on: April 19, 2018, 08:46:51 pm »
Thanks for the report - sounds like the dig is progressing well

Offline Topimo

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Re: P8 Xmas Aven dig diary
« Reply #34 on: April 27, 2018, 11:23:23 am »
A team of 4 went in for a double whammy of project productivity on Wednesday evening.

Firstly we shifted all of the large green digging trays and assorted detritus of Ben Bentham's from the entrance to the backs of our cars, where they remain... To the best of my knowledge that now means Ben's dig is free of litter and Jack's "Trays for Days" cleanup project complete (pending disposal arrangements). I'll leave it to him to write up in full, but it was quite the unique bit of resistance training lashing 6 trays at a time each to the backs of our harnesses and dragging them across the fields.

We then jogged down to our Christmas Aven dig with the plan of shifting a couple of large boulders.
Hopping down into the dig we found the previous trench to be relatively intact but full like a bath tub.

After bailing the water down to make it fractionally more comfortable, SUSS's aspirant technician Olly volunteered to cap the blocks I had excavated, they were even bigger than previously anticipated. He made light work of this over the next 45 minutes, and we shifted the rubble out above.

I then went in to have a look at the way on, and made a mess of the trench as it succumbed to the lapping water as I dug a little, I can blame Olly a bit too.

It should be noted that Jack only had one welly, and was starting to get cold from lack of activity at this point, and with this being SUSS fresher Ben's first digging session, he wasn't allowed to dig, but next time he'll be thrown into the hole to show us his stuff.

I'm estimating a nominal 30m of digging until breakthrough, based on the angle of the passage leading to the dig and the height differential between the dig floor (not passage floor as we haven't hit it yet) and the assumed silt level from the Eldon and pre-Eldon days when they started this dig, but who knows...

Now to overthink things slightly: I've attached a draughtsman's representation of the dig, on the left as we know it, middle and right two possible scenarios.

With a small piece of calcite found during the previous session I'm wondering about its formation.
In scenario A, with a shallow roof, I would expect water to drip away before reaching the passage end, the hopeful scenario B could mean steeper passage allowing a more stable drip flow. Is the logic sound? Or is it just a small crack above letting water through perhaps? We'll know soon enough anyway.

Tommy

Offline alastairgott

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Re: P8 Xmas Aven dig diary
« Reply #35 on: April 27, 2018, 01:05:31 pm »
 30m??  :o :o :o :o

You'll have to be leaving tributes to bring that number down.  :bow: :bow:  :bow: :bow:

are you sure that isn't 3.0m or 0.3m, you forgot the decimal point ;)


Offline Topimo

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Re: P8 Xmas Aven dig diary
« Reply #36 on: April 27, 2018, 02:00:17 pm »
30m??  :o :o :o :o

Unfortunately yes, but that's based on a hell of a lot of uncertainties.
I hope it's less...

SUSS will always be around to dig it, even if it takes until the 80th.

Offline alastairgott

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Re: P8 Xmas Aven dig diary
« Reply #37 on: April 27, 2018, 03:29:17 pm »
Your 80th. Wishing your life away there, we'll have to get you an armchair too.
 But it'll have to have one of those airplane meal trays and put it on a telescopic arm to enable you to dig.

Offline 2xw

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Re: P8 Xmas Aven dig diary
« Reply #38 on: April 27, 2018, 04:33:40 pm »
I think he meant suss 80th, which is in 25 ish years time and is a reasonable expectation of how long we will be digging in Derbyshire :p

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Re: P8 Xmas Aven dig diary
« Reply #39 on: April 27, 2018, 09:16:28 pm »
I think he meant suss 80th, which is in 25 ish years time and is a reasonable expectation of how long we will be digging in Derbyshire :p

Alpine climbers/mountaineers peak in their late 30's - early 40's, cave diggers peak at 50+.

Offline pwhole

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Re: P8 Xmas Aven dig diary
« Reply #40 on: April 27, 2018, 10:35:36 pm »
That's true enough. You get to lie down more when you're digging.

Offline mch

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Re: P8 Xmas Aven dig diary
« Reply #41 on: April 27, 2018, 11:47:30 pm »
Possibly even 60+

Offline mch

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Re: P8 Xmas Aven dig diary
« Reply #42 on: April 27, 2018, 11:49:13 pm »

Alpine climbers/mountaineers peak in their late 30's - early 40's, cave diggers peak at 50+.

Possibly even 60+

Offline alastairgott

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Re: P8 Xmas Aven dig diary
« Reply #43 on: October 16, 2018, 12:23:24 am »
Mucky

Offline Topimo

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Re: P8 Xmas Aven dig diary
« Reply #44 on: October 16, 2018, 08:41:39 am »
Have you broken through for us alastair?  :beer2:

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Re: P8 Xmas Aven dig diary
« Reply #45 on: October 16, 2018, 09:43:29 am »
Nah, but notice your buckets still have not moved from the entrance.


Just a quick potter, Louise M wanted photos on P1 and we found ourselves in Towd mans rift last trip, but didn't find the side passage that leads to the stonking crawl passage and the fine aven which looks like it's ready for WWI again  :tease:


Do you hide behind the sandbags when you're setting caps off.  :beer2:

Offline 2xw

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Re: P8 Xmas Aven dig diary
« Reply #46 on: October 16, 2018, 01:12:06 pm »
I'm planning to get back in there now the Summer Radon Scare is over.

I hope you approved of our scaffolding efforts.

My plan eventually is to rebeautify that aven and tape it once we break through and the route becomes a main traffic route on the Gautries-P8 through trip

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Re: P8 Xmas Aven dig diary
« Reply #47 on: October 16, 2018, 01:28:37 pm »
I saw some scaffold at the bottom, but couldn't be bothered to take a closer look at some mud smeared bits of metal.

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Re: P8 Xmas Aven dig diary
« Reply #48 on: October 16, 2018, 04:44:32 pm »
I saw some scaffold at the bottom, but couldn't be bothered to take a closer look at some mud smeared bits of metal.

You're so "over" digging, aren't you?  :lol:

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Re: P8 Xmas Aven dig diary
« Reply #49 on: October 16, 2018, 07:20:42 pm »
Nah, your dig looks like hard work. I've got ASV (as named by SUSS).
 Tis a good hole to go in and out of.

Had a good day last week, where I made a few applications in the morning, then left my mobile in the quarry, took two calls about jobs while in caving kit. :)


I should get a Bluetooth headset, then I wouldn't need to leave the dig to take the calls.

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Re: P8 Xmas Aven dig diary
« Reply #50 on: October 16, 2018, 08:12:08 pm »
The SUSS dig would be better if people actually went there more than twice a year. Guess I should see about stirring up Some enthusiasm once I've got a few other bits sorted out. Had a recce down the "other end" of the dig...with the help of some more hose and scaffolding it could be good fun.

How often are you in ASV?

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Re: P8 Xmas Aven dig diary
« Reply #51 on: October 16, 2018, 08:54:13 pm »

Off topic!  :shrug: :o


Ah Now you're an Eldon informant I can't be disclosing things like that!
 Suffice to say, I don't think I've gone more than you in the last 12 months, but I've probably gone 200% more than you last week...

Offline 2xw

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Re: P8 Xmas Aven dig diary
« Reply #52 on: November 19, 2018, 08:20:51 am »
~Breakthrough~

Before this trip report, I must thank whoever took the kibbles we had left at the top of owd mans rift into Xmas aven. This must have been a massive faff (we were expecting it to be!). We salute you, anonymous heroes of speleology!

Saturday 19th. Ethan, Hannah, Merryn, Tommy, Will

I arrived in Sheffield very keen to go digging, as you can tell from this thread we had not been in some time. On Thursday, we had managed to persuade some unknowing freshers to join us. We were lucky enough to have breakfast cooked by Hannah and Creg and so with full bellies got to the cave around 12-12:30. The way in was uneventful - me and Tommy cracking jokes about whether they would ever let us out of the retirement home to finish this dig. When we arrived, we were puzzled at the lack of kibbles at the top of the rift, but discovered some unknown heroes had already taken them in.

Once inside, work began in earnest. With so many people, it was possible to pull kibbles right to the top of the pot and pour them out - and pouring is a good descriptor, because the dig is full of absolute shit. It is sticky, it gets everywhere, it is full of water. Late in the session, around 1700, a Christmas aven miracle occured - soil began to flow into the dig from above. Tommy began frantically digging and many more kibbles were pulled, until a black space could be seen. Before being entered, the hole needed considerable work to stabilise it, but a large chamber could be seen above.

At this point - and with considerable restraint, we called it a day. The Freshers were fucked, and we had a 2100 callout. We proceeded to eat some crackers and cheese, along with grapes and dates. We also had wine but it wasn't brought out :( Ethan, we now know, brings excellent cave food, however in this dig, one person must wash their hands in a small puddle, wait for their hands to dry by blowing, and then feed the food to everyone else.  We excitedly left the cave, and ended up back at the car at 19:45. We proceeded to a board games night at Fir st and became merry, each having a celebratory mince pie and speculating about our new find.

Sunday 18th Ethan, Botch, Tommy, Will

We took it easy this morning and were careful to be thoroughly prepared. Putting kit on was the worst part of the day - it had gotten freezing in my car, and everything was covered in shit. Luckily I had washed all the grit from inside my gloves and wetsocks in Louise's sink (sorry Louise) which made my gloves and socks merely incredibly uncomfortable and cold rather than irritating to wear.

The way in to the cave was faster now and conversationally subdued, as everyone wanted to warm up and find some new cave. Upon arrival we immediately started work. Some 40 kibbles were hauled out before botch squeezed into a new chamber, approx 3m wide and 5m high, an aven blocked at the top with calcite, and decorated inside the cone. The right hand wall consists of unstable conglomerate of what we think is shale or sand or something. A passage leads off from here, leftwards trending and down, to reach a very sticky mud crawl which requires a chest tight squeeze, to eventually find a clean washed chamber where water drops into a too tight echoing crack in the floor.

It was time to survey it, so Ethan and I waited whilst Tommy and Botch completed this. The plus side is that the dig now drafts, which means there are no longer any bad air problems. The negative of this is that it is fucking freezing. Ethan assured me that he had an "American bivvy" we could both sit in, and pulled out a fucking bin bag. "Oh sorry I thought I had a contractors bin bag". Nope, bog standard. As we tried to get in it, the bag was stretched over my face. It occured to me that DCRO might be puzzled by the pair of cavers who had apparently died in some weird case of autoerotic asphyxiation after finding new cave.

After Tommy and Botch returned having surveyed some 25-30m of new P8, we cracked open a bottle of champagne to celebrate. This actually made me and Ethan considerably less cold and made the way out of the cave much easier. After a few pictures we hurriedly left the cave, cleaned up and fucked off!

As regards visitors, we would encourage you to have a look. You will get cold and wet and very very muddy. Keep away from the right hand walls, as you go in. We don't know how stable they are. There are no longer any issues with bad air. Bear in mind rescue from here would be a massive hassle.

If anyone does visit before we next get to go - there is a lot of "dig detritus" (including an empty bottle of champagne, sorry). We are fully committed to cleaning up this dig. There is more to be done here and we may return with renewed vigour. We will remove all tools and equipment, and will remove litter. We will remove all shit rope and put some sort of proper system in for getting into the pot - we realise it is a difficult free climb.

We must thank all of the people we've dragged into this cave over what must be 3-5 years of digging here. Especially the Freshers who are invariably promised caverns measureless by old blokes with a glint in their eye in the pub, only to spend 5 hours getting cold and moving mud around. This is essentially a SUSS dig - even though in the time it has taken we have all graduated and joined the Eldon and the Bradford!

Pictures and a survey to follow!


Offline Katie

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Re: P8 Xmas Aven dig diary
« Reply #53 on: November 19, 2018, 02:12:04 pm »
Quote
It occured to me that DCRO might be puzzled by the pair of cavers who had apparently died in some weird case of autoerotic asphyxiation after finding new cave.

Realistically I think DCRO would just see it was SUSS and shrug their shoulders in a 'oh well, anything goes' kinda way......

And if you had died and your friends had erected a plaque to your memory it wouldn't be the first in a Derbyshire cave to a caver killed by an auto-erotic asphyxiation accident....

Anyway good work on the digging and the find and the drinking champagne underground on breakthrough day :-)

Offline Goydenman

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Re: P8 Xmas Aven dig diary
« Reply #54 on: November 19, 2018, 02:20:20 pm »
well done everyone...25-30m good find. Do you think the way on it to widen the 'too tight echoing crack'?

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Re: P8 Xmas Aven dig diary
« Reply #55 on: November 19, 2018, 03:24:12 pm »
A fantastic weekend. A multnational and multi-club success for the Backhoe Buccaneers (the only way to resolve our digging disputes of yesteryear was to form a new club).

We began this dig back halfway through university, and if we'd just gone once a week we'd have broken through in 2015 I reckon! Ah well, we know what's on the other side now...

Saturday was a spritely affair, with fresher Merryn on her first digging trip, Ethan too - though he's a "born again" fresher, having spent time with SUSS a few years ago before being distracted by climbing. It happens to the best of us! Merryn had a very successful shift, having agreed to dig out 5 kibbles, she went on to do 15 or so in the end. Hannah was a machine on the hauling line for which we are very grateful. Ethan did his bit on the kibble too, not complaining one bit, and he brought a fantastic picnic along - a shame we didn't drink the wine though. Will got mud in his eye and tried to lick it out, unsuccessfully, but it was entertaining.

P8 Breakthrough Dig 2 by tommypmoore, on Flickr

The variance in mud quality in the bottom of the dig is superb, from gloopy clay to wet slop to dry sand. It seemed as soon as you clear the wet stuff away you're just kneeling right back in it again.

Whilst having my turn at the face, something odd happened: lots of dry sandy material flowed down the face into the dig. I heaved on a boulder with the crowbar a little more and sure enough, more sandy soil flowed down. I thought it may have been a pocket in the ceiling that had remained uncompacted, but the amount and it's readiness to flow into the dig was staggering, I assumed we had hit a small crossrift.

But no, moments later, things were sounding different, almost like there was a chamber beyond! Making my ridiculous but trademarked "cave call" I estimated the chamber to be around 3*4*5m.
With everyone now tired and wanting to go home, and knowing we had some work to do before getting through "proper", we left it for the day, besides - we had cheese boards and boards games waiting in Sheffield.

P8 Breakthrough Dig 1 by tommypmoore, on Flickr

Sunday was more determined and significantly less rambunctious. However, it was well worth fighting the gritting caving gear back on to our cheese-swollen bodies.
Botch and I sped off ahead to calibrate the Eldon Disto, after some typical bluetooth challenges we got a suitable setup and were off to the dig, now with Ethan and Will alongside.

Botch had first dig, with me jockeying the kibbles, and Ethan and Will hauling.

Botch was certain he could get through the gap, but we knew this from yesterday, and I reminded him he didn't want to be buried alive on his back in the arse end of P8, and we should stabilise the breakthrough slope first.
When I went to have a look, I realised that a lot of the loose stuff had slumped away, and Botch was right; fitting through was a trivial affair. Stood up in the new aven (2*3*4m - close!) I could see a continuation passage beyond, and the same stable conglomerate mud on the right wall, as with the other side of the dig - perhaps we could have come round the side or from above?
I figured this move could be interpreted as bad form, so slid back out, let Botch finish the digging, and he went to look into the continuation passage.

He was happy with his findings but was deterred by thick mud, returning to bring the group through. Meanwhile I leapfrogged his limit, over the mud, and found a tight squeeze leading up into a passage, rather similar to one on the way in to the dig from T'Owd Man's Rift, 3m diameter, and half filled with a muddy hump. Pushing mud forwards and to the sides super man style with my helmet off proved to be strenuous after 20 mins of so, and with the complaints of dillydallying from Botch and Will (who just wanted to survey what we'd found so far), I let Botch go through the squeeze to keep us all moving.

Botch pissed about for a little bit, giving the concluding chamber its name - "Golden Dreams", and we came out to grab the Disto. We found Ethan and Will sharing a bin bag and thus dubbed this short but momentus extension to P8 - "Bin Bag Passage". Located some 14m above the Sump B/C/D area and heading north, we are definitely in the old development in from

Bin Bag Passage Plan by tommypmoore, on Flickr

Bin Bag Passage Elevation by tommypmoore, on Flickr

Bin Bag Passage Animation by tommypmoore, on Flickr

Getting quite cold now from the mud we flew through to survey what we had found, unfortunately I did not photograph the new find but shall return this week or next, I was acutely aware that Ethan would soon be fed up with Will's close company.

There is potential to continue digging, but of the handful of options none are easy or obvious, I suspect a day or two of prospecting would suffice to pick which one to focus on. The "too-tight" continuation has a gour/crystal pool floor and calcite ceiling heading upstream and downhill to the north-northwest (right towards Gautries ;)), it's mostly horizontal, ~3m wide, and around 20cm high, though I couldn't see very far (here's to hoping it opens back up immediately. When I return to photograph I'll take some draft detection apparatus.

Golden Dreams is moderately pretty, a few short straws, stals, decent flowstone etc. nothing to write home about but nice enough to find.

I'd packed some Champers in inside a wetsuit, firing the cork in true celebratory fashion somewhere into the aven before dishing out into partially shattered plastic party glasses. We hastily made a toast to passages anew before heading out as it wasn't long before one of us froze to death. Not before a few terrible selfies though.

P8 Breakthrough Dig 4 by tommypmoore, on Flickr

P8 Breakthrough Dig 5 by tommypmoore, on Flickr

P8 Breakthrough Dig 6 by tommypmoore, on Flickr

P8 Breakthrough Dig 3 by tommypmoore, on Flickr

If anyone wants to come prospecting at the rest of it and receive a guided tour, get in touch!

Offline Rob

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Re: P8 Xmas Aven dig diary
« Reply #56 on: November 19, 2018, 08:15:55 pm »
Well done SUSS  :clap2:

When the Eldon started digging Christmas Aven in 2012 (during the Peak’s Expedition) it was on the basis that an upstream phreatic passage should exist the other side of the chamber, somewhere in the floor. I’m now glad that in 2015 after a year of our inactivity we pointed this project in your direction, saving us the hard work in exchange for yourselves taking all of the glory of proving our theory right! ;D  Shame it didn't go much further but you can't guess that one....

So SUSS, want another “good” lead?
The end is where we start....

Offline chunky

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Re: P8 Xmas Aven dig diary
« Reply #57 on: November 19, 2018, 08:50:37 pm »
Great work everyone!

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Offline Topimo

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Re: P8 Xmas Aven dig diary
« Reply #58 on: December 20, 2018, 10:41:57 pm »