Author Topic: Hopeless hole - Portland  (Read 4966 times)

Offline John_Smith

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Re: Hopeless hole - Portland
« Reply #25 on: November 10, 2019, 07:58:25 am »
Tim lying where the large boulder used to be while trying to support the hanging ceiling. The way on is to the right, just beyond the hanging ceiling.


The way on, buried up to its neck in even more stuff to move but it looks very promising indeed!

Offline Pegasus

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Re: Hopeless hole - Portland
« Reply #26 on: November 10, 2019, 11:09:58 pm »


Having got in touch via the forum a couple of months back Ed and I met on Portland for a trip round Blacknor

That was good to read  ;D

The photos look, erm, precarious!

Offline The Old Ruminator

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Re: Hopeless hole - Portland
« Reply #27 on: November 11, 2019, 09:43:57 am »
Great progressive dig read with clear images. It's rather a shame that its called " Hopeless Hole " though that might be the incentive to find more. I liked TIT. Many years ago I had NEDFROB though is probably best that we don't go into that. Our team is digging every week and I have actually got to use a bit of scaffolding now neatly disguised behind a stone wall. Peter's conveyor belt has been added and this makes hauling and crawling so much easier. When we ever find anything we will let folks know but it won't be anytime soon.

Offline mrodoc

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Re: Hopeless hole - Portland
« Reply #28 on: November 11, 2019, 11:42:04 am »
Yes, Tim we should have some light but durable conveyor belt knocking about it you need some.

Online tim.rose2

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Re: Hopeless hole - Portland
« Reply #29 on: November 11, 2019, 09:48:25 pm »
Thank Ed for posting the photo's.

The way on is basically behind all the loose stuff on the right in Ed's top photo.  Right at the end of our session on Saturday I pulled out a few bits just beyond that very dodgy boulder and a hole appeared with a view to better things.  I'd always thought the way on might be the other side of that rubble but until then, moving various bits on that RHS showed nothing other than more rubble so we followed the good wall on the left instead.

As for that boulder it didn't look that bad when I crawled under it!  I did put some 'supporting spoil' underneath so it wouldn't go far.  Might look at taking it out next time or just digging though the rubble this side of it.  From what I could see pretty much anywhere through that right hand mess will achieve the same outcome.  No doubt you've all guess by now, the loose stuff is what has dropped down yet another narrow rift crossing our cave!

As for digging, the TIT is working really well in the main passage as far as the Steve's connection (base camp 1).  The section further in is being served very well with the carpet drag trays.  We've got a fairly smooth dry floor so I don't think conveyor belt would add much.  Very kind offer though.  What we really need is more help - any volunteers?  Or just someone to finish the job for us.  All dig pirates welcome on Portland on the condition you tell us what you find!

I reckon one more trip will get us into what ever we've caught a glimpse of last weekend.  As much as we try not to leave spoil everywhere (Richard even noted how tidy I'd been keeping the place), we do have a reasonably large clear area only a few metres back from the dig face.  I like to call it a chamber because 3 of us fit in at once and we don't have many 'chambers'.  We've been using it as base camp 2!  There's always the option to pull spoil back to there and deal with it later.   

Otherwise, I suspect the dig will take a break again whilst we poke around at the potential Steve's to Blacknor dig (see other thread).  We didn't really intend to work on this one last weekend.

As for the name I don't know the history.  Presumably the cave was named 'Hopeless Hole' by past Portland explorers due to the state of the collapse under what is now the Steve's / Hopeless connection.  It certainly didn't look worthwhile to us but we set to anyway.  Our main goal was to establish the connect to Steve's which I don't think had been considered previously.  The SDS drill has been vital to our effort and without it I'm certain we too would have considered the place hopeless.

Online tim.rose2

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Re: Hopeless hole - Portland
« Reply #30 on: November 16, 2019, 09:57:19 pm »
Well Hopeless Hole is certainly proving to be hopeless!

As you've probably guessed by my first sentence we've not found the caverns measureless to man (on Portland that refers to anything Richard sized) we'd hoped for.  Myself, Sas and Richard spent a good few hours in Hopeless again today.  After removal of a reasonable amount of spoil I managed to grovel my way along the low, 'open' passage seen on our last trip making around 4 m of progress.  1 m ahead was the flow stone bank we'd gained a glimpse of previously; unfortunately no further passage was found.  In fact it seems the flow stone is completely blocking the way ahead (assuming one exists) leaving us with a dead end.  Another large spoil removal task would be required to open the route to the 'end' allowing sufficient room to work, and that's assuming there is something at the end worth working on.  All very disappointing really considering how promising it had all looked.  We have a solid roof, a good wall and it's heading in the right direction!  Bugger. 

So we called a committee meeting.  The outcome being that we're going to leave Hopeless for the foreseeable future.  Consequently we've had a bit of a tidy up today and Richard plans to return to remove the rest of our junk over the next week or so.  As for the future, we might clear a proper route as far as the stal bank for three reasons...
1. To be certain there's nothing further worth digging.
2. To make a proper end to the cave which has a view of a few pretties.
3. It's all been rather good fun so why not continue even if there's no purpose.
Or we might not bother!

What I did manage to do is take a few photos:

Here's Sas and Richard in our chamber:


Sas looking through the hole on the far side of the above chamber which leads to the end of the cave:


Richard about to round the final corner (to the right beyond the boulders).  This whole section has been cleared during our last 2 trips.


And round the corner he goes:


Once round that corner, a bit of wriggling later this is the view of the end:

The flowstone bank mentioned is central on this picture behind the last few rocks I couldn't be bothered to move when I had my head up level with them.

Well Hopeless has provided us with much amusement over the last 18 months so I dare say we'll be back one day!  In short though our efforts have resulted in the connection to Steve's providing a cracking through trip (which incidentally was completed again today by Nick and Jerome whilst we were digging) and we've doubled the length of the phreatic tunnel.  We've agreed the priority over this side of the island now needs to be the potential Steve's - Blacknor connection.  I've also got a few ideas for new places to bugger around in and of course there's always a return to Showerbath to consider.



Offline thomasr

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Re: Hopeless hole - Portland
« Reply #31 on: November 17, 2019, 03:45:29 pm »
Good stuff  dorset and mendip :clap2:  Come on the north