Author Topic: P8 Dig Diary Number 2 - Bens dig  (Read 1864 times)

Offline 2xw

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P8 Dig Diary Number 2 - Bens dig
« on: July 13, 2020, 02:53:34 pm »
I had another thread on here about P8 digging but that was about Xmas aven - this one is about Bens dig and I was just a visitor. Unfortunately, after our big 30m long find in Xmas aven, Tommy has sold all his kit and started paragliding and I buggered off to York. Luckily, another member of the Hallamite triumvirate in the form of Jack Dewison also likes furtling around in P.

Mr. Dewison had been advised by an unnamed Peak luminary (rhymes with Nob Peavis) to dig in Gautries, but he soon discovered this was an exercise in some somewhat dangerous shale mining and had consequently eyed up the pot at the end of Bens dig. I'd always avoided being tempted by Bens dig because I'm not sure where, if anywhere, it might go. Then again, the end is a whacking great descending phreatic so maybe it'll pop into something cool. In many ways, I've stopped caring about the potential and more about being underground with my mates.

I digress - I had popped into Sheffield by train (which in many ways feels safer than being in the shop now) and arrived on Friday. By Saturday morning I was raring to go - unfortunately, it took us an hour to get there having followed the peloton up Winnatts pass, but eventually, Jack, Molly S and myself met Rostam and Laura B in the car park. We did see the Ritters who waved from a distance but didn't pay - perhaps we'll have to send them a bottle of somat when all this is over.

It was a gorgeous day, albeit not gorgeous enough to tempt us to queue on the Mam, so we cracked on and down.

I'm sure there will be a few reading that hasn't got back underground yet - I tell you what it was bloody brilliant. The smell and the cold air! P8 is a bit special too me having run down it many times, and it felt nice to be in somewhere you know, practicing a sequence of moves that is familiar. A gentle reintroduction. The feeling of "flow" was interrupted by redoing Jacks stupid rigging from last year, but after this, I felt like water flowing down and through. We managed to get to Bens dig in about 20 minutes.

I haven't visited Bens dig for quite a few years - it is somewhat of a monument to human perseverance or, possibly, obstinance. The pot right at the end is very intriguing - the route winds to it, then suddenly a ladder into a pretty large phreatic tube (more than arms width). This then ends in a sort of set of double pots, which drop dramatically. I'm not one of these Cave Poirots but someone said something about a phreatic loop.

The dig itself involves someone in the dig, someone sitting in the saddle between the pots approx 5m above, then some more people hauling the buckets out for it to be dumped... somewhere. It's a very short haul in a spacious chamber, which really makes for a social dig. We even sang at one point, I recited some Lancashire mill songs (no whistling obviously, out of respect) which nobody enjoyed. Rostam was decidedly quiet but perhaps this was for the best as I value my ear drums.

We removed a not unreasonable amount of kibbles, maybe 30 odd. Some of us forgot gloves, and after Laura Bare Hands Benn had finished bleeding into the dig (and having a barbeque to attend) we elected to leave.

There are some jobs for next time:
- Get a gin wheel to make the hauling easier
- install some sort of way to get into the dig so SUSS can have its only ladder back (maybe it'll be via ferrated)
- get the shrine to Lord Eavis out of the Xmas aven dig and put it in the new one
- Shore up the inside of the initial pot just in case we want to dig that later.




Offline A_Northerner

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Re: P8 Dig Diary Number 2 - Bens dig
« Reply #1 on: July 13, 2020, 06:16:15 pm »
Just because you don't have the upper body strength to do P8 on cowstails doesn't give you the right to re-rig my ropes ya prick. It's rigged perfectly fine for those that appreciate a swift descent of the cave  >:(
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And the stream that falls from hill to plain.

Offline alastairgott

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Re: P8 Dig Diary Number 2 - Bens dig
« Reply #2 on: July 13, 2020, 06:29:35 pm »
 :spank: :kiss2: some SUSS love there A_northerner  :)

Offline Rob

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Re: P8 Dig Diary Number 2 - Bens dig
« Reply #3 on: July 14, 2020, 08:00:33 am »
A bold move to dig where Ben stopped! Good luck.  :thumbsup:

...
- install some sort of way to get into the dig so SUSS can have its only ladder back (maybe it'll be via ferrated)
...
I've got some spare stainless staples that'd do the job, if you're interested...
The end is where we start....

Offline 2xw

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Re: P8 Dig Diary Number 2 - Bens dig
« Reply #4 on: July 14, 2020, 10:46:52 am »
Somat to do - you got any theories Rob?

I'm sure jack would appreciate it aye will nudge him

Offline A_Northerner

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Re: P8 Dig Diary Number 2 - Bens dig
« Reply #5 on: July 14, 2020, 11:52:05 am »
I've got some spare stainless staples that'd do the job, if you're interested...

Presume rebar? What diameter are they?
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Offline Rob

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Re: P8 Dig Diary Number 2 - Bens dig
« Reply #6 on: July 15, 2020, 09:23:01 am »
...you got any theories Rob?
Not really, I've not been there for probably 13 years. At a guess I'd say it's likely that it's a phreatic rising (i.e. you're digging upstream) and whatever depth you dig down you'll probably have to dig up the other side of the sediment "sump". Hopefully it won't turn into another Western Highway!  :o

Hopefully i'm wrong and you're actually digging downstream in a bypass to T'Owd Man's Rift and the main sumps. This theory is supported a little by the (awesome) phreatic tube at the top of the iron ladder and that there is no vadose downcutting behind the top of the ladder (if i remember correctly). Long shot though...

Presume rebar? What diameter are they?
Yes, stainless rebar, about 14-15mm diameter, designed for 2x 16mm holes. If drilled slightly not parallel the staple can be knocked in with a lump hammer and doesn't need resin.  :thumbsup:
Think i've got about 7, how many do you need?

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Online PeteHall

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Re: P8 Dig Diary Number 2 - Bens dig
« Reply #7 on: July 15, 2020, 10:17:21 am »
...At a guess I'd say it's likely that it's a phreatic rising (i.e. you're digging upstream)...

...Hopefully i'm wrong and you're actually digging downstream...

Not knowing the cave very well (or the dig at all), are there any scalloping's that can be used to determine the direction of flow?
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Offline AlexR

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Re: P8 Dig Diary Number 2 - Bens dig
« Reply #8 on: July 15, 2020, 11:17:02 am »
Ffs, get back into Flatmate! SUSS in general, that is.
I don't want to be the only feckless moron moving dirt down that way,* and eventually someone will find the glorious continuation of the PS System  ;D

Loved the writeup Will :)


*just to clarify, not Flatmate itself, I want my own pointless digs

Offline 2xw

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Re: P8 Dig Diary Number 2 - Bens dig
« Reply #9 on: July 15, 2020, 12:02:47 pm »
Quote
Not really, I've not been there for probably 13 years. At a guess I'd say it's likely that it's a phreatic rising (i.e. you're digging upstream) and whatever depth you dig down you'll probably have to dig up the other side of the sediment "sump". Hopefully it won't turn into another Western Highway!

I'm fairly certain it is being dug upstream and you might be right about digging upwards on the other side - then again, I kind of expected that to be the case in Xmas aven but instead it went down/flat. There must be some scalloping somewhere on that nice phreatic so we'll get some pics/have a look. I wonder whether it's downstream of bull pit...

Quote
Ffs, get back into Flatmate! SUSS in general, that is.

That's a bit strenuous for my geometry... perhaps it needs renewed vigour right from the entrance of it - at any rate if you could return the rod still in there I would be obliged as SUSS owe me one

Offline A_Northerner

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Re: P8 Dig Diary Number 2 - Bens dig
« Reply #10 on: August 02, 2020, 01:23:10 pm »
Trip Date 01-08-20

Will and I took a trip into Ben's Dig on Saturday to carry out some odd jobs that needed sorting to improve Quality of Life in the Dig.

After faffing around to retrieve kit from SUSS's 2 or 3 various kit stores, picking up sandbags from Tommy, and spending roughly 4 hours getting up Winnat's Pass against a flood of Middle-aged-men-in-lycra we made it to P8 car park at a leisurely 13:30.  I packed my bag with drills, bolts, a 250mm Gin Wheel, and 6 Via Ferrata staples (Cheers Rob). We encountered a Commercial Caving group leaving the entrance as we arrived. The guide criticised our "in-situ" rigging yet still thanked us for leaving it there for him to use.  We were surprised at how dry the stream sink was, as it hasn't been particularly settled this Summer. Indeed, we found the main streamway to have a total lack of flow. We clambered up to the dig and made headway on our digging chores.

While I installed the Gin Wheel at the top of the dig, and the staples in the pot leading down to the dig face, Will placed some angle-iron steps on the flowstone that accesses the pot.  We were done with our jobs in a couple of hours (and more than a couple of drill batteries!). As we left we also spent some time digging a channel in The Eldon Room to drain the sloppy wet passage that leads to the dig, just to make reaching the dig a bit more pleasant.

Once back in the streamway we investigated some of the classic parts of P8 that open up in dry weather. Sump 1 was far from being passable, the Third Streamway was open yet again, though I didn't make the full descent to Halley's Sump. Upstream Sump B was dry down to a silt bed but not yet passable, maybe 1-2 weeks of settled weather will open it up. The floor of the sump is covered with an inch or so of Beech Tree seed pods and other chunks of wood detritus, it smells quite funky down there. There must have been a flood that washed it all through right before it stopped flowing? It was quite interesting to see.

Anyway, now the dig is easier to access, and the hauling much easier, we should be able to start making good headway on the dig!
Sweet is the sound of the pouring rain,
And the stream that falls from hill to plain.

Offline alastairgott

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Re: P8 Dig Diary Number 2 - Bens dig
« Reply #11 on: August 23, 2020, 08:19:51 pm »
Cheers for the "in-situ", C.W. declared it fit for purpose and better than carrying a bag further than the first pitch.

Offline A_Northerner

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Re: P8 Dig Diary Number 2 - Bens dig
« Reply #12 on: August 24, 2020, 09:25:48 am »
Cheers for the "in-situ", C.W. declared it fit for purpose and better than carrying a bag further than the first pitch.

Did you use the blue traverse line over the Iron Ladder pitch? There's some sheath wear on the natural it's rigged off, I need to source some replacement rope and put a rope protector around it.

The Tiger Rope which goes across the Bold Step and links to the traverse over the Iron Ladder pitch is not mine, I'm not sure who's left that down there as I think it's a bit unnecessary to rig over the Bold Step...
Sweet is the sound of the pouring rain,
And the stream that falls from hill to plain.

Offline alastairgott

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Re: P8 Dig Diary Number 2 - Bens dig
« Reply #13 on: August 24, 2020, 10:02:39 am »
Thought it was fairly cautious, as I’ve never seen that rigged ever before. More of a trip hazard than being of any use.
 Yep me and Clive used the blue traverse line, looked like surface rubbing, still serviceable for just the two of us :)

Offline A_Northerner

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Re: P8 Dig Diary Number 2 - Bens dig
« Reply #14 on: August 24, 2020, 10:45:10 am »
Yeah I've tripped over it once or twice! It looks like it was rigged quite hastily and yet has now been left in there for coming up to a year now. No label on the rope or karabiners.
Sweet is the sound of the pouring rain,
And the stream that falls from hill to plain.

Offline 2xw

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Re: P8 Dig Diary Number 2 - Bens dig
« Reply #15 on: August 24, 2020, 12:29:49 pm »
Free bucket hauling rope if noone claims t  ;D

Offline Mark Wright

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Re: P8 Dig Diary Number 2 - Bens dig
« Reply #16 on: October 11, 2020, 04:17:22 pm »
Tim Nixon and I had a great fun trip down P8 on Friday. My first trip in 10 months and Tim's first trip in 24.

It being completely rigged made it even more enjoyable. We did however notice the core of the blue rope that is tied off where the old iron ladder used to be is worn completely to the core.

I have some 11mm rope that the diggers are more than welcome to if you want to re-rig it. Alternatively, you could move the rope from the section before Stalactite Passage and use that as it arguably causes more of a hazard (tripping) than the hazard it is there to mitigate against.

Mark

Offline 2xw

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Re: P8 Dig Diary Number 2 - Bens dig
« Reply #17 on: October 12, 2020, 05:33:08 pm »
Cheers Mark, glad you had a good time - we keep running past that but no one has been arsed to change it yet. Some spare ten mil would be good, but feels a bit cheeky as the one currently in there was also from you (which may tell you a lot about its provenance...)

We haven't moved the rope from stalactite passage cos it isn't ours (we wouldn't rig that section) . I guess it's been there coming up to 9 months now though and so maybe we can claim it?

There's also a wire strop for a ladder at the first pitch that isn't ours that we'd be happy to return to someone

Offline Pete K

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Re: P8 Dig Diary Number 2 - Bens dig
« Reply #18 on: October 12, 2020, 06:04:21 pm »
I've had a few folk working for me down P8 in the last month. I don't think I lost a ladder spreader, but if it has orange tape on it give me a shout as it will be mine. I'm down there on the 16th Oct anyway and will grab it if it is mine.

Offline Mark Wright

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Re: P8 Dig Diary Number 2 - Bens dig
« Reply #19 on: October 12, 2020, 06:45:08 pm »
The wire strop is still on the 1st pitch but I can’t remember if it had any markings on it.
Just let me know if you need some more rope, I have plenty to spare. I can let you have some tubular tape to act as a rope protector around the stal.

Mark.

Offline A_Northerner

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Re: P8 Dig Diary Number 2 - Bens dig
« Reply #20 on: October 13, 2020, 07:50:49 pm »
Hey Mark, SUSS still has a load of old rope ready to be taken into the dig (I'm sure you might recognise where we acquired that blue rope from ;)) but some of that tape wouldn't go amiss. I'll soon be moving house towards your neck of the woods so some time in early November I'll pop round to pick some up.

Cheers.
Sweet is the sound of the pouring rain,
And the stream that falls from hill to plain.

 

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