Author Topic: P8 Dig Diary Number 2 - Bens dig  (Read 788 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  >:(
The best way to scare a Tory is to re-rig their pitch.

Online 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?
The best way to scare a Tory is to re-rig their pitch.

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: Yesterday at 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!
The best way to scare a Tory is to re-rig their pitch.

 

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