Exploration update, July 2000:
Report from John Taylor -
The Full Moon Series was discovered on the 5th of September 1998 and since then it has spent most of its time out of reach. The problem lies in its location at one end of the Aven Series' main passage, the other end; Pool Chamber is an intermittent sump.
On the 25th of May this year Steven 'Stick' Rider, his brother Jason, Gary Bode and I used one of our Thursday evening trips to take a look at Pool Chamber. Discovering that the sump had gone we took the opportunity to have a look up the wonderfully decorated Aven Series. As this did not take too long and because the boys were looking far too clean to have been in Bagshawe we took a trip down to the Lower Series and Granger Chamber. Once there, all present resolutely refused to have a look up Montegue Aven (I can't think why) and we made our way out.
Tony and I took advantage of Pool Chamber being open and returned on the 27th to finish surveying The Full Moon. However, in order to enter this extension of the Aven series, a further sump, Return of the Cosmic Juice Extractor, needs to be negotiated. Pumping for around an hour using a small bilge pump does this.
The decorations in The Full Moon were as stunning as I had remembered and I was pleased to see that the flowstone floor had recovered a little from the mud that we had deposited last year.
Later that week the first draught of our survey revealed an exciting discovery. Around half way along the main passage is a low tube that heads west, Taylor's Way, and it soon became evident that its course is heading directly for the Upper Series and the Snakes Pyjamas. The two passages even mirror each other. Taylor's way ends in a fork, a sandy dig in a tube on the left and the roof lowering to within thirty centimetres of the calcite floor on the right. The Snakes Pyjamas ends with a muddy tube on the right and a 'too tight' calcite crawl on the left.
Frustratingly however I did not have the final piece to the jigsaw. Dave Avenscough had surveyed through Cosmic Juice in August last year and he still had the data. So, as the length of Cosmic Juice determines the position of Taylor's Way, the exact distance between the two is still not known. The good news is that it is unlikely to be more than twenty metres. In order to try and determine whether a breakthrough was indeed very close Stick, Gary, Allen Rawlinson, new Eldon aspirant Alex Cottle and I returned to Bagshawe on the 10th of June. We split into two teams, Alex and Allen were to be at the end of the Snakes Pyjamas at an allotted time when, hopefully, Stick, Gary and I would be at the end of Taylor's Way. Once in position we would blow whistles and smoke fags and generally make our presence known. With this plan in mind the chaps and me left Allen and Alex and headed off to The Great Aven. However, our ebullience was soon thwarted upon reaching pool chamber. The sump was up.
Tony has since managed to get hold of the survey data so we should soon be able to determine how much digging will be involved. Our trip in June served to illustrate how important a connection with the upper series would be. If a bypass to both Pool Chamber and Return of the Cosmic Juice Extractor were found, the end of the Full Moon could be pushed without the hindrance of the vagaries of Bagshawes hydrology. A connection would also serve to preserve a good deal of passage by avoiding the use, as a through route, of The New Series, The Aven Series and half of The Full Moon Series.previous report 08/1999
Hypothemia revisited, July 2000:
Report from Ralph Johnson -
On Sat last Mat Ryan (Crewe), John Taylor and Tony Revell (Eldon) paid a visit to Hypothermia Crawl reaching "Crewe Junction" - the same point reached by Stan Kowalik, Mick Stratford (Crewe) and Keith Bentham (Eldon) in 1975. The choke and aven were described as "worth another look" but apparently no one is in a particular hurry!!next related report 04/2003
but it's secret, July 2000:
We became aware of the breakthrough early in July from a third party but sworn to secrecy.... but, as we have received over twenty emails in the last week asking for information it looks as though the find isn't that secret. However, not wanting to ignore the wishes of those who found it the site will not be divulged until they give the go-ahead. This breakthrough took place in a previously reported dig that for now will remain "unnamed" and although not great in length, is significant, due to its proximity to part of another cave. A full description will hopefully follow soon.next report 10/2000
The dig continues, July 2000:
Dave Nixon and crew have been progressing well with the Titan Surface dig. The shaft has now reached a depth of 13m. Well that's it - a small report for a mamoth project. Work continues.......previous report 04/2000
Unstable deads, July 2000:
report from Ralph Johnson C.C.P.C. -
Care should be taken in Oxlow. The lower part of the material held back by the steel girders at the head of the slope following the entrance pitch is unstable due to the action of water. Further down the slope the left hand wall has a section which may detach itself - it would seem prudent to keep to the right when descending the slope.next report 09/2000
Possible dodgy bit, July 2000:
Report from Gordon Fiander via Jenny Potts, Derbyshire Caving Association -
There is a slab in the roof of the main 'trade route', approximately 15 to 20ft. past the Miner's Pillar, at the point where the roof lowers slightly so that an adult has to duck to walk down the passage. It is near 'Point F' on Dave Carlisle's survey and is on the route which has to be taken to avoid the area already taped off as unsafe so that you have to pass directly under it. The slab is approximately 1 ft thick and about 3ft by 6ft. It already has cracks all round it and it is now beginning to come away from the roof on the south side. Gordon believes that it now constitutes a danger and has asked that DCA warn as many people as possible. The situation is being reported to DCA's Conservation & Access Officer with a view to seeing if action can be taken to either bring it down safely or to stabilise it. Please bring this warning to the notice of any group you know of who may use the mine.