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PEAK DISTRICT CAVING News - February 2001


Update, February 2001:

Report from John Beck -

At the beginning of January we found that the connection to the stream, for which we had been heading, was too tight. We were confronted by a too-tight continuation through to a larger area of rift directly ahead.

We had to enlarge the rift even more, in order to get along it at a higher level. A series of trips through January and February led to a breakthrough into the next "big space" on 18th February. I scraumed through, under a constant rain from the roof, and found the rift to be penetrable for a total of about 40ft. It ended unpromisingly at a climb up to a precariously jammed choke. The water sank into a number of tiny joints, mostly on the left of the passage. Mark went and diverted the stream so that I could listen for the noise of the stream down the sinks. I couldn t hear it. It was very disappointing, and we emerged frozen and demoralised.

The working space at the first cross joint, where we had seen the stream down the tiny slot, was now full of rocks that had been removed from the wall above. We spent the trip on 25th February removing this lot, and ferrying them back along the rift. Now that we have more room, we can see that the narrow slot is not as long or as deep as we originally thought, and the stream appears to be flowing in a larger passage than we originally thought. There also seems to be an echo and a draught at this point.

So we re back to following the water. Just pray that the weather stays relatively dry!