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Peak District Caving News July 2002

The Flatmate in Peak Cavern's Far Sump Extension

Report FromRobbie Shone.
Report Date07/2002.

On Sunday 23rd June, Dave 'Moose' Nixon, Dave Whiteley and Robbie Shone went into the Far sump Extension to push the tiny drafting tube up from The Rasp. This tube had previously been looked at by several people including Moose and Robbie on seperate occasions.

After 12m of progress along a desperately flatout crawl, an obstruction was met where the draft whistled over the top of the mud. DW remained in the main passage pulling trays of spoil back from the face, while DN and RS worked shifts at the front. In total 2m of progress was made.

The same team returned the following day with high expectations, armed with a stove, polythene sheeting and some make shift tent poles to erect a shelter for keeping warm. After only a couple of shifts Moose broke through over the mud slope and into the passage beyond. The passage thereon remaind similer in size and shape. A small pool was encountered, named 'The Turning Pool', for obvious reasons.

The passage swung from right to left and after 10m or so before reaching a very tight section where the shape of the passage changed. The passage had generally been getting slowly bigger and hopes were high, until a choke was encountered, consisting of two large slab shaped boulders lying accross the passage. Moose could see that the roof stepped up and this point marked the anticipated mineral vein. Reversing back out was a struggle, although dressed accordingly wearing only a balaclava and petzl zoom. A return is planned.


Changes to Rigging in Peak Cavern's Far Sump Extension

Report FromWayne Sheldon.
Report Date07/2002

For safety reasons, several of the high level pitches have been derigged. Ride of the Valkyries and the pitches preceding it, including Balcombe s Way and Balcombe s Way Aven. The original way up to the Total Perspective Vortex has also been derigged. The ropes and bolts that were there were installed during the initial explorations of the mid eighties.

Calcite Aven, the pitch to Western Highway and Vortex Two are all 'up' pitches and will be left permanently rigged and checked on a regular basis so that access to the high level sections can still be gained. Anybody wanting to undertake a trip down the Ride of the Valkyries will need to rig and de-rig it, though it is best avoided until re-bolting has been completed due to the unsafe nature of the original 1980's 8mm anchors.

Peak Cavern Access Dates

Report FromWayne Sheldon.
Report Date07/2002.

The 2001/2002 season came to an end at the end of June for the summer break; the 2002/2003 season will begin in October 2002. Anybody who would like access to the system for themselves or a club should contact John Beck. See

The Caves

for details.

Peak Cavern's Wind Tunnel

Report FromWayne Sheldon.
Report Date07/2002.

The Wind Tunnel was part of the original dry route forced from Peak Cavern through to Speedwell in December 1984. Before then, it was only the route to a very extensive dig, attacked by a large but varying group of people. It also resulted in its own active club, the INGUWTA (I m not going up Wind Tunnel again) Society; where the members were active in other places.

In January 1990 Faulty Tower Aven was dug through to the Trenches from Treasury Chamber and as a result, the Wind Tunnel was surplus to requirements. Over time, mud from The Trenches ran into and occumulated in the upper section of the Wind Tunnel. Many people were of the opinion that it would now be blocked.

During the spring 2002, the Wind Tunnel was re-entered from both ends. 30 minutes digging through slop in the top section resulted in the passage being reopened.

This has since been traversed several times so if anybody fancies taking a trip back in time or you re a sport caver and you want to tick the passage off - go ahead and do it. Do bear in mind that the Trenches side is likely to fill up again. Anybody undertaking a trip should always check the Trenches side first.