Peak District Caving

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Peak District Caving News March 2005

Windy Knoll Cavern

Major Collapse

Report FromEd.
Report Date14/03/2005.

At some point over the weekend of 12th/13th March the entire span of the entrance arch collapsed comprising an estimated forty tonnes of rock. The National Trust have constructed an emergency fence around the area. Observation would suggest more has yet to move.

Major collapse at Windy Knoll Cavern.

Photo: Shaun Puckering, 14/03/2005


Major collapse at Windy Knoll Cavern.

Photo: Shaun Puckering, 14/03/2005

Keith Joule at Windy Knoll Cavern after the collapse.

Photo: Shaun Puckering, 14/03/2005

Waterways Swallet

Another Breakthrough

Report FromAndy Foster (Keyhole Caving Club).
Report Date

The dig went again on Sunday 13th. We found another pitch (climbable with lifeline) and a huge chamber about 75ft high and 30ft diameter, plus some phreatic tube crawl. The chamber is truly amazing, probably bigger in volume than the original main chamber . The way on is at the bottom, a dig in rocks and silt with an obvious rout on for water. My guess is cave is now 110 115m deep, perhaps now only 35m above the resurgence level. No sign of the stream yet though It's getting to be quite a big trip to get to the bottom .Tourist trip takes two hours round trip.

Waterways Swallet Survey, March 2005

Waterways Swallet

Goes again on the 19th March.

Report FromReport from Ian Bishop.
Report Date20/03/2005.

On Saturday 19th March the digging team consisted of Ian Bishop & Pete Dell from Keyhole CC and Mike Salt & Jason Ryder from the Eldon PC.

The day started well at 8:50am with a delivery of five tonnes of ballast into the car park area. Thanks to the farmer for kindly cutting back the trees so the lorry would fit and thanks to the DCA for standing the cost. Thanks also to Mike Salt for organising it.

The ballast was spread by 10:00am so we headed down under. The party divided into two at the ladder pitch, once the new lifeline had been cut to length. Jase and Pete headed for Toad Haul and the inlet at the top of the Gully while Ian and Jase put in spits and hangers and a chain Y hang to make the ladder pitch properly rigged. Next a pair of anchors were put in for a knotted handline down the cherty climb. The rock failing around one spit demonstrated the need for two anchors at all times nicely. Ian & Jase arrived at the top of the pitch down into Toad Haul as Mike and Pete were returning down from the inlet. They managed to climb into it and found a short length of passage and could see on into a small chamber. The water was coming from an inlet in the ceiling which was too small to enter. More details and sketch to follow from them.

Meanwhile Jase and Ian rigged the top of the Toad Haul pitch for lifelining, putting in four anchors due to the fractured nature of the rock. The pitch is a reasonably easy climb. Meanwhile Pete and Mike explored the floor of Toad Haul, throwing pebbles down several gaps in the boulder floor. They dug into the floor at the foot of the pitch and Ian was the first oneto squeeze in amongst the boulders. The way on went in under the wall and led to an overhanging area with a gap above the boulders. This led off left and soon turned into a lovely phreatic tube about 12 feet diameter leading gently down and trending south West, a turn towards West and a lowering of the ceiling led to a sharp turn North and ten meters of hands and knees crawl into a sump. Still no streamway here, just a light trickle of water, so we still have not met the water sinking from the surface. The passage was about 70m long and 25m meters deep. It started five meters above the lowest point in Toad Haul so we have added another 20m to the cave depth. More exploration into leads in this area added more passage before time and energy ran out so a total of about 100m length and 20m depthclaimed for the day. Exploration continues...

Waterways Swallet

Goes yet again!

Report FromIan Bishop.
Report Date26/03/2005.

Keyhole CC were joined by several members of the Eldon PC to push new leads. 55m of new passage, "Rising Damp", was found with a new perched sump off it below Toad Haul. Above Toad Haul 5m of new passage was achieved in the inlet leading to an impressive 15m pitch.... back into Toad Haul. Another good fun days caving. (

More to come I guess - ed


Waterways Swallet Survey, 25th March 2005

previous related report 02/2005

J.H. (James Hall's Over Engine Mine)


Report FromWayne Sheldon (TSG).
Report Date

The TSG has recently started re-taping James Hall Over Engine Mine. The mining artefacts in the Tea Rooms have been re-taped using the DCA method of taping, stainless steel pegs and orange tape. The Tea Rooms were completed but the drill packed in before we could make progress on the artefacts in The Workshop. Several of the artefacts were temporary taped off with new tape but will be improved at a later date and the remainder completed at the same time. Once JH is completed, attention will be turned to the White River Series where re-taping operations will start in the spring.