Peak District Caving

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Peak District Caving News August 2005

Waterways Swallet

Report FromAndy Foster.
Report Date08/2005.

The last few months have seen further activity in Waterways Swallet, following the extensions at the start of the year.

A survey has been completed, the total depth of the cave now standing at -125.3m (-411 feet), which still leaves a healthy 25m height above the resurgences. This places it quite high in the depth tables for the Peak District.

Various leads have been pushed and dug, several revealing a few extra meters of passage, but others petering out. A couple of other sites in the cave await attention. The more significant activity has been in the sumps. Mark Smith has dived "Wotno Sump" several times, but it appears to become too small about 20m in. "Rising Damp Sump" has been pumped out and a strongly draughting continuation found, but this needs a cobble fill to be removed before progress can be made.

previous related report 03/2005

White River Series

Report FromRobert Middleton.
Report Date08/2005.

Henry Rockcliffe has continued digging in the Inlet Sump above the third pitch in the Moosetrap. Following on from the discovery of a small airbell the far side of the sump as described in descent, a small dam was produced in an effort to pool the mud come water in the small follow on passage to allow further siphoning as before. This however has become impractical due to the distances involved, so a method of hard pushing and digging has evolved. This was first attempted by Henry Rockliffe, Brendan Sloan and Rob Middleton towards the end of the university term but 'mingingness' and bad air eventually forced a retreat. On Monday 22nd of August Rob Middleton and Jeff Wade returned to the Moosetrap for another 'push'. In what can only be described as very squalid conditions, Rob pushed and dug himself though to a small chamber, which had a small deep blue sump in the floor, and a dry crawl continuation leading to a 6m high aven about 3m in diameter with a tube going off in the roof. The current plan on the next visit is to bolt up to this.

Further reading: Descent 184.

Mam Tor Swallet Collapse

Report FromTim Webber.
Report Date08/2005.

The entrance to Mam Tor Swallet has collapsed. Unlike the neighbouring Windy Knoll Cavern (see

March 2005

) this collapse has been a gradual process as freeze-thaw over the last few winters has caused the shale above to fall in.