Keith "Ben" Bentham, one of Derbyshire's most prolific exploratory cavers, died on the 26th August, from cancer. He will be sadly missed by all those who caved and discovered caves with him. Never short of an idea, a plan, or a better way of doing something. "Do you catch my drift?". "Are you with me?". "What you should do...". A master of single mindedness and sheer determination. He could be incredibly difficult, but equally helpful. "Give up" wasn't something he knew how to do.
Ben Bentham on the 15th of January 1990, having just broken through into The Trenches from the mammoth Fawlty Towers dig, bypassing Peak Cavern's infamous Wind Tunnel. This connection created easier access to the more remote parts of the system leading to discovries including The White River Series in 1991.zoom_in
: Shaun Puckering 15/01/1990
|Report From||Steve Jones.|
Henry Rockliff (SUSS) has been busy building dams and generally sorting out the second upstream sump in The Rasp in Peak Cavern's Far Sump Extension. It can now be emptied with around 2 1/2 hours pumping. It was emptied on 16 September in preparation for a push at sump three on the 17th.
Henry, Steve Jones (SUSS) and Dennis Jump pumped away at sump three for almost seven hours (one pumping the water into sump two, whilst someone else pumped it away...) without opening the sump. By this stage the water had dropped by 2-3 feet and about 5 metres of sump had unroofed to reveal a wide, low passage with a silt floor. How much more water needs shifting it is impossible to say but the volume that needs moving is substantial, particularly as it needs to be shifted twice. Some rethinking of strategy may help, but sump three isn't giving up easily and will require a concerted effort to get past.
On the way out, it was found that there had been a rearrangement near the top of the Titan choke and Dennis had to dig his way out, and then sort the big rocks for an hour or 2 which added a certain unwelcome note of excitement to the trip.
On Sunday the 18th there was no support so Henry went and removed the pumps. The Titan choke was unchanged from the night before but very loose - don't rely on it staying open.previous related report 10/2004
There has been a report of some movement in Titan's choke at the upper end. The team working on The Rasp had to dig their way back out through it on the 17th of September. The choke was passed again on the 18th and nothing had moved but it was reported as being "very loose".