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Peak District Caving News November 2005

Peak Cavern's White Feather Aven in Far Sump

Report FromJohn Cordingley.
Report Date11/2005.

John Cordingley has started climbing White Feather Aven (the name given to the final airbell in Far Sump, 350m from base). This is formed on the same vein as Stemple Highway in Far Sump Extension and the hope is that if any passages exist at the top they may lead away from the known cave. The dive in through Far Sump was uneventful but a new thin layer of fine silt was observed that hasn't been noted previously. This maybe due to a lot more caving going on in Titan and Far Sump Extension. The Brown's Chamber restrictions were found to be small so the new bypass line added a few years ago was used. The aven was reached but with no "dry land" bolts had to be installed just above water level to allow dekitting. Some upward progress was made before heading back out.

Update 5th Nov:

JNC returned to White Feather Aven and made 6 - 7m of upward progress. A passage off to the right at about 6m but this was ignored as it'll be easier to swing to it rather than traverse across once there are more bolts higher up the main aven. Of note, were tide marks from flooding 5 or 6 metres above the level of the sump! Rob Eavis and Dave Harley assited with the carry.

Update 13th Nov:

Climbing and exploration was concluded on Saturday 12th. The aven topped out at 12m above Far Sump and there are only small tubes at the top on the south east side (towards Cavedale). The phreatic passage 7m up found on the last trip was entered headding north west becoming too tight after a short distance, ending only a few metres from Hypercapnia Sump (in the passage off the far end of Salmon's Cavern). The ropes and water level handrail were removed.

Peak Cavern's Halfway House Sump

Report FromJohn Cordingley.
Report Date11/2005.

The Halfway House sump lies at the bottom of the Devil's Staircase in the old part of the show cave. In normal condition it takes the entire Peak stream which is next seen in the Swine Hole and Resurgence. In times of flood the sump backs up, floods the Five Arches and overflowes through the current show cave. The Halfway House sump can be dived for approximately 50m to a silt restriction but just prior to this on the right a very shallow bedding leaves the main passage which also takes some of the flow.

John Cordingley has dived Halfway House again and managed to force his way through the squeeze into the shallow outlet bedding making a couple of metres progress. Beyond the passage enlarges slightly so a return in planned.

next related report 02/2006