Peak District Caving

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Donatella's Aven Extension:

Report fromRob Eavis S.U.S.S.
Report Date09/06/2008.

Monday 5th May 2008: Rob Eavis freeclimbed the main aven to a height of 17m but unfortunately there were no ways on. However a lead vein was found. Rob Middleton then bolted across into the small vadose canyon at the west end of the chamber. This leads into a very small passage "Shedder" which continued for 40m with a few squeezes and S bends. It then descends through a series of ducks to emerge in the roof of a large chamber (4m by 6m by 6m high). A waterfall from a roof passage at the far side flows down an unstable boulder-ridden passage to a sump, only 8m further on.

Friday 6th June 2008: Jim Lister (C.D.G.) was acompanied by a team of eight from S.U.S.S. down TITAN and up the +100m of fixed rope to the new extensions. The team split into two, one to complete the survey up the fixed ropes to the Mud Sump, tieing it all in with the rest of the system, the other to push the few remaining leads. This was an evening trip that would extend well into the following day.

The dive gear prooved awkward through Shedder, as Jim's wetsuit now shows. Unfortunately the sump was blocked by mud at the bottom of an 8m slope, and although Jim had a series of attempts to dig through, no continuation was found.

Meanwhile Rob Middleton bolted up the waterfall in the chamber to the roof passage. This was explored up a series of short cascades to another sump, a very small one at that. However the two Robs did manage to easily lower the sump by 15cm and there is potential to syphon it dry, so a return is planned.

Just before the top sump a 10m high rift was freeclimed by Rob Eavis, and although some excellent dogtoothed floorspar and chert flakes were found, there was no way on. This rift was very fresh and drippy, it'll be very interesting to see how close to the surface we are....

previous report 04/2008