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Peak District Caving News April 1999

Peak Cavern - Titan - Confirmed as Britain's Biggest Shaft

Report FromDave Nixon.
Report Date04/04/1999.

The last climbing in Titan, on the Western Wall took place on the 20th of March but since then some surveying work has been undertaken. For the first time the Far Sump Extension survey has been phisically linked to the Peak Speedwell survey via a dry route.

Up until now the position of Far Sump Extension had been calculated by a remarkably accurate survey by John Cordingley through the 385m long Far Sump and a deep radio location point in AJ Passage. As a result of the new work the position of Far Sump has been moved slightly to the North West by 25m. On the 3rd April Dave Nixon and Guy Smith completed the cave survey link while Tim Horne and Mark Brown (SUSS) went up to the West Passage at the top of Titan and attempted to carry out a radio location with Ron Hammond on the surface. Unfortunatly the radio location failed due to a technical problem with the equipment. Before returning to the base of the shaft the top belays and the traverse into the Western Passage were re-rigged. (Apologies to Mark Brown for the original omission in this report).

Peak Cavern - Titan Update

Report fromDave Nixon.
Report date05/04/1999.

On Monday the 5th Dave Nixon, Anthony Revell and Glynn Roberts undertook a trip down JH and through to the top of Titan to radio locate the Western Passage again. Ron Hammond was on surface and this time the link was established and the acuracy of the cave survey was confirmed. While there the choke in the Western Passage was investigated but no conclusions were drawn.

This was the last trip into the system for several weeks due to access restrictions imposed by the landowner due to lambing.



have sponsored the project and generously supplied the ropes to rig Titan.

previous related report 03/1999

next related report 05/1999

J.H. and Rowter Hole - Temporary Access Closure

Report FromThe Landowner.
Report Date04/1999.

There will be no access to J.H. or Rowter Hole until early to mid May due to lambing. As soon as we have a reopening date from the landowner we will post it here.

next related report 05/1999

Bagshawe Cavern - Full Moon Series Revisited

Report FromAnthony Revell.
Report Date17/04/1999.

Anthony Revell and John Taylor went back to the extension, discovered last September, to look for possible leads. A small aven was climbed and concluded as blind and two possible digs were investigated and noted for the future. Entry to the extension requires the pumping out of a small pool and it was noted that the water from this operation 'gurgled' away down through rocks in the floor of the Great Aven. This site was investigated and before long a 3m deep hole had been dug leading down to a bedding. Another session will be requird to evaluate the potential of the site. Dryer weather is needed if any time is to be spent in the extension as the pool pumped out at the beginning is still being fed by a number of 'drippers' and refills too quickly for any long trips to be undertaken.

previous related report 09/1998

Eldon Hole Belay Stakes

Report FromDerek (T-Pot) Stables.
Report Date04/1999.

As a point of interest the stakes around Eldon Hole (which were made from 4" steam pipe) were supplied by a well known mineral company and manufactured by myself. If I remember correctly this was around 1981 / 82. These were installed by John (Mouse) Middlemist and others from the EPC. After the installation he informed me that they filled each pipe with concrete, bad mistake........ The posts had been designed to stay hollow with a small vent hole on one side to prevent condensation from the inside and they were also painted internally with a rust deterrent to make the life of each post longer. Because they had been filled the design was compromised, during bad weather water would draw in between the steel and concrete by osmosis this brings on corrosion at a faster rate than normal. Hence the eary demise of the belay stakes. But seventeen years or there abouts aint bad for a piece of metal to last on the side of Eldon Hill. Anyway although the life of the stakes could have been double in terms of usable life if they had been installed properly. If anyone would like to replace the stakes in the prescribed manner new ones can be provided free of charge to any club / organization who is willing to undertake the work. This also goes for any club / organization who have a project where steel fabrications are required this may be in the form of gates, mine shaft caps or choke stabilization frames where a small charge for time will be made.....

Derek Stables (T.pot).

next related report 04/1999

Peak District Dye Tracing

Report FromProfessor John Gunn, Limestone Research Group, Huddersfield University.
Report Date04/1999.

As part of water tracing work the LRG is undertaking for the Environment Agency we have been monitoring springs and boreholes over a wide area of the Peak District. Much to our surprise we have found strong concentrations of fluorescein at Otter Hole and Wye Head. Although there is is a remote possibility that these are from dye we injected at a site several kilometres away, we would like to eliminate the possibility that cavers, or others, have been undertaking tracing experiments on Stanley Moor or in the Shay Lodge Area. If anyone is aware of any such tracing over the past 2 months please could they let me know as soon as possible.

Two further points in relation to the above:

1. If someone has been undertaking water tracing then technically they have been in breach of the law as all injection of dyes must be apporved by the Environment Agency and no approvals have been given other than for our own work. In this case the Agency have agreed to take no action as it is more important to confirm whether or not tracing has taken place. However, it is possible that in the future legal action could be taken against anyone undertaking unapproved tracing, particularly if this results in a visual colouration.

2. With the above in mind it is worth restating that for the past 10 years the LRG have offered to undertake free water tracing experiments in the Peak District for any caver who needs a trace as part of a project. We provide dye (and will usually inject it for you) and detectors and ensure proper liason with the Environment Agency. You agree to change detectors according to an agreed protocol and to send them on to us for analysis. If for some reason you are keen to undertake all the work yourself then that is no problem but it is essential that you notify the EA and it would be very helpful if you could also notify ourselves as we may already have work in progress and results could be compromised.

Professor John Gunn

Limestone Research Group

Geographical & Environmental Sciences

The University of Huddersfield




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