Peak District Caving

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PEAK DISTRICT CAVING News - September 1999


Third dive pushes sump to 94m from base, September 1999:

The sumps in Dowall Dale Side Pot have received further attention from divers John Cordingley and Tim Hallam. On the 4th of September John made a third dive into the inlet sump and continued on past the previous limit at 75m (-8.5m) from base. (r1) The sump continued to a junction at 90m (-10m). The right hand branch was very small and was pushed to 96m at -11m, the left hand branch was smaller still and was pushed to 94m (-? couldn't read depth gauge). The diver reversed back to the 60m junction & explored the side passage for 10m in an unpleasant passage. On way out the position of a passage was located on stream left, thought to feed the Static Sump in flood, this is exactly 37m from base.

Tim Hallam dived the Static Sump for 9m, which must now be close to the main Upstream Sump at the 37m junction in the inlet sump.

previous report 08/1999


Keyhole CC visit some old sites, September 1999:

Report from Andy Foster, Keyhole CC

- On September 4th, Keyhole Caving Club paid a visit to their old digs in Stoney Middleton. The focus of interest was a reference in Caves of the Peak District to a Southern branch of Watergrove Sough that led to a run-in shaft. It had been speculated that if this branch continued South, it might cross under the main road, and penetrate the Southern side of the dale. This may provide the source of the draughts felt in Hangover Hole, Paracetum Ole and Rubble Rift.

The branch level was found, complete with a run-in and a convenient iron pole, which was used as a "prodder" until an interesting and impressive collapse occurred. This allowed access to a reasonable size, part natural stope, rising up about thirty-five feet from sough level. It would also appear that the level might indeed continue beyond the collapse, and attempts will be made to pass this during further visits to the site.

If anyone has any information regarding the sough and it s branch, we would be interested to hear from them. In particular we are told it can be entered via shafts further up the valley. If so, is the upstream end of the collapse on the main sough level accessible? Any info to

The final crawl in Rubble Rift on the South side of the dale was also visited. This had been left some years ago as a horrible, mud silted phreatic tube, with an inch of airspace, but with a view to a corner that the diggers never got to see round. A difficult dig allowed a better view, and the tube can now be seen to continue for at least twelve feet, but with improved airspace of about six inches. Unfortunately, this is worth digging further, especially since it draughts. A return will be made once the regular diggers have forgotten how squalid it is!

Pete Dell in an excavated phreatic tube in Rubble Rift.

Photo: Andy Foster 1999

next report 01/2000


Polution problem continues, September 1999:

Knotlow and Hillocks mine are still effectivly closed. The dangerous levels of polution are still present and work continues to resolve the problem. LRG and the Environment Agency are investigating.

previous report 08/1999