Thursday, 30 March 2023

Thursday 30th March 2023

 Mike Kushy, solo trip. Took in 3 batteries. Cleared the build up of spoil at the corner back to the little chamber, then set to work on the corner boulder some more and making space, there's now enough for a comfortable seating area, lots of rock to clear in the little chamber before the corner. After using up just over 2 batteries I then went to have a look at the end. Managed to split and move a very large rock right in the middle of the floor and another one behind that has been moved further back, these will need breaking down even more but the last battery gave up. There's now an impressive space forming in the tunnel and it was possible to turn round where the junction is. A little draught test proved that straight ahead and the undercut were draughting outwards (towards the corner) with the undercut draught seeming to be the stronger. I then cleared some mud back and had a little poke at the mud just under the white vertical calcite line into the undercut where the solutional pocket is, the bedding here is undercutting yet again and a noticeable change in draught happened whilst prodding, things became alot colder. Also there was slimey red mud ahead and a couple of earthworms. All very exciting stuff. A team of 5 will be needed to dig and clear right back, although it could be staged with even 2 people, but hard work. 5 hours, Mike.

Before the corner

    At the corner
Onwards some more
Onwards even more (these boulders are the ones from out of the tunnel, there's alot more)

Sunday, 19 March 2023

Saturday 18th March 2023

Mike Kushy and Andy Thompson. Got to the dig site around 11.45. We cleared back the debris from the last session, then MK took some higher up cave whilst AT went forwards and set to work on the annoying boulder. MK then moved forward and cleared back from the corner and also managed to remove some more from the corner block. Now being able to sit in the corner MK then took drag trays from AT until the annoying boulder was reduced enough to progress forwards. MK then moved forwards again and cleared around AT as he pushed forwards and dug the floor out along the tunnel. Right at the end of the session enough was cleared going into the void to push through completely and get a better view, the parallel tunnel was not as long as it initially looks and pinches out at the end. The phreatic bit that cuts through the bedding still looks interesting. Digging at the easiest spot in the floor is the best way forwards here next perhaps? (maybe before the corner), or we can work along the original tunnel to clear the boulders at the end. The draught was still coming from the end of the tunnel. Lots of rocks stacked everywhere and mud to clear out next time. Just over 4 hours. Mike.

Andy pushing through the void on the right of the tunnel looking in 

Sunday, 12 March 2023

Sunday 12th March 2023

Mike Kushy solo trip. Got to the dig about 10.30. The perimeter gate at the surface was wide open and I spent ten minutes ushering a few sheep out of the pen, the steps were covered in droppings making a smelly entrance. Got to Tooth Dig about 11, set up my music and started breaking up the rock at the corner. Reckon 50% of what was there is now in pieces ready to be cleared. I've taken a fair bit further back already, some stuff may want reducing more with a hammer. The block could be taken right out but I think it will be okay at the height it's at now with some levelling out.  With all batteries used I moved forward to dig out some more of the undercut into the void. With helmet off I managed to squeeze through up to my waist, into another layer of bedding. Off to the left looks the same as what we were in apart from no boulders at the end. The mud seems to slope away at the end, easily caveable if the floor is dug out more at the squeeze. Moving some more rocks and mud allowed a view to the right and straight on. Phreatic action from the right leads to a solutional pocket dead ahead, cutting through the bedded ceiling with an inch thick vertical line of calcite through the rock..the phreatic element seems to end here, perhaps a pot? Good draught coming from the left. The annoying rock in the floor at the start of the tunnel passage wants reducing or removing. The small crowbar, big crowbar and big hammer/chisel are near the annoying rock in the floor. The small hammer and pf set is on the approach to Tooth Dig on the left. Should be an interesting session for whoever is in there next, may want some horizontal drag buckets (just small ones and a small length of rope). 4 1/2 hours. Mike.

Friday, 10 March 2023

Thursday 9th March 2023

Andrew Thompson and Mike Wise. We hammered and P&Fd for 2 hours and chipped off a few bits here and there. We did bring back and neatly stack a load of rock from beyond the tiresome rock though and Andy went off and took some photos. Mike Wise.

A late start after work saw us enter the cave at 4.30. Mike first attempted to find his way through Tooth Squeeze but after deciding against it we switched positions and attacked the rock in the floor from both ends. Unfortunately it got the better of us and refused to succumb to our frantic hammering. We decided our efforts would be better spent taking some photos of the prospects in the sharp end and then doing some house keeping beyond the squeeze, as rather a lot of broken rock had been stacked next to the squeeze. I am please to say this has made a bit more space for next session. 3 hours A Thompson.

Mike Wise looking into Tooth Squeeze 

Off Low on Right

Ahead Low

Ahead High

Tuesday, 7 March 2023

Tuesday 7th March 2023


John Cooper and Andrew Thompson. Tooth Dig. Plug and feather work on the left-hand wall just before the boulder Mike wants splitting. Trying to make more room to work but it doesn’t react very well to this approach. Andy had a look at the end and was suitably impressed by the choices. 2½ hours. John Cooper

Sunday, 5 March 2023

Sunday 5th March 2023

Mike Kushy, solo trip. Got to Tooth Dig at 11am armed with 3 batteries. Started on opening up the corner some more, one battery spent. Then feet first to the 2 blocks in the floor mentioned last time. Another battery spent removing one and making another considerably smaller, also worked on making the whole area more spacious. Lots of loose rock spoil in this area that needs clearing. Then went back to the corner for a rest and to retrieve the last battery. Decided this time to go head first all the way. Made it to the very end of the horizontal passage and had a better view than before, a narrow stand up rift at the end allowed me to get up into and with some stuff moved and some contortion I managed to turn around. The end here should be fairly easy to dig once we clear a safe exit. On the way out a little play into the void on the left side, unfortunately there's a large block in the floor spanning the whole length of the void only allowing a gap of about 4 inches...good draught again and very dry ground. The space beyond looks very intriguing, but the floor is going to have to be dug right out to see what we're dealing with. Some more space made on the way out, then back to the corner to continue opening that up some more. The large block on the corner is now split in two and would need to come out completely to allow digging the mud floor in the horizontal passage ahead. 4 1/2 tiring hours. Mike.

The corner after the first battery was spent

Looking round the corner ahead

Further on view

Sunday, 26 February 2023

Sunday 26th February 2023

Mike Kushy and Mike Wise.

Started at 11am. Took 2 drills and 5 batteries into Tooth Dig to continue from the 2 Andy's work yesterday. Mike Wise started at the Tooth Dig whilst MK moved the spoil from yesterday higher up. Then MK set to work on Courtenay's boulder whilst MW was busy. After a short while we swapped places. Some rocks were pulled out from higher up allowing MK to enter the ongoing passage feet first, with a bit a of contortion. Tight going, even tighter over 2 rocks in the floor. A long triangular tunnel about 4-5 m long can be seen with a boulder collapse at the far end (potentially the other end of cement dig, and probably close enough for a light connection?). Half way along this tunnel the bedded ceiling has black voids undercutting the ceiling with a view of what looks a sizeable space, the draught was most prominent from here. Tried to dig the mud floor out a little, but unsure whether I was undermining blocks above without much room for an escape. On the way out some edges were hammered off and the blocks in the floor were reduced so should be easier and safer to go in head first next time and hopefully get into the void. Some more work can be done opening up the corner to get into the new passage. On exit MW had done the job of getting rid of Courtenay's boulder, allowing a crawl into a stand up chamber. No ways on but if we open up a way in higher up there's alot of room for spoil to go into. Both drills spent we went to cement dig to cement some more. 4 1/2 hours. Mike K.

The very end of the triangular tunnel

The very end again, a different view

Looking back to the corner from the rocks in floor

The rocks in floor, with the triangular passage behind. The rocks are now smaller and moved.

The start of the triangular passage, the undercut can be seen on the right part way along.
Another view

The corner squeeze with the ongoing passage being up and over to the left

The view from the start of the ongoing passage

Mike W working on the corner squeeze
Tooth Dig got a visit first with 2 drills, 5 batteries and a set of P+F. A few bits and pieces were finally knocked off some rocks blocking the way into the "passage" seen yesterday by the 2 Andys. Kushy got in feet first for about 6m into a small space in boulders. Rocks are very resistant to P+F!
The block at floor level mentioned in the report from 18 February was reduced to floor level and the approach was opened out. There is a small chamber on the other side floored with sand and cobbles with 2 places to stand up. The roof is made of the boulders beside the drop down and lights can be seen. Water was running down the "back" wall.
Having run out of battery power and abandoning a P+F stuck in a boulder we decamped to the Cement Dig. 2 mixes of cement were made and applied and the filled buckets at the bottom were emptied. Time digging 4 1/2 hours. Mike Wise.