With Jon, Nick and Tav.
The Cold Gnarly North was my destination today, the others decided to dig in the Soft South, which is the easier, more comfortable option.
Drag line attached, bags attached, drill tube and wire reel in hand I set off along the passage north. I was a bit surprised to find that there were two puddles of standing water, 50mm – 75mm depth, in the ‘lake’ but it wasn’t an issue. My plan was to widen the next constriction just beyond the small rift to improve access and make digging and spoil removal easier. Drilled 4no. holes, 550mm, length x 12mm, diameter and charged. I looked around for “Trevor’s ball of tamp” that I had put to one side for safe keeping, but it had gone, added to the spoil heap I assume. Unfortunately, this is probably the only part of the cave where there is not any mud suitable for tamp. I had to make do with arisings and the little bit of mud that I could scrape up.
All done, I made my way south, dragging/shoving by bags and kit along the passage while reeling out the wire. At the junction, the ‘Soft Southerners’ were about finished digging, just the hauling out and emptying of bags to be done, so I gave them a helping hand. About 70 bags were hauled to the surface and emptied. When the bags were all empty, I returned underground to bring my morning’s task to a satisfactory conclusion.
Then down the hill to the farm in the warm sunshine, changed and up the hill to the Hunter’s for refreshments.