Saturday 03/02/07 – Dom Clayton, James Carlisle.
After last week’s recce to the end of Wodehouse Way, a return trip
was made to dig some of the more promising leads. An hour spent
shifting mud and cobbles out of a flat-out crawl below Bat Chamber
ended in disappointment when a couple of metres of progress allowed
us to see ahead to where the passage became a tight impassable rift.
This could possibly be enlarged with a bit of capping, but doesn’t
look particularly enticing.
A retreat was made to go and look at a few of the other passages we’d
noticed ealier. Dom paused beside a small pool to clean the grit out
of his helmet clip, so I took the opportunity to take a break.
Leaning back in the corner I noticed a pokey little rift leading off,
the entrance of which was blocked by a small boulder. Further
inspection revealed a widening a few feet along and a beckoning void
beyond. The boulder was removed and a mere ten minutes of frantic
digging allowed us to lower the mud and pebble floor enough for Dom
to contort his shoulders down into the base of rift and push through.
I followed and together we explored 15m or so of passage ahead. This
ended abruptly at a large aven (15-20m high, 5m wide), the first 7m
or so being free-climbable. No obvious passage could be seen above,
but it was very hard to tell and so we will return with bolting gear
on our next trip.
The aven was quickly christened Pot Pit (after the current trend) and
a perusal of the survey suggests that it is a good few metres
directly behind the chokes at the NW end of Bat Chamber. Wishful
thinking suggests the possibility that the aven will offer access to
the continuation of this old fossil trunk route, although it seems
that there is a slight height discrepancy (we estimate the top of Pot
Pit to be several metres higher than the floor of Bat Chamber). More
news as and when.