Monday `7th December Richard Mercer, Phil Parker
Inspired by all the “Bucket” posts we dared to again face the mud and
squalour of our favourite exploration area. Tackle to carry in plus the
ageing process and a bit of looking around meant a steady two hour trip to
Oh Bother It.
The bad news was that whilst I put on a dry base layer Richard climbed up
for a look into the “walking size high-level rift continuation”. It pinched
in to 4 inches wide and mud-filled. The good news was that he spotted a
decent sized tube high up on the other side of the chamber, apparently
running parallel to the wide rift passage – yet more bolting!
Whilst Richard ate lunch I set the initial anchors for the wide rift passage
traverse and then left him to it whilst I went and dug in the kneeling
height chamber reached along the hands and knees passage. By the time we
left I’d got down two and a half feet and was digging forward under the far
After the first digging spell I went to see what was happening in the rift.
Excellent timing, Richard was coming up the rope which he’d rigged down
the first decent hole in the floor. Tales of a fifteen feet drop, followed
by progress forward and downward for another fifteen feet, ending up on some
muddy jammed rocks with a fifty feet pitch downward into what appeared to be
a stream-passage. Almost as an after-thought he mentioned the six feet high
passage that entered the rift at right-angles at the fifteen feet level. He
was unable to enter it but could see that it will require digging as the mud
rose to meet the roof twenty feet in.
After this the bolting/digging continued with the bolting ending up on an
overhanging wall, some fifteen feet short of the next floored area, as we
ran out of equipment.
The drill was covered in mud, like all the other gear, and so has come out
for cleaning and fettling. I think we need to get Mr Walsh in there to work
some magic in turning the tiny stream into a washing point.
The trip out was a steady hour and threequarters slog, ending up on a cold
and windy surface where we decided that once a week is often enough for a
visit to Oh Bother It.