Parallel Universe – Oh Bother It chamber

Friday 16th November 2007 Mercer and Parker

AS had a pass for the day but as he withdrew his labour on the Thursday
evening presumeably the pass had been withdrawn.

The trip was a no-no as on the way in PP started to feel somewhat off-colour
and cold – bloody Warfarin – so termination point was close to the Window.
Plus point was that the ladder/sling needed to overcome RM’s muddy climb got
that far towards it’s goal.

Friday 23rd November 2007 Mercer and Parker

AS had a pass for the day but by the time we headed underground had not put
in an appearance.

Changing time was short as the temperature was -2C and then a draught chased
us down the entrance shaft. After that steady progress was made with no
pauses until we reached the Window, the shallow sump having a more than
adequate amount of air-space.

Kitting-up to get up and across the gap to the rift continuation was the
usual pain so we think a ladder installation is imminent. There was a
tiny amount of water coming along the passage but once we reached the small
aven Richard disappeared upwards and along through the narrowish bit, ladder
in hand. Phil, who was armed with a lump-hammer, struck a few cursory blows
at odd projections then launched himself forward and straight through into
the widening. Another narrowing and suddenly the way forward opened up into
rather more than Richard’s “…walking passage…”. A few yards further on
and there was Richard 10 feet up the wall rigging the ladder down the other
side of the section that “..narrowed to 150mm…”, which turned out to be at
a 90 degree turn to the left.

Down the ladder and in the rift continuation we walked forward a few feet
then had a 90 degree turn to the right and into a smallish aven with a
cracked mud floor and some small mud “tower” formations. Straight forward
and we walked into the somewhat larger Oh Bother It chamber, so called
because there were leads in all directions, so much for expecting an end to
our adventures along this route.

At 90 degrees to the left was what seems to be a wide rift passage, with
black space visible below through a hole in the boulders. A careful look
suggested that a rope might be advisable for moving over the jammed

More or less straight ahead a small hands and knees height passage carrying
a little water was followed forward until it met a cross-rift. To the right
the rift was narrow and choked but Richard was able to get up to a widening
and further upwards to where the climb was terminated by a ceiling with
too-small solution tubes continuing above. A way forward in the rift might
be possible. At floor level there was an arched window into a kneeling
height chamber with a mud/sand floor and no way on – possible dig.

Back in Oh Bother It a climb to the right was ascended by Phil until he
could see into a walking size high-level rift continuation. In view of the
amount of mud on the rock it was felt that a bolt for protection would be a
good idea.

Part of the chamber floor is composed of large jammed boulders which
suggests that the whole of the floor may be suspended over a continuation of
the lower level black space seen in the passage to the left.

On the way out we spotted the point where water was entering the passage
from above and there appears to be an enlarging of the rift at high level.
Further on Richard climbed up to get a look into his “…sensibly sized
phreatic passage…” which appeared to be sloping upwards.

The trip out was enlivened by a meeting with Tony Seddon and the delights of
hauling a couple of his bottles up to the surface.

Back at the parking area a certain person’s Jimmy was spotted and after a
few minutes AS hove into view. Then we had a discussion with TS about water
tracing in the system and tests of downstream Notts II and the sumps in the
Gour Inlet area are a strong possibility.