DIGGING IN THE DALES.
club seems to be doing quite a hit of digging, especially some of the new
members, so below is an account by an old digger of prospects in the dales.
Obviously, the best digs may not yet be known & exceptional sites exist
outside the main areas.
Bull Pot Farm Area.
Aygill. - Upstream has a massive clay choke, an NCI3-type dig may gain a few hundred feet of passage. - below is a very tight stream to same choke. Downstream, poor dig in Red Rose Chamber may be worth a short probe.
Casterton Pot. - An excellent site for drilling blasting - close to the farm road & easy to get to the slot at the bottom. This point is less than 30 feet vertically from precambrian Series in Aygill. The other crawl may possibly link with avens in Bull Pot upstream sump although unlikely.
Easegill. - Anyone wanting to find new stuff has only to take any 1000 foot or less length of passage & using survey gear, plot every bit not on the main survey - DON’T SURVEY WHAT IS ALLREADY DONE. . O.K. so on every trip only 50-500 foot of un-surveyed stuff is found, mostly odd corners but it all adds to the total, makes the survey more interesting and you get a good trip, seeing formations in places you did no suspect. The start & middle bits of passage are good & often the earliest explored bits contain lots. i.e. Bridge Hall, :Waterfall, Wilf Taylors, etc. I often wish I had heeded the above instead of prolonged digs elsewhere.
Above sumps in
Climb - extension of Earby Series to Main Drain /
Thackrays Passage. - Upstream choke is 20 foot below Boundary Pot, but needs shoring. A blasting for connection & mile extension.
Link Pot. - Upstream, Hilton Hall & Echo Crawl are not pushed. Also Link Pot can be used to extend, the boulder choke upstream in the Grind to a large unexplored area.
Cobble Crawl is now of interest as it is not at the water table - but you need a dry suit to work easily.
Pippikin Pot. - anything found adds on to the system. Gour Hall is obvious way on, in fact, when Link Pot was joined to Pip, on the same day, tools used in the junction were moved to this site.
The N.C.C. dig in Gour Hall is 15 feet long and given up.
Further back is Grosse Hall is a very dangerous dig in boulders to falling water. But be warned, it needs extensive steel & concrete shoring before anything is moved. Ask the M.S.G. & they have no fear! (Incidentally, Andrew, the big dig the Red Rose had on Leck, was tested by Molephone to be over Crosse Hall.)
abound in Pippikin -
Pippikin to Lost Johns, Gavel. - Gour Hall, Far Streamway are obvious ways on. Above ground is miles of nothing, well almost (since Andrew wrote this, a passage has been found by divers from Notts to Gavel which bisects this area rather well.)
Fenwick Pot.- A fine shaft with 70 foot deep dig - dug at, the wrong side of shaft to solid floor. Digging on the other side six years later, the 70’ dig collapsed dramatically - Moral is don’t shore with wood, haphazardly.
Gavel Pot - Has an obvious dig after the duck upstream of the pretties. A tremendous inward draught occurs apparently to Big Meanie, but passage in same is totally choked. Tyres were set alight in Gavel but no smoke was seen on surface. I think Glasford’s Passage is just an oxbow for the passage from Big Meanie/Deaths Head to something else, possibly Pip/Ireby Fell. Unfortunately the dig is upward, 10 feet into boulders - it may still be blocked by a large slab brought down by bang, if so this may be worth another bang to remove same & see what’s what. But it is too high up to easily A safely prod & lever same. Other sites exist in Gavel i.e. above pitch & choke in the mud at the start of Glasford’s Chamber.
Lost Johns - Notts Pot. - The LUSS extension in Notts is the way on, due to draught & downward streamway, being dug by Craven but needs much shoring.
In Lost Johns the Kendal find in Lyle Cavern has joined up to Lost Pot, but there is a lot to suggest a major A massive phreatic system to the west of Lost Johns & Gavel.
Great Douk has been well dug, but with hindsight the dig should have been at the far N.W. end, possibly where it is undercut. - has 200 foot depth potential with huge passage.
Meregill - Blasting of floor in Black Moss Passage may lower sump to Black Shiver. Good. through trip. with depth.
Newby Moss Heavy drift on fell but Pillar Pot has tight draughting rift at the bottom. Boggarts Roaring Hole with a dye test to White Scar is a possible dig & if you like real hard digs try Newby Pot.
Gill - Gandalf’s
Gallery can be added to
Ribblehead - Bruntscar Hole hopeless except for the sump. Easy dig to reopen Middle Scar Hole, hard dig; requiring shoring to reopen Winhaw Gill Hole.
Fountains Fell - NPC land, huge potential proved by flood pulse, but hard work, one of the failed digs is 150 feet deep.
Littondale - This along with Gragareth & Fountains Fell is where it is going to happen in the next 10 years. At least two sink to resurgence distances of 2 miles + have been dyed & checked.
Spittlecroft reopening - one mile long with shallow dive at the end to unexplored area. It needs concrete dam or good lid and is an easy l0 foot deep dig. Why it has not been re-opened in the river bed is somewhat of a surprise.
Northern Dales - Rawthey Area is a good blank spot, but will require a lot of work.
Other Areas - Dentdale - Ask Hugh & Andy.