RRCPC Newsletter
Volume 32 Number 3 Article 5
November 1995

Ease Gill Project

An update of the Lancaster - Ease Gill caverns survey study weekend
1st - 2nd July 1995

On the weekend of the 1st-2nd July we had a surveying weekend based at Bullpot Farm. Quite a lot of work was done both underground and on the surface and Anne was able to demonstrate the survey program, Survex, on the club computer. Our thanks to all those who contributed to this ongoing project. Below is an outline of what was achieved and what our objectives are for the future.

On Saturday we managed to organise six underground survey teams during the course of the day. Three teams got off fairly promptly and headed for the CRG Extensions via Top Sink. This is a remote part of the cave and the objective was to hit it with three teams and survey it all in one go. Neil Pacey's team went to the end and on down the Booth-Eyre crawl and surveyed back to the CRG while the other two teams were forced to combine when one of the team leaders realised that he had left the survey instruments behind! Watch out for a prize at the club dinner for this one! Most of the CRG was surveyed but the top end up to Cobweb Chamber still needs surveying. Our prize winner will be doing this in the near future!

Meanwhile another team organised by Andy Hall were at work in the Upper/Lower Molar and Danish Passages. These form part of the Wisdom Tooth Passage Extension (see RRCPC Journal no. 8) discovered in 1982. These passages can be reached from Bradshaws Passage and are a series of meandering inlet canyons heading to Ease Gill. Dalek managed to get himself stuck for 15 minutes in a tight passage at the top of a five metre aven and offers of help were rather rudely rejected. Most of this area was surveyed but the connection through to Wisdom Tooth Passage still needs to be done.

A fifth party, team leader Bob Johnson, were at work between County Pot pitch and Spout Hall checking on some errors from the previous survey. This was necessary as notes left with us by Frank Addis, the previous surveyor, are rather confusing in this area. Some more work still needs doing in this area so see Anne Hodgson if you would like to help.

The final team had a late start due to helping to prepare the Pig Roast Food. Hugh and Pete Hall made a start on the Main Drain between Oxbow Corner and Stake Pot. They were able to continue with this the following day as far as Fall Pot. This means we can now put Woodhouse Way on the survey in the computer. This series of passages starts as an inlet to the Main Drain near Fall Pot.

A surface surveying party organised by Lee York were busy between County Pot and Link Pot. Their objective was the levelling of the height of all the entrances down the Gill from County Pot. The ones above County have already been done. This work is necessary as the surface survey already done with cave surveying instruments on tripods is not accurate enough in the recording of heights above sea level of the entrances. Lee completed this task on Sunday, braving midges and the company of Paul Wilkinson, by levelling from Lancaster Hole across to Pippikin, Link Pot and down the Gill to Kirk Pot.

During the afternoon and evening Anne demonstrated the use of the club computer to process data from the days activities and draw the survey from the data collected earlier. This work was continued on Sunday and, of course, is still ongoing. On Sunday, besides the tasks mentioned above, the survey of Sand Caverns and the Girder Route was completed by Ray, Andy and Dave Edland along with a detailed survey of Lancaster Hole entrance shaft. Slug drew the short straw and was sent of to Far East Passage beneath Nagasaki to survey up to Neutron Cavern. I've yet to get a full report on this trip.

What's Next?

Surface surveying from Bull Pot Farm to Lancaster Hole. Tying in Mole Phone bases, Hidden Pot, Gale Garth Pot, and BPW etc. Anyone like to volunteer for this? See me afterwards.

Underground. an awful lot of work has now been done. Most of Near and Far Ease Gill has now been completed, or is about to be finished off. The outstanding section is Pool Sink. This may prove to be a problem as magnetic anomalies are known to exist at the bottom part of this cave. This will be our next major objective in the autumn. Once this has been done we will have surveyed the whole of the top end of the system above Holbeck Junction and we may be in a position to produce something for our fiftieth anniversary.

Stake Pot Series has been started as far as the 88 ft. Pitch. We need a thin team to survey through from Brew Chamber to Equinox Hall - any offers? Once the Cape Kennedy area has been done we intend to survey the lower parts of this area (Wormway etc.) from Link Pot. Waterfall Passage and Wiff Taylors also needs doing. Two weeks after the survey weekend Toby Chilton completed the bolting of Arson Shaft into the Magic Roundabout Series. This opens up another inaccessible area of the system to a resurvey and further exploration. We have already spotted some leads that need pushing in this area. More and more data is being added to the computer and the cave is gradually taking shape. Remember if you want to get involved you just need to see me so you know where to start surveying and then enter your data on the sheet provided in the upstairs tackle store and return them to Anne in the SAE provided.

Finally thanks to all those who have helped with the project, without you we would not have progressed very far. It was a very successful weekend. There will be another one next year.

Andy Hall

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