Aardvark Country

Link to pasage description

from RRCPC 6
Discovered in July 1970

Returning from a fruitless scaling trip in Waterfall Passage, Jim Newton and Chris Bargh decided to take a look at Burgess Passage but found they had insufficient tackle.

On the 28th July 1970, Gerry Williams and D. Creedy relayed the equipment down Lancaster Hole, ascended the first scale, transferred the poles to the next scale and surveyed out to the Master Cave. Steve Hesketh joined the duo for the next trip when an interesting aperture 40 feet out of reach was assaulted from all angles using 30 feet of maypole. (This hole was gained on a later trip and found to a blind pocket with a tight rift leading upwards.) Directly opposite this focal point was a more accessible scale which to our jubilation yielded three more passages. A solitary boot mark crashed our hopes. (One party had explored this area many years ago.) Whilst exploring the right hand tunnel a vertebra was found resting on the sandy floor. The British Museum pronounced it the vertebra of a sheep or deer. It is interesting to speculate how the bone came to be there. An awkward, meandering side passage (Keyhole passage) was followed to a 15 feet pitch terminating in an impenetrable rift down which a small stream flowed. Shouting along the rift generated acoustics promising wide open spaces beyond. The passage continued for a short distance above the pitch to be made impassable by sturdy pendants.

The 30th August brought Pete Llewellyn, Duncan Baldwin, Hugh St.Lawrence and David Creedy once more unto the Keyhole. A pendant trimmed, the party squeezed into new territory to find themselves hanging over a deep chasm. A descent was engineered to a ledge surrounded by a delicate sheet of limestone which Pete Llewellyn immediately (with great imagination) christened the "Pulpit".. A short ladder deposited one on the floor of a chamber. The walls bore the marks of frequent spray lashing. An inlet could be seen high in the roof, (from Cow Pot?) The' way on was to be via either of two pitches. Lack of tackle prevented further progress that day.

That same afternoon Howard Rothwell and Roger Calvert were digging in Montague West in an unsuccessful attempt to connect with the right hand tunnel.

The final trip involved Duncan Baldwin, Howard Rothwell, Pete Llewellyn, Peter Jones and David Creedy. From the chamber with a now active inlet, a 50 feet pitch (wet) was descended to a ledge, below which was a saturated rift. From the ledge a passage was followed to a further 15 feet descent into a system of narrow rifts decorated with fresh mud and green plant debris. The level of Lancaster Hole main sump had almost been attained.


RRCPC 2001