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A Bit of a Disappointment

The good prospecting snow never really fell this winter but on one of the few occasions we did get a fall a snow-shoeing explore did reveal a few possible targets. The best was a very obvious feature that must have surely been explored before but under one wall there was a snow melting as a result of a steady flow of warm air. A return a few days later when the snow had cleared revealed a well blocked but obvious dig which a scrape with a ski pole soon confirmed that another trip with some tools was well worth the effort. An hour or so digging on the next visit was all that was needed to enlarge the way in sufficiently for me to enter but not having the confidence to push on alone down an unknown hole in an unfrequented part of the forest meant I would have to return yet again.Two days later I managed to get a cycling mate to come with me and act as surface support.

 

 

I entered without any undue difficulty feet first and once inside managed to clear out the entrance more thoroughly, the draught this time was blowing grit into my eyes. A descending tube required a few moments more clearing but the soil and stones rolled easily down to a small chamber below quickly followed by myself. A few metres and yells of excitement I reached a junction with the main passage which must have been a couple of metres high and similarly wide.

To the left a few small steps down led to a damp pitch with a shelf part way down which would be somewhere between 20 and 30 metres. Right the passage continued as a stooping walk and then crawling over several small pots to reach a pitch after about 50m. This area was bone dry. The pitch I guestimated to be again around 30m deep. Having exhausted all I could do without kit I returned to surface and hurried home to get support for a next day return with a couple of the folk I cave with here. Armed with rope, drill and a dozen Petzl pulses the next day saw us back at the dig/new cave. Sylvestre said he knew nothing of the hole and had never been there before and also that no records existed of any other visits. And he has all the records. We entered and their excitement was equal to mine. We decided that the big dry pot was the one to start with. Sylvestre moved in to start the rigging and as he poised with the drill he caught sight of the sleeve of a spit. Then another and another.