Far too wet for Nettle so we headed back up onto Old Moor to drop some new mines we’d spotted on Google Earth, in the same field as the last drop but on the next rake North. The first looked very enticing at first but was unfortunately only 5m deep to a solid rock/bone floor.
The next one we hadn’t previously spotted from satellite. It had a large metal sheet on it which needed 2 people to lift. Beneath was a 4m ginged climbing shaft which below that opened up into a narrow but long rift. This rift looked impossibly tight, especially near the bottom, and the thought of sliding down into it was not tantalising. However if we were to return it’d be good to have a better idea of how we would tackle it so I decided to carefully freeclimb down for a better look. As it turned out the rift was wider than it looked, and actually quite deep. I climbed and slid down about 15m vertically and could see a steep rubble slope ~5m below me. I chucked a rock which bounced off the slope and went another good distance further down, out of sight. Hmmm, definitely going to need a rope here! Climbing back up was tricky, especially as the smooth walls were also quite muddy, and Jeff was filming so I had to be awesome.
We then carefully replaced the lid and went for a wander around the surprisingly big quarry up there then headed on to the next mine we’d spotted. This is very well capped with concrete railway sleepers but looking down through the cracks looks really good. Doubt we’ll be able to lift the sleepers easily so we had a look at digging in the side, which doesn’t look too bad.
Finally we headed over to have another go at finding Conies Dale Pots, mostly cos Big Jim keeps hammering on about them. Indeed the main pot it a very nice little vadose pot, clean with nice rock sculpting. Jeff was really excited about the prospects at the bottom, getting excited that he could see a few metres beyond the bottom. I differ.
Pub was calling, even though it was not even 9pm, so Wizard and Onion Rings (calamari) at the Anchor was sought.
Again I called off Nettle due to silly high rainfall so me n Jeff headed up to Old Moor again with the plan to head down the small shaft with the metal sheet lid. We surprisingly found it straight away in the dark and the two of us lifted off the heavy lid. However all was not well as the shaft was now blocked 4m down by a large, dead sheep! Bits of blood and wool at the top showed that it was in quite a state before it was chucked down. This was no accident. Either way, there was no way we’d get past it nor haul it up just the two of us, so the job was shafted and we left the Shafted Sheep Shaft to drop the other shaft found last week.
This other shaft was the larger one that Luke was most excited about, so we knew he’d like us to let him know what was down there. We carefully dug out the side and Jeff descended into the unknown. One rebelay to avoid a concrete sleeper they obviously dropped when lidding it got him to the bottom of the 30m shaft. He hid out of the way whilst I joined him, noting the numerous levels and distinct beddings on the way down. I followed Jeffers into a level at the bottom heading West, which dropped down and back on itself through an awesomely calcited rift, but no way on. We surveyed back and I was keen on heading straight out to the pub, but Jeff decided to squirm into a tight rift heading East. I was about to shout up saying stuff like that never goes anywhere, when he called back saying there he’d already gone over one pitch down and the drill shot holes were coming from the other direction! By the time I’d got to him he was at another pitch down and we decided to call it a night. We surveyed and derigged and missed the pub. So generally an evening of mixed success…