Peak & Speedwell Cavern
Various report of projects about the system:
- Written by Jon Pemberton
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Tuesday 30th July (JRP, LC)
Luke and I made what we thought was a start on the Anniversary Hall survey. It was Luke's first time up to Moss Chamber so after a brief pause we headed along to Anniversary Hall. The place was very wet indeed. Luke went up the rope whilst I hid down below in the alcove, It wasn't long before he'd switched over and deemed it too wet to survey before buggering off and leaving me all alone shouting if it's safe to come out yet? We decided to survey below the choke all the way back to Moss chamber, we were both shivering our knackers off by the end of it (hence the slight error). During our trip lots of taps had suddenly been switched on which caused only slight concern as Rob had said Peak never floods in summer. The river at the entrance was now a brown torrent and turns out the show cave was closed the next day. Just a heads up that Peak can flood during the Summer...
Thursday 8th August (JRP, LC)
After ruining my ankle the previous day we had a rather old man's day out to check out The Ramp just before Ink Sump as a potential future project. It didn't take long for us to cross it off our list as it would be a spectacular undertaking! - Not for us. Slow stumble back out for me.
Thursday 15th August (JRP, RE)
Ankle now much better, Rob and I made haste progressing in reaching Anniversary Hall. Robe went up through the choke first and within seconds knocked two huge TV size boulders back down in to the choke exclaiming, "SHIT! we're gonna have to dig you out!" Hmmm... You're the one stuck on the wrong side of the choke Rob.... Once said boulders were removed, Rob shot up the rope first whilst I waited back in my safe alcove. We could actually hear each other this time as the rain had pretty much stopped. Rob made the shot down and I followed him up the rope. A spectacular 30m pitch leads away from the looseness feel of Anni Hall and calcites up rather nicely. From the top of the pitch a dodgy pendulum across leads to a passage cum bedding plane which was not entered. We continued past a few re-belays to a final loose voidy choke which Rob inspected but would need some serious persuasion to pass.
We headed back to the pendulum and as it was getting on and hopes of making the pub were looming we called it a day after spotting a further rope heading up another aven. We talked sense as the place required at least a couple more hours investigating.
26th August (JRP, LC & Jimmy Hayland)
Back again but mainly to retrieve SRT kits ready for Albania. Jimmy in tow who we'd not caved with since Black Folly (2015). It was nice to catch up and Luke agreed that the top choke in Anniversary Hall warranted a look at! Jimmy brought Pork Pies in which were a right treat after all the arse clenching. Jimmy you're welcome again!
- Written by Jon Pemberton
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Rob, Lil' Luke & I had another trip Below Boom to remove a rather large rock which Rob mistook for the floor. This 'said' rock was Boomed up with a few caps by Rob whilst Luke and I spectated from above.
The dig is not looking very promising but it deserves one more trip back to the doom and gloom of Boom.
- Written by Jon Pemberton
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Below Boom, Peak Caver - JRP, French Jeff, Lil' Luke
As always we start our evening with a quick pre-beer at the TSG (when we're in Peak anyhow) then made our way swiftly to Peak with official access! We wasted no time and soon split away from Rob and Dave and made our way up Watershed Aven, I actually remember how to do an "SRT" and thoroughly enjoyed shouting "Rope free to the deviation lads!" Once at our intended digging spot in a small chamber just off the base of Boom where all the water seems to flow we de-kitted and Lil' Luke took first go under the spray of water. We had no hilti's as the previous trip report would suggest so Luke gave some large rocks a pound with his little hammer and managed to break them down to a manageable size. French Jeff got stuck in for seconds and made progress to where he could see into the continuation passage which was the limit of the previous weeks exploration. Unlucky for us the wall which Rob and Luke had cut through gave way in the proceeding week hence little progress made on tonight's sesh. I took thirds and soon found myself shoveling slurry around at the base of the pot. Deciding this was not for me and 5mins past pub time evacuation we retreated towards The Cheese for a post caving beverage.
Surveying & Science, Peak Cavern - Dave Harley, Rob Eavis
First me n Dave ran off to Lake Passage and installed some radon monitors along way for DCA to earn some brownie points. Then on to Treasury Chamber and we started surveying our way along SEP Passage. I'd only ever been down this once, with Jeff back in 2006, before John Cordingley reopened it in 2013. Then we only got about 20m before it was blocked with rocks and water. Now there is a low crawl there followed by a comfortable hands and knees crawl for the rest of the ~50m passage, before reaching the "sump". This is only short and was open so we went through into the wet rift beyond. The passage only goes another few meters, with a too tight rift in the roof mostly full of boulders. Not a fun place for a dig, if i'm honest. Luckily our Boom dig is almost directly above, albeit 10m higher and heading away, so that is a much more promising location. We then legged it out and got back to the TSG only 3 minutes after the others.
- Written by Rob Eavis
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For a change of scene, over the last few weeks a few Eldonites have been having a dig in the boulders at the base of Boom, above Watershed Aven in Peak. Whilst not a very promising looking location, this site has only ever been visited by a handful of people, so it's probably worth a poke or two. Also it may prove useful to explain the relationship between SEP Sump and Secret Sump.
During the first session all the easy(ish) rocks were removed by brute determination, but the biggest 4 were simply not responding correctly to the lump hammer. The team returned the next week with 25 hilti caps which saw them all disappear. Now the progress is easy, just needs some small buckets and some good fortune.
Watch this space...