Rob and I met in the usual layby at 6pm ready to rock and roll. I was super keen to get back down the mine after the Christmas break to continue the bolt climb but mainly to get out of the cold as it was bitterly cold up top o’ the moor.
We descended at 6:15pm armed with surveying and bolting gear. We made progress to The Tool Room fairly quickly where Rob watched and snapped photos whilst I continued the climb. Lack of communication meant that we had neither the bolting hammer nor etrier so the adjustable spanner and drag cord would have to suffice. After an hour or so of faff I gingerly bridged up the steep slope resting atop the stacked dead’s which abruptly ended at a clay way-board and solid’ish roof. A crawl east led to a funnel of loose debris which connected back into The Chamber of Secrets – DRATS!
I re-rigged the pitch stripping of the rest of the gear as I descended, Rob down climbed from The Tool Room and we moved on to task 2 – surveying The Bunker. This only took 15min with a good mooch around taking some photos of the bottle and can. Rob had a quick look up the loose slope which seems to continue horizontally at the top but dangerously loose and only 3m vertical away from the bottom of the pitch.
It was now 9pm so we hastily moved on to task 3 – A gander beyond the dropped boulder midway up the slope in the pipe workings. After removing some SRT gear I slipped through to a small continuation of the westward heading level. Rob and I confirmed this with a visual connection. At the end of the level an ore shute rose for 2m before a boulder blockage, from where a small trickle of water emitted.
It was now 9:30pm so we decided to call it a day, gathering a couple of ropes and the drill on the way out. We both noticed how there was a constant inwards draught in both the stooping level beyond The High Road and at the top of the short climbing shaft which leads to The Bunker but it’s lost somewhere in the pipe workings. We reached surface at 10:30pm absolutely spent and ready for a pint.