With Alex, Tav, Jake and Nick
While the team were clearing the stack of bags from the entrance shaft I carried on to the end to batter the the constriction impeding an easier progress to the dig face – successfully removed. Then another good clearing session ensued and progress was made pretty quickly, all the spoil being cleared to the surface. At the end of the clearing session decided to turn around and take a closer look at the end, I moved a bit of sediment and peered ahead to see, unexpectedly ‘a small chamber’, more scraping to get a better look and the chamber was a bit bigger than expected, more frantic scraping and with each look the chamber looked better – getting excited now! Eventually rolled over on to my back and went for it – a rather snug fit – and got through into a nicely decorated chamber ~3m in length, up to 2m wide and maybe 4m high with some interesting looking solutional development. On one side and ~1.5m above the breakthrough point the passage is ~1.5m wide x 0.5m high and probably 2m long to a squeeze [which will be easily modified] into a rift possibly 5m long, at least a metre wide and again well decorated, there is a possibility that there is a continuation of this rift to one side and we have no idea whether it goes down to a lower level. This rift was not entered because we need to record the decorations before they become soiled and, after all, there’s no rush – need to savour these moments and involve the whole team. After a bit more digging to open up the breakthrough point Nick came forward to have a quick look before we exited the cave and went to the Hunter’s for a celebratory pint of good local ale!
Plan is to open up the approach to the breakthrough, take photographs, and then we will open up the squeeze and investigate the rift.
Thought I’d had enough breakthrough’s in my time to get blase about them, but it is still the biggest buzz there is! Still shaking on adrenaline!
And it is Hallowe’en in a few days!