With Tav and Nick.
It was a warm walk up to the cave entrance, underground it was much cooler. Dragged my tackle bag with ‘capping’ kit and drill to the dig face to deal with the rocks that were impeding progress. A couple of holes and the resulting debris was passed back to Nick, who was doing the clearing away. A rather hungover Tav was on hauling duties.
I set about clearing spoil from the end while Nick seemed to be trying to bury me as he was working on enlarging and tidying the passage behind me. I managed to remove a couple of large rocks, creating some space to the right hand side of the passage. More bags filled and rocks barred out of the way, the digging was progressing quite well. By the end of the session there were a few small gaps/spaces appearing and the prospects look interesting. There is plenty to do to enlarge the space I had created and it might require some removal of rock from the roof to make a bit more working space.
Nick and Tav went to the entrance to start clearing out to the surface while I drilled one more hole to split a rock ready for removal next session. Packed the kit away and headed out to help the others.
At the entrance I was a little surprised to see just how much spoil had been removed – 25 bags and 15 skip loads of rock – some of the rock required reduction in size, this was achieved with the use of the sledge hammer.
Interestingly one large lump of flowstone was split open to reveal that it had formed around an older speleothem. This was put to one side on the surface with the other interesting lump of flowstone that I, once again forgot to pick up and bring home for further examination.
As usual the morning ended with a trip to the Hunter’s Lodge Inn for some refreshment and debrief.