Report by Vince.

With Jon.

No-one else was tempted by the joys of an evening in the Cold Gnarly North. No matter the two of us could get something done. The idea was that digging might be slower so we would loosen some material and fill a few bags so the weekend team would have a head-start; and the body in the lake would be occupied and too busy to think about being cold.

Jon went ahead and started digging, I cleared the filled bags and sporadic cobbles and stacked them neatly. There’s plenty of space available for temporary storage. We filled a couple of dozen or so bags then decided to have a peek at the prospects going forward.

Jon managed to wriggle on his back, into the cross-rift, to the right (~south) the rift pinches in, to the left (~north) the rift continues but a slab of calcite-coated rock obscured the view. We swapped places. I followed Jon’s lead and wriggled in on my back and with some effort was able to remove the slab and drag it back to Jon. The slab is aesthetically pleasing and can be relocated elsewhere. Then back for a better look. The cross-rift intersects the bedding and to the left (~north) continues, c.0.25m at its widest, and c.1.5m high, to a pinch-point low down. Here the rift appears to turn slightly and beyond the pinch-point widen considerably, there is an ‘echo’ and cool air movement (even Jon could detect it!). Immediately above the low pinch-point it looks passable. The prospects going forward look very enticing and we could be on the cusp of another significant development. There’s about 2 or 3m of hard digging required to gain access to whatever lies beyond. Some of you will see for yourselves on the weekend, you will be impressed, you too will be excited!