The holes that had been drilled and filled along the rift had been effective and had carved some sizeable slabs of rock from the cave wall. They needed a bit of effort to remove them, i.e. they required some reduction in size. Before this could be done the “bridged” constriction needed some attention. Some hammering, chiselling and levering with the bar the constriction was gone (mostly). Once the bulk of material had been cleared, I managed a couple of metres of forward progress to gain a better look ahead. The upshot…still more work required! At least another 2m or so of passage to be widened, not really a surprise. The narrow rift ahead is covered with calcite flowstone and there’s further evidence for the effects of frost and/or ice freeze/thaw processes. This needs a photographic record.
Did as much clearing as I thought necessary then had a look around to plan the next phase of action. After some consideration maybe it’s time for consolidation and expansion rather than struggling to push too far ahead in the restricted rift. All sorted, time to leave and go to the pub for some lunch.