11th May

Vince, Brockers, Jake, Jon, and Tav

Yet another earlier start for me, continuing the process of reducing the accumulated pile of larger boulders at the base of the pot in the Soft South. The rocks are required for wall-building. There are a couple of especially large boulders and I experimented with removing chunks off one of them with varying success.

Brockers and Jake arrived in tandem, Brockers making a beeline to the NE extent to take up position in the ‘lonely spot’, Jake opening up a ‘CoW’. Soon after Jon and Tav were on the scene and the pile of reduced rocks I had amassed were hauled out of the pot by them, I continued to break up the last couple of boulders for this session before packing kit away. Then headed up to the NE extent beyond Trick or Treat to relieve Brockers of his filled bags. Jon came along and together we moved the spoil to the pot. All spoil was removed to the bottom of the entrance where Tav had stacked it very neatly for removal later in the morning. Jake’s accumulated spoil was cleared, then back to Brockers and so on.

Currently, forward progress is more easily obtained following the NE trending dig beyond Trick or Treat, where the spoil mostly comprises finer sediments. In ‘Cow’, forward momentum is hampered by a thick basal calcite flowstone deposit which although appears to have been fractured (freeze/thaw processes) the sediment has to be removed before the fragmented deposit can be removed. This type of obstruction is not entirely unexpected having been encountered before, we just have to ensure that dimensions of the dig allow for comfortable excavation and removal.

Eventually digging activity was curtailed at the NE extent so that spoil could be hauled out to the surface and dispersed there. I joined the surface party and was able to build up the wall and level the spoil, thereby saving me a job for tomorrow. A total of 90 bags had been filled, hauled, and emptied from the two digs and about 20 skip loads of rocks added to the wall. A larger team turn-out resulting in a productive session. Refreshments were, of course, taken at the Hunter’s Lodge Inn.