Wednesday, 6 July 2016

Evening route finding

Tuesday 5.7.16
Team: Jen Baxter, Lisa Boore, Paul Tarrant, Dan Thorne, Claire Vivian

Being as Paul was injured, this was going to be a smaller trip that would focus on route finding and visiting some easily accessible places that we had often walked past without exploring. We were probably no more than 10-15 minutes away from the entrance for the whole trip.

After buying a laminated copy of the survey covering the entrance area, we set off for Top Entrance. It was a brilliant evening and we enjoyed the walk up. Once underground, we set about exploring the passages around the upper Columns gate. We followed every passage there and were pleasantly surprised by how large the passages were, even with some nice formations.

Claire and Jen studying the survey near the upper Columns gate. (Photo: Paul Tarrant)

More exploring just within the entrance (Photo: Paul Tarrant)
We then headed to the back of Big Chamber and again tried the two passages there. One ended quickly in a choke, the right hand passage proved more problematic as after a few feet there was a big hole. Not fancying the look of the climb down here, we vowed to go back another evening - with a rope - to see what the lower passage looked like. We then breezed across the mini traverses behind Big Chamber, and headed down the first passage going towards the upper level of Arete Chamber.  Lots of passages coming off here to explore, plus the traverse across the top of Arete.

Three of the team crossing the top of Arete. (Photo: Paul Tarrant)
Heading back out we looked for a chamber just off the Brickyard that Toby had mentioned. We found it - it is a surprisingly large chamber! - then headed out. Just in time to finish off the evening with a pint at the Ancient Briton.

Total trip time: around 2.5 hours.