Sludge Pit Hole - Wed 18 Oct 2023

Andy Sparrow, David Cooke, Lawrence Wilson, Paul James, Peter Sanders, Seán Tidey, Will Puddy

With a large team and a breakthrough IMINANT enthusiasm was high for digging this week. Seán and Will set of first taking rope for the entrance pitch and headed straight for the top of the aven and the dig. Seán went back to work on the dig face and Will got into position at the top of the aven ready to manoeuvre bags. PJ then also came up the aven to help Will lower bags. Andy and Peter stayed at the bottom emptying bags and continuing the very neat wall of spoil. All the while Cookie and his protégé Lawrence had set off with some very high tech kit to survey the cave to help get some idea of where the dig is heading and where the dig face is. This I understand was going very swiftly until the survey device needed recalibrating, meaning they were stuck in one place for a while. I'm led to believe one more session of surveying and we will have some information about the location of the dig face in regards to the rest of the cave. At the dig face we filled about ten bags with spoil and sent seven of these (plus some from last time) down the aven the other three were stacked on top of thee from the last session to help reach the face. After the 6'-7' horizontal crawl there is now a stack of six full bags. From standing on the bags the top of the dig, which is now a solid rock ceiling at that gentil angle everything else in the cave is at is about 8.5-9ft away (full reach with crowbar in hand). Digging continues to be very easy as the spoil is very sandy and gravity is on your side but we will now need to think about which way to head and possibly digging out some steps. Spoil collection is getting harder due the the stack of six bags at the bottom and it may work better with a dedicated person filling bags rather than the digger doing both.

Despite the lack of break though, after a productive session we adjourned to the Hunters.

I was at the dig face all evening so took a bit of guess at what others were up to and in what order based on post digging chat.

— Seán Tidey 25/10/2023

Last modified: 25 Oct 2023 12:46