Singing River Mine - Wed 8 Nov 2023

Andy Sparrow, Brendan Hanley, David Cooke, Peter Sanders, Will Puddy, Yvette Mayo

We met at the entrance fully kitted out, having discreetly (or not) got changed at disparate locations around Shipham. The shiny new gate with combination lock was opened using the code provided by Wayne Starsmore and although we’d considered abseil descent to speed up entry bearing in mind the 9:30 required exit, the ladders and lifeline were rigged up and the descent for the six of us was quick enough, admiring the large spiders on the way down. Having relocked the gate above us, we set out past the lively singing river, up the scree slope, left into the West Passage into Six Ways Chamber, from where we negotiated the drop into the stream galleries. A handline would indeed have been useful, as suggested in MU. After a quick crawl through a slot to look into a chamber fully occupied by a lake, which apparently leads to further now flooded workings, we continued along the stream (welly depth +), past the Blue Holes to the final sump where the steam flowed rapidly onward. Returning to Six Ways Chamber past the several choked shafts above, we continued into the East Series. From East Chamber we took the Gulf Bypass and over the plank to the Great Hall, having investigated passages to the side (possibly East Gallery No.1?). The water was up to neck height in the Great Hall even at the right hand edge, but four intrepid thick-blooded members of the group entered under the arch and crossed to the passage to the East Shaft, whilst two flakers watched from the Gallery above. On the way back Stinking Gulf was briefly investigated, this being only chest deep in water – no problem if you’re already drenched (apparently). Whilst some faffing about was going on at the entrance shaft, the entrance galleries were perused with a circular route being found and eventually a full exit was made by 9pm and a retreat to a quiet debrief by the log fire in the Penscot. Thanks to Wayne for facilitating access permission and to Andy for the expert guidance. Peter Sanders

— Peter Sanders 12/11/2023

Last modified: 12 Nov 2023 20:37