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logbook_2019 [14 Mar 2019 00:30]
cookie [Logbook] Far Rift Dig update to 11/2/2018
logbook_2019 [14 Mar 2019 00:41] (current)
cookie [Logbook] Far Rift Dig. 6,7/3/2019
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 -- Lawrence 11/2/19 -- Lawrence 11/2/19
 +
 +==== Far Rift Dig. Wed 6th, 7th Mar 2019  ====
 +
 +The Team: Andy Sparrow, Richard Nurse, Will Puddy, Lewis Tucker (new member), Rachel Sparrow, Lawrence Wilson
 +
 +Following on from previous report.
 +
 +Andy returned from Alps and the small hole across the bedding plane was enlarged, as it would take three or four visits to allow access to see around the corner digging along the narrow rift continued, more as something to do rather than with any expectation.
 +
 +Wednesday 6/3/19\\
 +With a new member recruited to the team (Lewis),  Andy and myself where freed up to do some long overdue housekeeping stabilising the stone wall at the bottom of Referendum Rift.
 +
 +The diggers went up and examined the result of the last blast, progress but no way through so continued the digging. After half an hour a large rock was removed and a small air space was revealed above it. The clay changed to pebbly sand with the air space enlarging as they went, after 1m of rapid progress pebbles started to bounce down into a void ahead! Richard pushed and was through, closely followed by Lewis and Will. The small tube broke into one end of a large rift about 4 or 5m from the floor. This was down climbed and the large size of the breakthrough seen, they decided to return at this point to get Andy and myself to join in, sadly we had exited the cave a couple of minutes earlier so caught up with us washing kit in the river, much excitement and talk of ways on, as it was late it was decided to reconvene the following evening to explore.
 +
 +Thursday 7/3/19\\
 +Seven o'clock and everyone was changed and raring to go, all made it up to start of bedding plane dig then off to explore, the small breakthrough passage really is quite unusual breaking out at the end of the rift onto a small bedding ledge. The down climb isn't straight forward so Rachel decided to stay on the ledge (Sparrow's nest?) the rift is between 2 and 4 meters wide, about 20m long(?) and maybe 15m high and is aligned North-South.
 +
 +The floor slopes down at about 30 degrees, at the higher end it is mostly clay with a possible dig site under the Sparrows nest. At the lower, far end there is a lot of sand and another good dig site. There is bat shit everywhere, even more than in Backstop Rift. A few small passages were pushed but none went, the rift was climbed from the floor to no avail.
 +
 +Back at the ledge Rachel and Andy had spotted a high level traverse about half way up the rift, this was crossed into an unstable area with lots of leads in all directions, the most intriguing of which is a small bedding plane heading off South-East, it dips down, is half full of mud but can been seen going around a slight bend about 4m ahead.
 +
 +So in summary, up to 30m of new cave discovered, this is the third rift we have encountered and they seem to be getting progressively bigger as we go. More evidence of bats, still no clue where they are coming from, there was no known open link between  Backstop rift and this one before we dug through.
 +
 +What next? We desperately need all of the new extensions surveyed (Max has volunteered).\\
 +There is a lot of "hanging death" jammed in the rift so some careful stabilisation.\\
 +Access needs improving all the way from Referendum rift.\\
 +Traverse line, hand line, platform or staples need fitting at traverse.\\
 +Bedding plane and other leads need digging/exploring.
 +
 +-- Lawrence