Out-bye Past the Roof-fall
During the NAMHO 2011 Conference 2 delegates on a trip to the 90 yard level found a way down to the 112 yard level beyond the large roof fall that has blocked previous explorations. This route was only possible because of the “low” water levels.
On the 2nd October 2011, 5 Club members (Andy Harris, Neal Rushton, Stuart Tyrer, Andy Kennelly and Kelvin Lake) ventured down the rather unstable slope from the 90 yard level to the 112 yard level. There was some doubt about this slope - chunks were dropping off while we looked at it! Eventually a lifeline was rigged over the lip of this unstable area and we descended to the 112 yard level, trying not too look to hard at the large boulders poised about our heads!
To actually drop onto the 112 yard level, we had to squeeze under a suspended ‘flake’ (with remnants of a baryte vein visible in the lower edge) and into the flooded level. The depth of water was a little surprising, more than chest deep, with our heads wedged against the roof!
Wading along the level we were effectively moving out-bye, following the level towards the drainage tunnel that emerges at Waterwheel in the Hope Valley. A rough compass and tape survey was carried out as we progressed. Stuart Tyrer and Andy Kennelly taking pictures and video as we went. Due to the depth of water Kelvin wasn’t able to unpack his camera gear until a roof fall which acted as an island was reached.
This ‘island’ had been created by the collapse of large timbers which had originally had stacked deads on top of them. Some timbers (and deads) were still in place, with a small stope above.
From the sanctuary of this island we made steady progress along the level, surveying as we went. A crosscut, flooded winze, and small overhand stopes being noted.
Eventually a T-junction was reached. The right-hand branch lead past, what appeared to be a collapsed gate, to a chamber where 2 shafts seemed to pass through - although they were both filled. As we approached this area progress was very difficult as the level seemed to have a considerable amount of silt in it.
Looking at the walls the normal water level could be seen above our heads and the walls were covered in a fine grey silt. Due to the silt on the walls and the depth of silt in the chamber around the shafts, we deduced that the silt was grout that had been pumped down the shafts and run out into the level and water