14 May 2014

Finding new ground

Tuesday has been caving day. That was our regular evening in Plymouth, and, during the summer, in York too! It has been Wednesday too, when in Yorkshire the post-digging pub would be closed on Tuesdays in winter. And now it's Thursday. I have joined a bunch of daft people called the Thursday Nighters (what's in a name!) who do underground stuff I like. This week, though, a trip rather far away was proposed; it was also a venue that the online mine exploration community commented negatively on. I wasn't so keen on a mine 1.15h driving away. So a different plan was proposed; one of the chaps had spotted some mine waste and a few ruined buildings on Google Maps. We had no idea what was there, but where there is mine waste there has been mining! So we took a chance.

All day it had been raining, but when we drove off it suddenly was sunny. And it stayed that way! We parked somewhere along a narrow country road, and followed a stream to where the mine tips would be. It was already a beautiful walk! Any nice mine would be bonus.

 Just a pretty pic taken along the way!

 Nice views

We found the place. It was riddled with danger signs. Even in front of holes in the wall that were only some 2m deep! It takes some talent to get into trouble in one of these. But 2 m deep adits are not what we look for. After a few duds we found an adit that did go a reasonable way into the rock. Nice! It lead to a chamber, from which we could see a level higher up, but this was (of course!) a mine in slate, and the wall one would have to scale to get there was simply too smooth and featureless to climb. But maybe we could get in from a higher entrance?

Found it!

We scampered up the hill. A next adit was collapsed. But even higher up we found another entrance. It was possible to carefully scramble down a steep slope, lower oneself along a beautiful original chain, and get to a lower level (probably the one with the collapsed entrance). And from above we saw our original chamber! It does go. Next time we should bring a rope. Then we can do a cute little round trip! I didn't take any pictures in there, as I had forgotten my waterproof camera, and had not brought the "normal" one inside...

 Inside. Pic by Simon.

When we got out we had one last depression to check out; it might hold a shaft. But I wasn't too keen; I wanted to get to a hilltop to see the pink sunset. I wasn't the only one! We admired the scene for a while before we returned to the cars, and went for a pint. I look forward to going back here!

No comments: