12 January 2016


We call it mine exploration, but quite often, we know in advance what we'll see. Its always exciting if we really have something to explore. And we currently do! The men had started prodding in what either was a collapse or a backfilled chamber, to see if they could get into the level leading on beyond it. And now I would get to see it. You wouldn't; I realised on my way I had forgot my camera.

I was the first one down so I had a look. It looked iffy indeed! Quite a lot of rock just waiting to come crashing down. Getting past that safely would be a challenge. Then Edwyn arrived; he showed me the way on. The passage looked tempting; it was big enough for a human! But a bit risky. If any rock next to it would move, the whole chamber would probably follow. Not good! I started to clear up some loose rubble from the big rocks to get a closer look at the big rocks which, for now, kept everything in place. But then I saw a crucial one moving. Good we hadn't tried the passage!

Our main objective for this night was cleaning out the passage; whatever we would be doing in that chamber, we would want to have a clear exit in case something went wrong. The earlier nights the men had taken a lot of rock out of the chamber and the passage had become narrow. We tried to roll away the bigger rocks, or make them smaller if they were too big. We had brought a drill and some hammers and chisels. We set to work.

It wasn't only the loose rock in the chamber that worried us; we were also a bit wary of the ceiling, which contained quite some hanging death. Edwyn heroically knocked some down. If anyone can out-dive a rock fall it's him!

David had hoped we'd be able to dig a passage in the corner, protected by big, wedged rocks. That didn't look too promising. Stabilizing the whole chamber would be a bit much to ask. I don't know how we'll ever make it through! If at all. But we're a resourceful bunch; we might think of something. That passage is tantalizing enough to keep us motivated!


Henco said...

I was intrigued by the term 'hanging death' and what it would look like. Maybe some pics next time?

Margot said...

I wish I'd had the camera with me that time! I think next time I'm a lot less likely to forget. Watch this space! Not sure when we go back though...